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New matchups, schedule for YAIAA vs. Mid Penn showcase

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It's that time of year again for Gettysburg High School to host its annual all-day boys' basketball event on Saturday with a slate of seven games starting at 11:30 a.m.

The event originally started as the PA vs. MD Showcase Challenge in 2011 and stayed with that format through 2014. It changed over to the current Mid Penn vs. YAIAA format in 2015, but record-setting snowfall last year forced the event to be canceled.

"We have always tried to promote the sport and enhance the opportunities for area individuals and teams and this event is part of that," Gettysburg coach and event organizer Jeff Bair said. "It provides a large showcase format in a unique Mid-Penn vs. York capsule for high school teams. It was sad when we were forced to cancel last year."

The matchups change year-to-year as teams improve or regress and some teams choose to leave the event and are replaced. Bair gave a glimpse into how he comes about pairing the teams together.

"We try to initially look at the schools, what they have coming back and their expectations for the season. The best example this year would be Palmyra and New Oxford. With the amount of stars that each team had coming back, it was clear that both teams would be playing at a high level," Bair said. "We also try to take size of schools into account and we will have to do that more in the future to keep this going. With six classifications and less district qualifiers in each class it makes every regular season game more important."

A change was made to the lineup Thursday, when Susquehanna Township pulled out of the event. Helen Thackston Charter School entered as the replacement, and a few of the matchups were adjusted based on the new field.

The event kicks off with a matchup between Camp Hill and Bermudian Springs.

Camp Hill is paced by junior Casey Caruso's 16.2 points per game and junior Zack Kuntz's 14.6 points per game. Kuntz, a 6-foot-8 center is a Penn State football commit at tight end and one of the top players at his position in the Class of 2018. For Bermudian, Tom Flaherty's bunch is led by senior Quinton Nace who tosses in 15.4 points per game.

A clash between Boiling Springs and South Western will follow the opener. Junior Dylan LaNoue leads the Bubblers at 10.8 points per game. For South Western, junior Chase Topper checks in at 15 points per game and senior Job Brown contributes 12.2 points per game.

In the next contest, it will be Bishop McDevitt against Central York. Senior Chris Briner is the Crusaders' top scorer at 17.1 points per game. Senior Courtney Batts leads the Panthers at 13.3 points per game.

Mechanicsburg, who is honorable mention in the City of Basketball Love 5A state rankings, takes on West York in the day's middle game. Senior Cade Alioth leads the Wildcats at 18.9 points per game, while senior Kyle Scheib scores 13.6 points per game. The Bulldogs are led by senior Kenton Meckley, who posts 14.8 points per game.

Then, Waynesboro will try its luck at slowing down Spring Grove superstar senior Eli Brooks. Tom Hoffman's group is led by senior Cameron Keck, who scores 12.8 points per game. The Rockets are honorable mention in the 5A state rankings and Brooks, a University of Michigan recruit, leads the way for them at 29.7 points per game. Brooks recently scored a career-high 46 points in a win over Central York and has scored 40 or more points three times since Jan. 4.

Brooks is approaching 2,000 career points and has a chance to reach the milestone on Saturday at the school where his father, James, the Rockets' coach, played. The elder Brooks graduated from Gettysburg in 1988 after scoring 1,027 career points.

In what could be a high-scoring affair, Palmyra, another honorable mention in 5A, comes to town led by senior Isaac Blatt, who recently reached the 1,000-point milestone for his career and carries a 17.7 point per game average for the season. He put up a season-high 34 points in a tight win over Susquehanna Twp. a month ago. The Cougars also receive 13.9 points per game from senior Bryant Willis. They will take on New Oxford, who is led by junior John Wessel's 15.1 points per game and senior Jordin Brown, who contributes 13.2 points per game. The Colonials have gotten 42 percent of their field goals from beyond the arc this season.

Wrapping up the event will be host Gettysburg taking on Helen Thackston Charter School from York. Cade Eckhart paces the Warriors at 12.3 points per game.

If one is on the fence about attending the event, Bair had this to say to undecided fans, "I think it's a great opportunity for local basketball fans to see multiple games for one ticket. There are multiple players playing who will be moving on to play in college, and choosing to spend time supporting all the hard work that they have done to get where they and their teams are is a great thing."

The cost of the event is $6 for adults and $3 for students. A ticket entitles each fan to watch the entire day of games and you may leave and return throughout the day.

Updated schedule

When: Saturday, January 21

What: Mid-Penn/YAIAA Showcase

Note: Bold games indicated updated matchups. 

  • Camp Hill vs. Bermudian Springs, 11:30 a.m.
  • Boiling Springs vs. South Western, 12:55 p.m.
  • Bishop McDevitt vs. Central York, 2:20 p.m.
  • Mechanicsburg vs. West York, 3:45 p.m.
  • Waynesboro vs. Spring Grove, 5:10 p.m.
  • Palmyra vs. New Oxford, 6:35 p.m.
  • Helen Thackston Charter School vs. Gettysburg, 8 p.m.

Where: Gettysburg High School, 1130 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg, PA 1732

Cost: $6 for adults, $3 for students