Archive for the ‘Boys’ Basketball’ Category

By PETER JACKSON

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — A proposal to limit sports programs at charter schools in Pennsylvania drew indignation from charter school advocates at a legislative meeting Tuesday.

Currently, charter school students who want to play multiple sports must play for their charter school teams if that sport is offered and, for other sports, may play on teams at their neighborhood public school.

But Bob Lombardi, director of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, which governs scholastic sports in the state, said the arrangement constitutes a “dual enrollment” status for charter school students that is not available to students who attend public school or who are home-schooled.

Charter schools are privately run public schools that are financed with payments from the students’ local school districts. Lombardi said some charters use their unique status to build “all-star” boys’ basketball teams that steamroller public school teams in state championship tournaments.

“From a competitive standpoint, charter schools have made obsolete any realistic competition with traditional public schools,” Lombardi told the special legislative panel.

Lombardi recommended legislation that would require charter school students to play on public school teams in their home districts unless that sport is offered only by the charter school. He said the plan “maintains school loyalty, makes eligibility uniform for all students, focuses athletic funds for residents at the public school and eliminates the substantial competitive inequities which have become apparent.”

But Lawrence Jones Jr., president of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, said the PIAA proposal would mean unequal treatment for their schools.

“What message are we sending?” Jones asked. “I can’t believe that this is coming from the PIAA.”

Chris Shovlin, board president of Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Midland, whose boys’ basketball team defeated another charter school to win this year’s PIAA Class A title, stressed that money for athletics comes from the school’s booster club, not taxpayers.

“What is the issue? It seems to me that this is about charters being too competitive, winning too many games and the ‘almighty dollar,”‘ Shovlin said.

Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bucks, who organized the informational meeting, said afterward that he urged the two sides to try to resolve their differences. It’s “not my intention right now to do anything legislatively,” he said.

The PIAA comprises 1,416 senior and junior high schools, including 45 charter schools.

Jones, who is also the principal at a charter school in Philadelphia, said the state has 174 charter schools, including 14 Internet-based cyber charters. More than 120,000 students are enrolled and 40,000 are on waiting lists.

COLUMN By JOHN WALK

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They are the unsung workers behind the scenes, putting in countless hours for very little pay, or no pay at all.

They don’t get quoted in game stories, a task instead left up to the head coach and a standout athlete or two from the game.

But they are there nonetheless. They are the assistant coaches. I’ll admit I’ve rarely chatted with any in my few years thus far covering prep sports. But from what head coaches tell me, their assistants are often the backbone of the team. They’re often seen as the ones off to the side at practices working with a group of athletes, or one-on-one teaching a certain technique. Or holding a clipboard on the sidelines tracking stats. And many other responsibilities.

Unfortunately for those in this group, the financial situations for many have gotten tighter in recent years because schools have made cutbacks to the budgets of athletic departments. That’s part of the trickle-down effect of budget cuts to school districts. And many of the slashes have come by taking away the small stipends paid to assistant coaches each season.

West York: The latest to fit in this category is at West York High School.

The West York school board last month approved cuts in order to reduce its $1.5 million deficit for next school year. On top of the district’s staff being reduced by 29, the board approved cutting five athletic teams: the ninth-grade football team, the middle-school cheerleading programs for football, basketball and wrestling and co-ed middle school cross country. In addition, the district is asking that one paid position be eliminated for athletic teams that have three or more coaches.

As a result, West York athletic director Roger Czerwinski said a total of 14 paid high school assistants will lose their stipends next year. And this is at a school district that already has one of the smallest athletic budgets in York County.

“Yes and more than likely what’s gonna end up happening is we’ll end up splitting stipends,” said Czerwinski, who is also the head coach of the two-time state champion Bulldogs’ baseball team.

The West York baseball team will go from three paid positions this year (varsity head coach, varsity assistant coach and junior varsity head coach) down to two paid positions next year (varsity head coach and junior varsity head coach), with the varsity assistant losing his stipend.

“My baseball coaching stipend I’ll just split it with our assistant coach. That’s what we’re doing,” Czerwinski said of finding a solution to the cutback.

