District rankings: Who's in? Who's on the bubble?
The first PIAA District 3 boys' basketball power rankings were released over the weekend, so it's time to take a look at which Hanover-Adams area teams are in, on the bubble or on the outside looking in. The rankings are broken down by classification.
Class AAAA -- Top 20 qualify for postseason
In: Spring Grove (5-2, 3-1, 12th out of 42, .712 rating)
The Rockets sit comfortably in the middle of the pack among teams that are currently qualified. Only having two losses helps Spring Grove, but the Rockets' opponents winning percentage (.608) is low among AAAA teams, which holds them back temporarily.
There is still another month left to play, but head coach James Brooks has to be happy with how his young, confident team has stepped up so far. Spring Grove is currently riding a three-game winning streak, but hasn't played since Dec. 22. They were expecting to shake off the rust with four games in five days this week before Mother Nature threw a wrench in their plans on Tuesday. Still, games against Dallastown (26th in Class AAAA), Central York (13th in AAAA) and Carlisle (9th in AAAA) this week will present a solid challenge and a boost to the strength of schedule for the upstart Rockets.
Work left to do: South Western (3-6, 1-3, 32nd out of 42, .538 rating) and New Oxford (2-9, 0-5, 38th out of 42, .438 rating)
The Mustangs currently sit 12 spots out of the final playoff spot. They picked up a win last week against Delone Catholic, which helped, so hopefully that was the spark that coach Brodbeck's team needed. Again, South Western is only being outscored by 3.0 points per game, which is usually a sign that the team is better than their record states.
The Colonials are as far from the final playoff spot (Manheim Township, 20th) as Manheim Township is from the top spot. It's going to be a long climb, but the Colonials have two young scorers (freshman John Wessel and junior Devon Duvall), who are leading the team in scoring with 10.7 and 10.3 points, respectively.
Class AAA -- Top 18 teams qualify for postseason
On the bubble: Gettysburg (5-5, 1-4, 20th out of 36, .534 rating), Bermudian Springs (5-5, 4-1, 24th out of 36, .480 rating)
The Warriors sit just hundredths of a percentage point behind the final playoff spot. Their team winning percentage and opponents winning percentage are both middle of the pack, which leaves them squarely on the bubble. Gettysburg could add a few wins in the coming week with games at Susky, vs. York Suburban, vs. Kennard-Dale. But if it comes down to the wire for the Warriors, it could be an uphill climb as they go on the road for six of their final eight games.
The Eagles have just bareeeeeely snuck their way onto the bubble with three wins in four games before the rankings were released. Their horrendous opponent winning percentage (.395) is among the lowest in Class AAA, which is what will hold them back. It can be overcome if the Eagles continue to rack up wins when they can and a win against an upper-tier team in the division such as York Catholic or Hanover would be a huge help as well.
Work left to do: Littlestown (0-12, 0-5, 35th out of 36, .233 rating)
It's a young team and 2014-2015 just isn't their year. A district playoff appearance is out of reach but they're improving each night and a win or two here or there could get them out of the Class AAA cellar.
Class AA -- Top 10 teams qualify for the postseason
In: Hanover (9-1, 5-0, 3rd out of 17, .663 rating)
The Nighthawks' only loss so far this season came to the Trinity Shamrocks, who happen to be ranked first in AA, so it didn't hurt them too much. What does hurt Hanover is the .361 opponents winning percentage thanks to an overall weak Division III this season. The Nighthawks, who should breeze through division play, have just one game against a team above .500 left on the schedule - vs. Camp Hill (2nd in Class AA) on Feb. 2.
On the bubble: Delone Catholic (4-6, 3-2, 9th out of 17, .446 rating), Fairfield (4-6, 2-3, 12th out of 17, .407 rating)
The Squires are on the good side of the bubble and sit in ninth out of ten playoff teams. They have a worse overall record than the three teams below them, but a more favorable strength of schedule (mostly nonleague) helped them out. Delone has lost three of its last four games, but has a chance to right the ship with four of their next six games being played at home. Scoring hasn't been an issue for the Squires, but turnovers and defense have been.
The Green Knights are on the other side of the bubble, looking in from the outside. A 69-21 blowout loss to Camp Hill on Monday doesn't bode well for multiple reasons:
1. It's a loss.
2. It happened after the rankings were released so Fairfield was in 12th before the loss was counted in.
3. Camp Hill would most likely be a potential first round opponent if Fairfield does sneak in to the postseason.
Fairfield had won four of its last five games before that loss, however, and remain just one win away from tying last season's total (5).
Work left to do: Biglerville (5-7, 1-4, 13th out of 17, .363 rating)
The Canners are currently three spots out of the playoffs. If the rankings would've came out a month ago, then Biglerville could be in the top three, but seven losses in eight games dropped them to 13th. They have a chance to prove themselves with three games against teams currently in playoff slots (York Catholic, Hanover, Delone) in the next two weeks.