Division I: Bearcats back in championship hunt
A look at top storylines entering the 2015-16 season in YAIAA Division I boys' basketball:
How will William Penn replace Wilson? The defending District 3 champions bring back a ton of talent, but the key hole in the lineup will be the loss of 2014-15 GameTimePA Player of the Year Jahaire Wilson. He was a special talent who did a little bit of everything for the Bearcats on their way to a District 3 Class AAAA championship and a win in the PIAA tournament. Coach Troy Sowers has Montrel Morgan and Trey Shifflett returning in the backcourt, and Kristopher Johnson flashed potential in 2014-15. But Wilson was the team’s best rebounder and physical presence on the interior. Those attributes shouldn’t be taken for granted as the new year approaches.
What’s the ceiling for Spring Grove? After winning their first district playoff game in nearly two decades last season, how far can James Brooks’ squad go this season? For the first time in recent memory, the Rockets will enter a season with high expectations and no one will overlook them on the schedule. The dynamic duo of Eli Brooks and Darin Gordon, who are both attracting college interest, will be flanked by sharpshooters Liam Flaherty and Grant Wierman in a lineup that lacks size but not firepower.
Who steps up at Central York? No Sam Saxton on the wing and no Charlie Gingrich in the paint means the Panthers have two huge gaps to fill. Saxton and Gingrich were two of Kevin Schieler's top three scorers and Gingrich was one of the best rebounders in the league. What's even tougher to replace than the stats is the leadership those two provided. A lot of responsibility will fall on returners Jared Wagner and Nathan Markey as Central aims to return to the postseason.
Teddy Feinberg and Brandon Stoneburg preview the YAIAA boys' basketball 2015-16 season. GameTimePA.com
Can Red Lion or Dallastown make a run? There seems to be a drop off after Central, William Penn and Spring Grove, but keep an eye on Red Lion and Dallastown as dark horses. The Lions are just two years removed from a 19-6 season, and return Wyatt Tyson, Jason Rebuck and Bennett Frey. Expect Tyson to step up as the go-to guard with the graduation of Stone McCreary, who averaged 15 points and drained 53 3-pointers. The Wildcats boast an impressive young guard duo in junior Donovan Catchings and sophomore Brandon McGlynn. Toss in the return of Aaron Ward and Dallastown has a formidable lineup.
Be on the lookout for: South Western guard Brock Geiman. The four-year varsity player is a gunner and a threat to go off for 20-plus points every night. The question for South Western will be who steps up to complement Geiman?