New year, same teams: Time for New Year's resolutions
The "Christmas Wish List" post was a hit, so it's time for a second holiday-themed post. This time we modified our weekly power rankings to include a New Year's resolution for each team. It's simply our opinion on what each team's resolution could be and it's all meant in fun. Enjoy.
*Only Hanover-Adams area teams are included.
1. Hanover (9-1, 5-0) The Nighthawks racked up wins over Columbia and Susquehannock during a round-robin tournament last week. Senior Dylan Krieger surpassed the 1,000 career-point plateau in a win over Fairfield as well.
New Year's resolution: Don't look too far ahead.
Hanover should be favored in every game the rest of the season, but the Nighthawks can't get ahead of themselves. Don't take a team lightly while looking ahead to the Camp Hill game or the postseason. Focus on improving each night and you'll be fine in February, Nighthawk Nation.
2. Spring Grove (5-2, 3-1) The Rockets went on a three-game winning streak before the break and haven't played since, so they stay snug in the two spot. From Jan. 6-10, they'll play four games in five days against teams with a 22-16 combined record (vs. Dallastown, at Lower Dauphin, at Central York, at Carlisle). Come out of that tough week with two or three wins and you're in great shape with a more favorable schedule down the stretch.
New Year's resolution: Keep building confidence.
After watching the Rockets in-person three times this season, the thing that stands out the most is their confidence. They didn't back down when William Penn came to town and they snapped a six-game losing streak to Red Lion with a game-winning three at the buzzer. Grant Wierman, Erik Myers and Liam Flaherty have been stepping up more and more around Eli Brooks and Darin Gordon. If they keep gaining confidence and knocking down shots, the Rockets are going to give opposing coaches headaches all season.
3. Gettysburg (5-5, 1-4) Since the last rankings, the Warriors added wins over Walkersville and Delone Catholic and a loss to Eastern York. Winning their own holiday tournament should be a nice confidence boost after Gettysburg lost four of the previous five games. Three of the Warriors' next four games are at home, but then six of the final eight games are on the road.
New Year's resolution: Put 2014 behind you. Use the "New year, new me" cliche.
In their five wins, the Warriors are outscoring opponents by 32.4 points. In their five losses, they're only being outscored by seven points. Gettysburg has been in every game and there have been some tough, close losses. Put that behind you and get over the hump. Next three games: at Susky (1-7), vs. York Suburban (2-8), vs. Kennard-Dale (4-7).
4. Bermudian Springs (5-5, 4-1) The Eagles have won three of their last four. We're still not totally convinced since the wins came against Biglerville, Littlestown and York Tech (combined 6-27). But wins are wins, the Eagles are back to .500 and tied for second in the division.
New Year's resolution: York Springs is great, but improve on the road trips.
Bermudian is 1-3 on the road so far and 4-2 at home. Why is that bad news right now? Because four of the next five games come far away from York Springs (at Delone, at Fairfield, at York Tech, at Big Spring). All four are very winnable games and two or three wins in that stretch would be huge for the Eagles.
5. Delone Catholic (4-5, 3-2) After a three-game winning streak moved the Squires up to the fourth spot, they fall back to fifth by losing two of their last three. The Squires are actually outscoring their opponents and have four guys averaging double-figures in scoring. Those are positives to pull from coach William's first month at the helm.
New Year's resolution: Limit turnovers, defend "the Shep" (That was two, I cheated a little bit)
Turnovers killed Delone in the loss to York Catholic. The Squires' 20-plus turnovers, including Tavian Dorsey's seven, turned into too many fast break points for the Irish. Cut those down and you'll be setting up your defense instead of chasing down fast breaks. Five of the Squires' next seven games are at Lawrence B. Sheppard Jr. Memorial Gymnasium. Only one of those is against a team with a winning record (Jan. 14 vs. Hanover). Defend the Shep!
6. Fairfield (4-5, 2-3) Slowly, but surely, the Green Knights keep sneaking up this list. Fairfield has won four of its last five games and won the Christian School of York Holiday Tournament. They get the nod over Biglerville thanks to two head-to-head victories.
New Year's resolution: Avoid Deja Vu.
On this date last year, the Green Knights were 4-6 and coming off a title win at the CSY holiday tourney. Sound familiar? Well they followed that up last season by going 1-9 in January. Let's not turn that into a yearly tradition.
7. Biglerville (5-7, 1-4) It seems like yesterday that we were talking about the 4-0 Canners trending up and being a surprise team. Since then, they've lost seven of eight and fell to sixth in the division. It's a young squad for coach Elsier and there are some bright spots. Noah Ayers is averaging 18.2 points and freshman Cody Shaffer is chipping in with 11.1 points per game.
The good news: The Canners are just two wins away from matching last season's total. The bad news: The Canners play four road games in the next two weeks (at York Catholic, at Hanover, at Littlestown and at Delone).
New Year's resolution: Beat Fairfield.
The Canners have come away on the losing end twice already against their division rival. They get a rare third chance on Jan. 21 at home.
8. South Western (2-6, 1-3) The Mustangs stay put in the eighth spot after a 1-2 record last week. Despite the poor record, South Western is only being outscored by 3.8 points. Darius Rowlette continues to impress and has increased his scoring clip to 11.9 points.
New Year's resolution: Make free throws.
Let's briefly highlight two games: The Mustangs lost 71-68 to Mechanicsburg on Dec. 6. South Western shot 8 for 19 from the line, Mechanicsburg shot 23 for 38. See the difference? Last week, the Mustangs lost to Lampeter-Strasburg by four. South Western went 5 for 10 from the line, LS went 12 for 17. It's tough, especially in close games, to pull out wins when your opponent is shooting and making that many more free throws than your team.
9. New Oxford (2-9, 0-5) The Ox snapped a four-game losing skid with a 72-55 win over York Tech. The Colonials fall one spot behind South Western because they lost the head-to-head matchup, 53-52. Head coach Sean Bair has a young team in New Oxford. Junior Devon Duvall (10.3) and freshman John Wessel (10.7) are the only Colonials averaging more than 5.2 points.
New Year's resolution: Improve against divisional opponents.
New Oxford's two wins come against teams from divisions II and III. In games against division I opponents, New Oxford is being outscored by an average of 26 points. Win a division game here or there and build some confidence.
10. Littlestown (0-11, 0-5) The Bolts have had their growing pains early on this season. Their team defense (60.5 points) is middle of the pack, but the team offense (33.4 points) is last in the league.
New Year's resolution: Win one of the games before Jan. 13.
Three of the Bolts opponents in the first two weeks of the new year are against teams with five combined wins (Big Spring, at York Tech, New Oxford). Win one of those.