Making up for losses: That’s been one of the growing trends across York County. I found this out two years ago when I did a huge project examining how budget cuts are impacting athletic departments. Of the 14 high schools included in the study, three reported a drop-off in the number of paid assistants in the 2010-11 school year, six schools had decreases in the amount of money spent on coaching salaries and two schools put a salary freeze in place for all coaches.

Many coaches who I chatted with then said they made up for the losses by putting an added emphasis on booster clubs and fundraising. But the common solution has been relying on volunteer coaches, which is likely what will happen at West York when paid assistants this year become volunteers next year. Either that or some paid coaches will split their stipend with those coaches losing pay.

Not in it for the money: Unless you’re a head football coach in the state of Texas, there likely isn’t much money involved in high school coaching. There certainly isn’t in York County. In the story I did a couple years back I found most coaches are paid anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, based on the importance of the position and tenure of the coach. But this is just a few thousand bucks a year for a position that can feel like a full-time job in-season and part-time job out of season.

“We truly honestly don’t do it for the money because if we did we’d be idiots because you don’t get paid that much,” said Bill Ackerman, who just completed his 16th season as head coach of the West York boys’ basketball team. “At the same time it’s hard to keep someone putting in 25 hours during the season and 15 hours a week during the offseason and say ‘By the way, I’m not paying you a dime and by the way your son isn’t in the program.’ It’s tough to find anyone to do that anymore.”

Like Czerwinski and many other head coaches I’ve chatted with in recent years, Ackerman has been fortunate to find assistants who willingly sacrifice their time for little to no monetary compensation. They don’t do it for the money. Or the adulation. They do it to help student-athletes, to teach them skills that might help them on the playing field or when they face obstacles later in life.

“I’m extremely lucky to have found guys where that (money) doesn’t matter to them,” Ackerman said. “As long as the kids see no difference (from the budget cuts) then it’s a win-win for everyone.”

— Reach John Walk at jwalk@yorkdispatch.com.

By KEITH GROLLER(Allentown) Morning Call

HERSHEY — It wasn’t hard to find a member of the PIAA administrative staff Friday, the first day of basketball championship weekend at the Giant Center.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the PIAA, Executive Director Bob Lombardi and others were wearing tuxedos.

“Everyone is wearing them except Melissa [Mertz, the associate director], who looks a lot better than we do wearing a dress,” Lombardi said.

Considering the constant criticism the PIAA gets, you might think Lombardi and Co. would want to stay anonymous.

But they weren’t hiding Friday.

Considering that five of the eight teams that played Friday were private schools and four more played Saturday, the annual outcry for separate private and public school tournaments is again being heard as it has for several years.

However, those who continually gripe are wasting their breath. It’s not going to happen.

“Forty years ago, by an act of the legislature, they said there’s going to be one PIAA and they dissolved the PCIAA and all of the private schools joined us,” Lombardi said. “The legislature is not interested in making another change.

“You hear a lot of banter about New Jersey having separate tournaments. New Jersey is the only state we know of that has separate tournaments. New York, Maryland and Virginia are all public-only associations. They don’t have private schools. Some of our brother and sister states have tried some things, but they’ve ended up in court and lost a lot of money.

“They proved nothing, except that they made their membership mad.”

So forget the separate tournament concept.

But for those who think things are unbalanced, Lombardi did offer one caveat.

“We’re going to address charter schools,” he said. “We’ve been asked by the state’s oversight committee to address charter schools at an upcoming meeting. We think they are a problem. And the problem is that the public schools have to fund them. Public schools have to fund their own athletic program and then another athletic program and sometimes they have to compete against the same school they’re funding.”

Lombardi believes that charter schools should not be in the sports business.

“Those kids should be playing at their public school of residence, the same as the home-schoolers and it’s equal treatment,” Lombardi said. “I don’t know where it’s going to go. The legislature’s athletic oversight committee will have a hearing coming up and they’ve asked us to be a part of that. We welcome a seat at the table to have that discussion.”

Lombardi said he’s not going to be speaking just for himself.

