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Playoffs? We're talking playoffs?!

To answer Jim Mora's infamous question: yes, we're talking playoffs.

With the YAIAA basketball tournaments starting this weekend, we're previewing the three matchups involving Hanover-Adams teams and giving some BOLD predictions.


First up: Hanover (19-1) vs. West York (16-5) at Spring Grove, Saturday

Games against each other: Didn't play this season.

Hanover's record against common opponents (Kennard-Dale, Susquehannock): 2-0 

West York's record against common opponents: 4-0

When those two teams square off on Saturday night at Spring Grove, it will be the third time in six seasons that they have met in the first round of the league playoffs.

The Bulldogs have come out victorious in the previous two meetings, including a 49-46 win last season.

Hanover leading-scorer, Dylan Krieger, scored 17 points in that matchup, but the Nighthawks let a lead slip away late in the fourth quarter after pushing a 21-1 Bulldogs squad to the brink of elimination.

This time around, it's the Nighthawks who have the better record. Hanover finished at 19-1 and closed the season with a 14-game win streak.

The lone blemish on their resume was a 60-51 loss to Trinity in mid-December. Granted, the Nighthawks played just two other games against teams with a winning record, and both of those came against Bermudian Springs (12-10). But, the Nighthawks led the league in scoring differential, outscoring opponents by more than 25 points per game.

Meanwhile, West York went 6-5 against teams with a winning record, including a 63-58 win over previously undefeated Northeastern late in the season. They also took Bishop McDevitt to overtime during the YAIAA/Mid-Penn Showcase in January.

Both teams like to push the pace and get out in transition. Hanover holds the advantage in 3-pointers made (79), but West York shoots at a better clip from the free-throw line (64 percent).

In such an even team matchup, it can come down to individual matchups. Last season, Hanover ran a zone-defense with some success against West York. If they go man-to-man, keep an eye on two battles -- Josh Bailey (14.6 points) vs. Kyle Krout (10.4 points, 42 3-pointers) on the wing and Darian McCauley (11.2 points) vs. Jacob Rhodes (10.8 points) in the paint.

The winner of this one will get William Penn or Dover in the semifinals Wednesday at Red Lion.

Prediction: It's rare that a team has to wait until February to get a statement win, but that's what I think the Nighthawks do. They didn't roll over against West York last season, and this season, I see them winning a close one.

Northeastern (20-2) vs. Spring Grove (13-8) at Red Lion, Saturday

Games against each other: Didn't play this season.

Northeastern's record against common opponents (Red Lion, Dallastown, Central York, South Western, Susky): 5-1 

Spring Grove's record against common opponents: 5-3

While the Rockets were completing their first winning season since 1995, the Bobcats started off 17-0, but lost two of their final five games down the stretch. The Division II champions will have their hands full trying to stop Spring Grove sophomore Eli Brooks (19.8 points) and Darin Gordon (13.9 points).

Spring Grove will have to figure out a way to slow down Northeastern's offense, which knocked down 160 3-pointers (7.2 per game) and outscored opponents by 21 points per game this season.

The Rockets play better when their supporting cast shows up to complement Gordon and Brooks. They'll have to knock down their shots to keep Northeastern's defense honest.

The winner will face Central York or York Catholic on Wednesday at Red Lion.

Prediction: My upset pick of the tourney: If Spring Grove can get 20-25 points from guys not named Gordon or Brooks, then the Rockets knock Northeastern out of the bracket.

The Rockets might not fare well in the second round if they see Central for a third time, but I think they beat the Bobcats, who struggled down the stretch.


Delone Catholic (18-4) vs. York Suburban (17-5) at Dover, Friday

Games against each other: Didn't play this season.

Delone's record against common opponents (Eastern York, New Oxford, Gettysburg, Littlestown, Bermudian Springs): 6-1

York Suburban's record against common opponents: 6-1

While Delone has been a mainstay in the league tourney, Suburban is making its first appearance since 2006.

They had identical records against shared opponents, which is an early indicator that this could be a closely-contested game. Another would be the fact that both teams are riding three-game winning streaks into the tourney.

The Trojans will have to deal with league-leading scorer Maddie Comly (22.6 points). York Suburban boasts a more-balanced, lower-scoring offense led by senior guard Claudia Mingora (13.6 points).

The Squirettes hold the advantage in scoring differential (19.8 points per game) and 3-pointers made (53).

The winner will face Dallastown or Northeastern.

Prediction: Delone has been a one-and-done team in the league tourney over the last few years. I think that ends on Friday night. It'll be close, but Comly and the Squirettes come out with the victory.