York and Adams counties will send 10 girls' basketball teams to the District 3 tournaments, and they will be facing some unfamiliar opponents in the first round. Here are five predictions heading into the district tourney.
Which team will go furthest?
It would be hard not to pick 10-time defending District 3 Class AA champion York Catholic. Year after year, the Fighting Irish have found a way to make their way back to the championship game, and it doesn’t appear this year will be any different. Kate Bauhof has been an impact player for the Irish, putting up 20.3 points per game, and it's hard to think that would change heading into districts. Sure, the Irish were knocked out of the league tourney by Central York, but Catholic has found a way year after year to be successful in districts.
Who could be a Cinderella story?
William Penn has been the Cinderella story all season, and that could continue in the district tourney. The Bearcats got bounced in the quarterfinals of the YAIAA tournament, but they sure gave Susquehannock a run for their money. William Penn plays an aggressive style of basketball that can force its opponent to make mistakes with the ball or throw off their shooting. Chyna Steele has been one of the best forwards in the league, and she has helped carry the upstart Bearcats to a 14-8 record this season. If Steele can find a way to continue her strong outings, and William Penn can use its aggressive style to the Bearcats' advantage, then perhaps they could surprise a few people during districts.
Which team should brace against an upset?
At 17-5, York Suburban has had a pretty successful season this year. However, if there is one team that could be upset early on, I would say Suburban is the likely candidate. Sure, they have beaten plenty of good teams during the course of the year, but they’ve also dropped two games to Susquehannock and have lost their last two games heading into districts.
Who will be the biggest impact player?
With a 20-2 record, Susquehannock can thank Ashley Stone for a lot of the success the Warriors have seen this year. And if they hope to continue that success, they will need her to come up big in the district tournament. Stone has been the barometer for how the Warriors are doing on a given night. If she’s firing on all cylinders, Susquehannock is likely going strong. And if she’s not, there’s a good chance they’re struggling. Putting up 12.6 points per game, the Warriors will need her to be at her best when they go against some unfamiliar opponents.
What's one potential matchup to watch for?
A few things have to go right for this to happen, but it sure would be entertaining to see Delone Catholic and York Catholic play for the Class AA championship. The sides split their two regular-season contests, going to overtime in January before Delone came out with the win. The Irish avenged the loss at Delone on Jan. 30. A game between these two at Giant Center with a district title on the line would be fun to watch.