Basketball season is finally here, as YAIAA teams open the season today.
Here are ten must-see girls' basketball games in the York-Adams league for the upcoming season:
Dec. 8: Northeastern at Susquehannock — This one is intriguing for multiple reasons: 1. The Bobcats have a new head coach — Gary Sutton — who will be making his divisional debut here. 2. Both teams have solid forwards. Northeastern has Jordyn Kloster (16.2 points, 32 3-pointers) and Susquehannock counters with Ashley Stone (12 points, 23 3–pointers). 3. These two squads split two meetings last year that were decided by a combined six points.
Dec. 10: Dallastown at South Western — What makes this one so fun? Well it’s a great early season opportunity to see what Dallastown has left in the tank after losing three primary scorers and a chance to see how good Jacey Shipley can be for the Mustangs. Shipley was one of the best guards in the league last year and the Mustangs will rely on her even more this season. Maybe fans can even catch a peek at South Western’s 5-foot-10 freshman Taylor Geiman, who will start right away.
Dec. 19: West York at York Catholic — This is a cross-divisional matchup between two perennial powerhouses. The Bulldogs lose their all-league backcourt duo, Emily Wood and Kari Lankford, and York Catholic is replacing four starters. But don’t worry, the Kate Bauhof vs. Olivia Sollberger matchup should be fun. They’re expected to be among the best at their position this season. Side note: This will be the first of three road games for the Bulldogs in a five-day span.
Dec. 28-29: Holiday tournaments — Take your pick. York Suburban and South Western will be at the Trojans’ tourney. Dover and Dallastown go to Lower Dauphin to take on the hosts and Greencastle-Antrim. And Central hosts York Catholic, Susquehannock and Brandywine Heights.
Jan. 2: New Oxford at Delone Catholic — Delone’s school actually sits in New Oxford’s school district so this should be a geographical rivalry. New Oxford won this game last season, 48-40. The seniorless Colonials bring back one of the best forward duos in the league — Kaelyn Long (10.9 points) and Haley Luckabaugh (7.5 points). Delone lost all-league guard Maddie Comly but return Ally Shipley (9.9 points) and Jill Novak (7.5 points), who are both expected to have bigger roles in Comly’s absence. Both squads are expected to compete for division crowns. This could offer a good gauge at where these two teams stand midway through the season.
Jan. 5: Delone at York Catholic — One of the best rivalries on the girls' side. Kevin Bankos and Gerry Eckenrode have built a solid tradition of playing close, hard-fought games between the Irish and Squirettes. Last season, Delone ended the Irish's four-year division reign by splitting two games and sharing the division title. Bankos and the Irish went on to win their tenth-straight district title. This year, it'll be Bauhof vs. Ally Shipley on the wing and Novak vs. Emily Laslo in the paint. Who holds the upper hand in this year's chapter of the Catholic school rivalry?
Jan. 8: New Oxford at Central — This will be the fourth-straight road game in ten days for the young Colonials all against top competition (at West York, at Delone, at Dallastown, at Central). Yikes. It'll be a tough test but if the Colonials can pull out two wins during that stretch, it'd be an accomplishment. Central swept the Colonials last season but both teams are expected to compete at the top of Division I along with Red Lion and possibly Dallastown if they can reload in a hurry. The key matchup in this one will be junior Kaelyn Long (10.9 points) vs. sophomore Nikson Valencik (9.6 points, 7.5 rebounds) in the paint.
Jan. 22: Red Lion at Central — The Lions, who finished 9-3 in the division last season, bring back four starters, including 5-foot-10 guard Courtney Dimoff, who averaged 14.9 points and knocked down 51 3-pointers last season. They're the preseason favorite to win the division, but their top competition could be the Panthers, who also went 9-3 in the division and bring back a majority of their starting lineup. So this one could have division title implications. Dimoff might be the best player on the court, but the key matchup could be on the wing where juniors Amy Maciejewski (10.1 points) and Emma Saxton (9 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals) square off.
Jan. 23: Red Lion Showcase — Some of the area's top teams — Delone, West York, New Oxford and Red Lion — will converge in late January for an intriguing showcase. There will undoubtedly be some exciting head-to-head matchups, so this Saturday matinee slate is a must-see for hoops fans.
Jan. 29: York Suburban at West York — West York held off the upstart Trojans last season by beating them three times, but York Suburban is knocking on the door. Head coach Jess Barley, who won GameTimePA's Coach of the Year honors last season, has turned York Suburban into a contender. The Trojans lose Claudia Mingora (16 points) but return three starters and have height along the front line with three key players listed at 5-foot-10 or taller. The Bulldogs have to replace Lankford and Wood, so is this the year the Trojans knock off the Bulldogs?
Other games to keep an eye on: Dallastown at Red Lion, Dec. 8. Hanover at Biglerville, Dec. 8. New Oxford at Red Lion, Dec. 11. New Oxford at West York, Dec. 30. Northeastern at Central York, Jan. 9. Delone Catholic at South Western, Jan. 16. Dallastown at West York, Jan. 18.