Division III: First place up for grabs
A look at top storylines entering the 2015 season in YAIAA Division III boys' basketball:
Who is the favorite? It's tough to identify one in Division III since last year's top two teams, Hanover and York Catholic, both lose significant pieces. Those teams could be right back in the mix if they can fill those gaps quickly, or it could allow for some other teams to move up the ranks. If no clear favorite emerges, it should be a fun season with a lot of parity.
Is this Delone Catholic's year? The Squires went .500 last season, but multiple coaches listed them as the division's preseason favorite. Delone Catholic returns three starters from last year's team, including leading rebounder Bryce Mondorff, lockdown defender Logan Alexander and sharpshooter Tavian Dorsey. We'll see how second-year coach Lawrence Williams and his team handle increased expectations.
How will Hanover handle turnover? The Nighthawks lose nine seniors to graduation, including leading scorer Dylan Krieger, who averaged 24.7 points per game last season. That accounted for more than a third of the team's offensive production. Hanover does bring back some veteran leadership with four-year starter Kyle Krout and fellow senior Will McQueen in the starting lineup, but returns little experience anywhere else. How quickly this team grows up will likely dictate how well it plays.
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Will Biglerville contend for a division title? The Canners are a bit of an afterthought after going 7-15 last season, but they return four starters from a team that remained competitive in almost every division game. Coach Steve Elsier thinks his squad has a chance if players can learn from mistakes made in tight games last season. They also have a 6-foot-5 center named Drew Riley joining the program.
Where will York Catholic's scoring presence come from? The Fighting Irish lost Paul Martello to graduation and will need to find a way to replace his scoring. Martello averaged nearly 17 points per game last season, accounting for nearly a third of the team's offensive production. Only one other player averaged more than six points per game, so York Catholic will likely need a couple players to step up in that department to have success.