Girls' rankings: Can anyone challenge our No. 1?
Central York seems to have every team's number.
Since an overtime loss in the opening weekend of the season, the Panthers have lost exactly one game — by a one-point margin.
The Panthers have dominated to the point it's now a story if an opponent keeps the game close. That's not a knock on the league, which has several teams capable of making noise in district brackets.
Central York's run is rather a testament to how well Central has executed.
But the season isn't over yet, and some of the team's in the YAIAA still have a chance to crack Central's dominance. Here's a look at the league's best, with each team's records through Friday night's games:
5. Dover (16-5)
The Eagles proved they still belonged in the top five with a big win Friday night against Division II foe Eastern York.
In the middle of January, Dover suffered back-to-back close losses to Eastern and West York. Since then the only Dover setbacks came against league front-runners Susquehannock and New Oxford. If Dover is healthy and on its game, the Eagles should be able to hang with any team in the league.
Dover seems to be focused of late. Tied at halftime with Eastern Friday night, Dover started the second half on a 21-8 run. Game over.
4. Dallastown (12-10)
The signs have been there, even in the preseason. Opposing coaches knew the Wildcats had the young talent to compete at a high level, they just expected it to take time. Well, it's time. The young roster now looks more comfortable in a new system, and the big wins have started to pile up.
Also, if you haven't heard the news around the league, listen up: The Wildcats come in prepared. Dallastown can cause fits with its pregame preparation.
The Wildcats are the only team in the league to knock off Central York and New Oxford. They've won four of their last five, with the only setback during the stretch coming at the hands of District 3 title contender Central Dauphin. Dallastown is sitting in the No. 11 spot in the power rankings for District 3 Class 6A, a bracket where only the top 12 qualify. The funny thing is, the Wildcats, despite that ranking, are a team no program wants to face.
Don't sleep on the Wildcats because of their mediocre record. Dallastown has height. It has shooters. And though just a freshman, guard Sabria Royal creates matchup problems.
3. New Oxford (17-5)
The Colonials suffered through their most difficult stretch of the season, dropping three straight games to three quality opponents in late January.
The most surprising part of the skid came in the margin of victory. Losing to Dallastown is not an eye-opener, but losing by 12? Losing to Central in a road game is not an eye-opener, but losing by 25?
Here's the thing, though: One three-game stretch will not define the Colonials' season. The Colonials have since recovered with wins against Red Lion and Dover. This year's team will be defined by what it does after that three-game losing streak.
2. Susquehannock (18-3)
Here's a team that began the season in our honorable mention. The Warriors eventually cracked our top five, and they now appear to be the biggest threat to Central York winning the YAIAA tournament.
To a certain extent, the Warriors live and die by the 3-pointer. If they knock down the outside shot, it opens up a whole lot of trouble. The Warriors can then drive the lane, they can then head to the line and they can open up even more shots from the perimeter. In short, Susquehannock can force opposing defenses to adjust to them. In short, Susquehannock has the ability to control the game. But if those outside shots aren't falling ... Susquehannock is not the same type of dominating force. When poised, when patient, Susquehannock is a tough team to crack.
1. Central York (20-2)
The ease of its win against New Oxford cemented the Panthers' place at the top of this list. All that's left to prove in the league is winning the program's first tournament title since 1999.
York Catholic (17-4), Delone Catholic (17-5), West York (15-7).