Sophomore sinks two, team celebrates District 3 Class 5A championship. (Teddy Feinberg/GameTimePA.com)
The Northeastern boys' basketball team won its first District 3 title, defeating Mechanicsburg in the Class 5A championship game Friday, March 3, 2017. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
See the top five plays from the Vikings' 46-44 win over the Lady Crusaders in the District 3 Class 4A championship. It's the Vikings' first ever District Championship. Matt Catrillo/GameTimePA.com
See thr top five plays from the Beavers' 55-27 win over Halifax in the District 3 Class 1A Championship. Beavers won their 3rd straight district title. Matt Catrillo/GameTimePA.com
York Catholic managed to win the District 3 championship against league rival Delone Catholic, and Irish head coach Kevin Bankos crossed off another milestone by winning his 300th career game. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
Jordan Ray powered the York Country Day boys' basketball team to its second consecutive District 3 championship Thursday, March 2, 2017 at Hershey's Giant Center. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
See the top five plays from the Cedars' 66-59 loss to the Red Knights in the District 3 Class 6A Third Place Game. Matt Catrillo/GameTimePA.com
Find out how Jordan Ray and York Country Day were able to win back-to-back District 3 Class 1A boys basketball championships with Ray's GameTimePA.com Snapchat Takeover. Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com
The Susquehannock girls' basketball team is headed back to the District 3 championship game after a 48-25 victory against Twin Valley Tuesday. The Warriors play Harrisburg at 11 a.m. Saturday at Hershey's Giant Center. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
Bobcats topple Spring Grove, highlighted by Fred Mulbah's highlight-reel dunk. (Teddy Feinberg/GameTimePA.com)
See the top 10 plays from Greencastle's 46-41 win over Palmyra in the District 3 Class 5A Fifth Place Game. Matt Catrillo/GameTimePA.com
Check out the best plays from Greencastle-Antrim and Shippensburg's boys basketball team in the District 3 Class 5A consolations. Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com
Check out the GameTimePA.com Top 5 Plays - playoff edition. Video by Lindsey Smith
Panthers lose in District 3 Class 6A semifinal vs. Cumberland Valley, 41-32. (Teddy Feinberg/GameTimePA.com)
YAIAA Division I foes Northeastern and Spring Grove are scheduled to meet in the District 3 Class 5A semifinal Monday at Hershey's Giant Center. The two programs have split the season series, with each winning at home. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
The Susquehannock girls' basketball team is chasing a chance at history, attempting to win the program's first District 3 title. The Warriors appeared in back-to-back district finals in 2013-14, but came up short in both games. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
Panthers lose to Eagles 66-45 in District 3 Class 6A quarterfinals. (Patrick Blain/For GameTimePA.com)
The top five plays from the Cedars' 51-50 win over the Panthers in the District 3 Class 6A Quarterfinals. Matt Catrillo/GameTimePA.com
On Thursday, Northeastern's Fred Mulbah hosted GameTimePA.com's Snapchat Takeover. Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com
Spring Grove erased a 7-point, fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Manheim Central, 65-63, in a District 3 Class 5A quarterfinal Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
The top 5 plays from the Spartans' 76-71 win over the Cougars in the District 3 Class 5A Quarterfinals Thursday at Palmyra High School. Matt Catrillo/GameTimePA.com
The York Catholic boys' fell to Lancaster Mennonite 64-63 in the District 3 Class 3A semifinals. Here's a look at the closing seconds -- and winning basket. (Teddy Feinberg/GameTimePA.com
Check out the best plays from Northeastern's District 3 Class 5A boys basketball victory over Greencastle-Antrim. Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com
Teammates for the Jersey Shore Warriors, Spring Grove's Eli Brooks and Manheim Central's Taylor Funk met in a District 3 boys' basketball quarterfinal Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
Top 5 plays Greencastle-Antrim vs. West York Matt Bernardini, GameTimePA
No. 5-seeded Carlisle held off No. 12-seeded Dallastown, 80-77, in the District 3 Class 6A boys' basketball tournament Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
The top five plays from Central York's 64-48 win at Cedar Crest in the District 3 Class 6A First Round Tuesday. Matt Catrillo/GameTimePA.com
The top 5 plays from the Cougars' 61-53 win over the Eagles in the District 3 Class 5A First Round. Matt Catrillo/GameTimePA.com
Check out the best of the best from Greencastle-Antrim's playoff game with Shippensburg on Monday night. Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com
Check out the top five plays between Waynebsoro and Manheim Central in a District 3 Class 5A boys basketball first-round matchup. Video by Lindsey Smith
Check out Greencastle-Antrim's victory over Shippensburg through the eyes of Bryan Gembe, who hosted a GameTimePA.com's Snapchat Takeover on Monday night. Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com
GameTimePA reporters Teddy Feinberg and Jim Seip discuss potential District 3 basketball title teams from the YAIAA. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
GameTimePA.com's Matt Catrillo and Pat Huggins break down the upcoming District 3 boys and girls basketball tournaments for Lebanon County teams. Matt Catrillo/GameTimePA.com
- Watch: Jaden Walker free throws lift Susquehannock to title
