Snow causes schedule avalanche
In addition to dropping more than 25 inches of snow in York County, Winter Storm Jonas took every basketball coach’s plans and tossed them aside like a warm-up jersey. All games scheduled over the weekend and on Monday were postponed, and some on Tuesday could be pushed back as well. The postponements made the rest of the week and remainder of the regular season tricky for many teams.
For instance, the Spring Grove boys’ basketball team will now have to play five games in six days, including four straight Wednesday through Saturday. That’s a brutal stretch for a team entering the back stretch of a postseason chase. It will force the Rockets to play more efficiently and monitor players' minutes, head coach James Brooks said.
“We have to really focus, play together and stay healthy,” Brooks said. “I think the guys like playing these back-to-back games. This will test our depth, but I like our team.”
York Country Day's boys' basketball team will play seven games in nine days spanning Jan. 27 through Feb. 4. That presents challenges, head coach Corey Stiles said.
"This kind of schedule can create problems such as increased risk of injury, which means teams with deeper benches will greatly benefit," Stiles said. "Another problem will be fatigue — mental and physical. It may sound easy to get ready for a game, but mentally that's not easy for all players. I guess the term for that would be lack of focus. Teams have to have short memories, win or lose, because teams must enjoy the win or learn from the loss and get back at it the next day."
York County Tech and Fairfield are all scheduled to play five games in the next seven days and nearly every team will be forced into playing four games in the next week, including Hanover, which is fighting for a division title and a spot in the district playoffs.
“You cannot control the weather,” Hanover boys' basketball coach Nathan Myers said. “We will be backed up with games, just like I am sure everyone else will be in a similar situation. At this point in the season you hope that your team can handle the crunch of games, but missing practice and prep time is huge. As a team you just have to make the best of the situation.”
Girls’ basketball teams are facing the same dilemma. York Catholic, which is currently fourth in District 3 Class AA, will play three games in four days thanks to postponements. That kind of schedule puts stress on practice times and preparation as well, York Catholic head coach Kevin Bankos said.
“I’m just one of the coaches that believes that by late January if you’re going an hour and 15 minutes, that's probably plenty anyway. So it’s more like game conditioning than a practice,” Bankos said. “We go pretty quick ... three things and we go pretty hard, and then we try to get the kids out of there to rest. It’s a long season. … Right now you just shorten things up a bit and go over more game planning.”