Mid-season outlook on Mid Penn Colonial girls
Although it's early in the season, Waynesboro's girls basketball team is quickly becoming Franklin County's biggest Cinderella story, already matching last year's win total just one month into the season.
The Maidens currently have a six-game win streak, a 15-point average score advantage and, thanks to a 59-42 win over Shippensburg on Tuesday, a 4-0 record in the Mid Penn Colonial Division.
The Maidens and Greencastle-Antrim remain the only undefeated teams in Colonial play. With the Lady Hounds sitting at 3-1 in the division, it's shaping up to be an all-Franklin County battle for the title.
"It looks like everyone is pretty even this year," Greencastle coach Mike Rhine said. "In the past, we've had some teams up top win them all, and the bottom teams not many games at all, but I think it's going to be a lot of back and forth."
This week, the top three teams are immersed in division play, and will soon have a better idea of who may end up on top come February.
'Boro hot streak: Waynesboro, which had a 3-1 start for its best in nearly a decade, is playing like it's hungry for a title - a feat that would've been nearly impossible 11 months ago.
The Maidens' win over Shippensburg was their first since 2013, and proved that Waynesboro's well-rounded offense can cause troubles for a sizable defense.
"You see a group of girls going all out 100 percent on both ends of the floor," Shippensburg coach Andrew Markel said, "And they have three girls who can score at any time. They are playing well right now, that's the best way I can put it."
Waynesboro will finish the first half of its MPC schedule early next week. It takes on Boiling Springs on Friday, then Greencastle on Tuesday.
G-A glory days in the past: Greencastle is the three-time defending Colonial champion, but as top players have graduated, the Blue Devils are seeing much closer final scores than previous years.
G-A (7-1, 4-0 MPC) must get its younger core going to back up phenom Jenay Faulkner on both ends of the court. The Blue Devils' only loss of the season came when West York effectively shut down Faulkner, limiting her to just five points.
Greencastle takes on Shippensburg this Friday in another audition for the Colonial Division best.
Rhine said, "We don't have a beautiful inside game anymore and we have to grind out every possession, but our younger players are progressing."
Shippensburg slump nothing to worry about: Markel made it a point in the offseason to plant a competitive seed into his team, which won just eight games last year. And with a tough non-conference schedule further molding the Lady Hounds, this may be the year for Shippensburg to make its move in the Colonial.
The team's overall size, speed and athleticism should keep the Lady Hounds competitive, but in three of Shippensburg's five losses this season Markel said the team was "out-hustled."
"We will have our hands full with Shippensburg on Friday," Rhine said. "They are big and fast and play solid defense and we have to find a way to score."
Boiling over: Boiling Springs will likely be the top challenger for a Franklin County champion - the Bubblers have started the season 3-2 in the division.
James Buchanan building: After an 0-5 start to the season, James Buchanan won three of its last four, including a division win over Big Spring.
Bulldogs injury prone: Rhine praised the Big Spring basketball team for its attitude amid a tough string of injuries.
Rhine said, "If they weren't decimated by injuries I think they would be in the top of the league, too."
Polar Bear plunge: Northern York has yet to earn its first win in the Colonial Division and has two wins on the season, including a 17 point win over Biglerville.