“We’re going to say what our member schools are telling us,” he said. “I’m representing our membership and our board.”

There is only one charter school in York County that offers varsity athletics – New Hope Academy, which recently won the District 3-A boys’ basketball title and qualified for the Class A state playoffs. The very future of that school is in doubt, however. The school will close at the end of the school year unless the school’s appeal to a panel of Commonwealth Court judges is successful. A York City School District decision in 2012 not to renew New Hope’s charter triggered the legal case pending in court.

Two charter schools — Lincoln Park and Math, Civics and Sciences — went head-to-head in the Class A boys title game Friday afternoon, when attendance was frankly dismal, at least for state finals.

“We only had 3,100 or 3,200 and that’s down from last year,” Lombardi said.

But with Friday night’s doubleheader featuring the Cumberland Valley girls and the Susquehanna Township boys from nearby communities, more than 6,000 came out to boost the day’s overall attendance to 9,666.

“New Castle being in the 4A boys game will do well, so we think we’re going to draw well for the weekend,” Lombardi said. “Last year we had 24,000 overall, which was about 14,000 more than we had at Penn State the year before. If we get to around 20,000, we’ll be happy with that.”

By DICK VANO’LINDA

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Noah Cable of West York is covered by Scott Hess of South Western as he goes to the hoop during the York-Adams League Senior All-Star Boys’

Noah Cable of West York is covered by Scott Hess of South Western as he goes to the hoop during the York-Adams League Senior All-Star Boys’ Basketball Game on Sunday. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO — jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)
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MANCHESTER — All-star games are where foes become teammates and friends.

Twenty-five players closed their high school careers on Sunday afternoon in the York-Adams Senior Boys’ All-Star Basketball Game at Northeastern High School.

“When I was competing against these guys in the high school season, they were the enemies,” Spring Grove’s Nick Spangler said. “It was fun playing on the same team with them. Some of them I never met before, but we all got along.”

Spangler’s teammates included players from York-Adams Division I rivals, Central York, York High, Red Lion, Dallastown and South Western, along with players from York Tech, Delone Catholic, Biglerville and Fairfield.

Spangler scored 11 points for his team, Team 1, which earned a 92-87 victory over Team 2, which was made up of players from West York, Bermudian Springs, Eastern York, York Suburban, York Catholic and Hanover. He missed just one shot (4-for-5 from the field) while connecting on three 3-point attempts. Not bad for someone who will be playing baseball at NCAA Division II Shippensburg University.

“I wanted to play two sports (in high school), and I wanted to be good at both,” Spangler said. “During basketball season, I can still do some hitting and throwing (in the cage). During baseball season, I can still play some basketball.”

Red Lion’s Mike Fox will be playing Division II basketball at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Fox, an aspiring pharmacist, led Team 1 in scoring on Sunday with 16 points. Fox, like Spangler, enjoyed meeting and sharing the minutes and the ball with fellow seniors from rival high schools.

“It was an honor being selected for this team,” he said. “They are the best players around in our league, and to get to play with them was great.”

Team 1 trailed just once in the game, at 3-0, when Parker Weekly (West York) opened the scoring by nailing a 3-point shot from the left wing. A layup by Evan Miller (Red Lion) at the 18:31 mark of the first half gave Team 1 the lead for good at 4-3. The winners pushed the advantage to 19 points twice in the first of the two 20-minute halves before settling for a nine-point advantage (45-36) at intermission. Team 1 increased the lead to 20 points twice in the second half (78-58 and 82-62).

Team 2, though, didn’t fold and made things interesting by outscoring Team 1, 25-10, the rest of the way.

Grum Kebede of Eastern led Team 2 with 12 points. West York teammates Kevin Rice and Noah Cable and Eastern’s Christian Buser delivered 11 points apiece, and York Catholic’s Matt McKim supplied 10 points.

“It was an amazing experience to put on the jersey one more time,” said Kebede, who will attend Liberty University. “Everybody played with heart.”

Kebede said it was “kind of weird” at first playing on the same team with ex-rivals.

“But we put that all behind us, and it was basketball all the way.”