- Watch: Northeastern scores one for history books
- Watch: NL-McDevitt top 5 plays
- Watch: Leb. Catholic-Halifax Top 5 plays
- Watch: York Catholic wins title, Bankos earns 300th victory
- Watch: York Country Day wins back-to-back District 3 titles
- Watch: Lebanon/Reading top 5 plays
- Watch: Jordan Ray hosts Dist. 3 champion Snapchat Takeover
- Watch: Susquehannock headed to District 3 final
- Watch: Northeastern to play for District 3 title
- Watch: Greencastle-Palmyra top 10 plays
- Watch: Top 10 plays, Greencastle & Shippensburg in consolations
- Watch: GTPA Top 5 Plays, playoffs week 1
- Watch: Central York can't find scoring touch at Giant Center
- Watch: Northeastern, Spring Grove meet in District 3 semifinal
- Watch: Susquehannock girls pursue school history
- Watch: Central York falls to Division-I bound Lonnie Walker, Reading
- Watch: CD East/Lebanon top 5 plays
- Watch: The complete Fred Mulbah Takeover
- Watch: Spring Grove's wild comeback sinks Manheim Central
- Watch: Milton Hershey/Palmyra Top 5 plays
- Watch: York Catholic loses in closing seconds of OT
- Watch: Top 10 plays, Greencastle vs. Northeastern
- Watch: AAU teammates Brooks and Funk face off
- Watch: Top 5 plays Greencastle-Antrim vs. West York
- Watch: Dallastown misses last-second shot to tie Carlisle
- Watch: Top 5 plays of Central York/Cedar Crest
- Watch: Top 5 plays of Dover/Palmyra
- Top 10 plays, Greencastle vs. Shippensburg
- Watch: Top 5 plays from 'Boro-Manheim Central
- Watch: The full Bryan Gembe Snapchat Takeover
- Watch: District 3 basketball predictions
- Watch: Lebanon Co. District Hoops Preview
Amid all of the changes to the District 3 basketball tournament this year, at least one championship game has a familiar feel to it.
The York Catholic and Delone Catholic girls' basketball teams will once again play for district gold Thursday night in Hershey.
It's the 12th straight berth in the finals for York Catholic, which won an unprecedented 10 straight Class 2A titles from 2006-2015 before losing to Camp Hill in last year's final.
The Irish championship run included four victories against Delone Catholic, from 2011-14. And after a two-year hiatus, the YAIAA Division III rivals will play once again for the crown, this time in Class 3A after the PIAA expanded from four to six classifications. The showdown is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Thursday at Hershey's Giant Center.
The squads earned their berths in the title tilt with semifinal wins on Friday night at South Western. Delone defeated Middletown, 66-41, in the opener, and York Catholic took down Pequea Valley, 55-42, in the nightcap.
Both teams have already qualified for the PIAA tournament: Thursday's result will determine their first-round matchup in that tournament. The winner will face the third-place team from District 4, and the loser will play the third-place team from District 12.
York Catholic (19-6) won both regular season matchups this season, although the Irish had to stage fourth-quarter comebacks in both contests, giving the Squirettes their only division losses of the season.
Delone (19-6) has played without senior center Jill Novak since the sixth game of the season when she tore an ACL for the second straight year. The Squirettes also lost sophomore guard Riley Vingsen for the entire season to an ACL tear.
The Squirettes are led by their enormous front line of 6-foot-1 sophomore Bradi Zumbrum (11.0 points per game), 5-foot-11 freshman Maddie Clabaugh (8.0) and 6-foot-3 junior Catie Apgar (7.5).
Zumbrum and Clabaugh both established new career highs in points in Delone's win against Middletown with Zumbrum scoring 31 points and pulling down 12 boards and Clabaugh scoring 18 points and hauling in 10 rebounds.
In the York Catholic's 47-46 victory at Delone on Jan. 27, Zumbrum proved to be a big challenge as she scored 19 points to go with eight rebounds.
"They're a very good team and both games were slugfests. I don't expect it to be any different on Thursday," York Catholic Kevin Bankos said. "They're a big team and they'll be very tough to beat. It's tough to beat any team three times in one season."
Junior Kate Bauhof, who missed the Irish's win over Pequea Valley with an illness, paces her squad at 18.5 points per game, good for second in the YAIAA. Bauhof has buried a league-best 50 3-pointers and is second in the YAIAA in free-throw percentage at 81 percent.
Abby Pilkey, a 6-foot-1 junior forward, checks in at 9 points per game.
"It'll be a tough challenge for us. It always is when we play York Catholic," Delone coach Gerry Eckenrode said. "We have to play better defense than we have against them the first two times we play if we're going to win."
The advantage in experience playing at Giant Center falls squarely on the York Catholic side, which is playing in its 12th straight title game.
For Delone, Novak and fellow senior Elise Knobloch played in the 2014 game as freshman, but no other Squirette has played in the cavernous arena.
"I've told the girls that it could be the biggest stage that they ever play on in their basketball careers," Eckenrode said. "But it's still a game."
But Bankos wasn't buying the experience advantage.
"We can't rely on that and expect it to carry us to the win," he said. "Delone is too good of a team for that. We'll have to be prepared and ready to go."
If you go
What: District 3 Class 3A girls' basketball championship game
Who: No. 1 York Catholic (19-6) vs. No. 2 Delone Catholic (19-6)
When: 6:15 p.m. Thursday
Where: Giant Center, Hershey
Tickets: Advance tickets sold at the schools cost $4 for students and $6 for adults. All tickets sold at the gate cost $6.
Live updates: Follow live updates on the action at GameTimePA.com.