Helping Hanes: Proceeds from this year’s games (boys and girls) will be used to help offset the medical costs of U.S. Army Cpl, Matthew Hanes, of Manchester Township, who was shot and partially paralyzed while serving in Afghanistan. Hanes will be traveling to China for stem cell therapy.

Michael Mummert, of the York White Rose Lions Club, announced that $10,000 was raised (in contributions before the games and from the proceeds at the game).

Spangler said it was “very special” to be part of the an event that ra

By JOHN WALK

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West York head boys’ basketball coach Bill Ackerman is hoping next week’s meeting about recruiting will combat "misinformation" that

West York head boys’ basketball coach Bill Ackerman is hoping next week’s meeting about recruiting will combat “misinformation” that high school players and their parents can sometimes receive. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO — jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)

The idea originally came about when a parent forwarded an email to West York boys’ basketball coach Bill Ackerman a few weeks ago.

“A parent forwarded an email back to me from a team manager of an AAU team that was essentially telling parents of players that ‘this season it is required you put the AAU team before your high school team and before any vacations or anything else, too. The reason for this is because if you want your son to play college ball, AAU is the only way you’re gonna be able to get there,’” Ackerman said.

The email created all kinds of conflicts for parents and further frustrated Ackerman, the highly successful head boys’ coach at West York the last 16 seasons. He’s had more than 20 players go on to play college ball after suiting up for the Bulldogs. And he knows first hand there’s more to finding a spot on a college basketball roster than just playing AAU — short for Amateur Athletic Union. AAU essentially serves as a club program to help get top prep basketball players seen by college coaches.

“It all got worked out,” Ackerman said of responding to the email. “However, it’s obvious to all of us that plenty of parents and players are getting a lot of misinformation.”

As a result, Ackerman and a few other local York-Adams League boys’ basketball coaches decided to put together a free meeting for all high school boys’ basketball players and their parents next week where they can hear from college basketball coaches on what it really takes to get recruited.

“Instead of high school coaches and AAU coaches telling them, let’s get college coaches to tell them,” Ackerman said. “What role does high school basketball have. What role does academics have. What role does AAU have. What do college coaches look for?”

The meeting will be held Wednesday from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the Red Lion High School auditorium. Speaking to players and parents will be men’s basketball head coaches from Penn State York (Parrish Petry), NCAA Division III Elizabethtown (Bob Schlosser) and Dickinson (Alan Seretti), an assistant coach from Division II Shippensburg (Eric Rahauser) and a member of the staff from Division I Mount St. Mary’s.

— Reach John Walk at jwalk@yorkdispatch.com.

York-Adams League Boys’ Basketball Standings
Division I Division Overall
W L W L
Central York 14 0 24 5
Red Lion 11 4 19 6
York High 10 4 23 7
Dallastown 6 9 10 12
Spring Grove 4 11 7 15
South Western 4 11 5 16
Division II Division Overall
W L W L
West York 13 1 24 5
Dover 8 6 10 11
Northeastern 7 7 13 11
New Oxford 2 12 5 16
Kennard-Dale 0 14 0 21
Division III Division Overall
W L W L
Bermudian Springs 14 0 22 5
York Suburban 12 2 16 8
Eastern York 8 6 12 10
Susquehannock 4 10 6 16
Littlestown 1 13 2 18
Division IV Division Overall
W L W L
Hanover 11 4 19 8
Delone Catholic 10 5 15 11
York Catholic 10 5 11 12
York Tech 5 10 7 14
Biglerville 4 11 7 15
Fairfield 1 14 5 16

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NDIVIDUAL SCORING
Gm Pts Avg.
Ryan Beck (Do) 22 535 24.3
Devon Moore (DC) 23 455 19.8
Dan Ferraro (S) 22 412 18.7
Zack Sheets (Big) 21 389 18.5
Mike Fox (RL) 24 433 18.0
Nick Trish (H) 27 473 17.5
Broguen Nicholas (E) 21 352 16.8
Dylan Krieger (H) 27 431 16.0
Kevin Rice (WY) 23 369 16.0
Sam Saxton (C) 29 450 15.5
Neil Murren (BS) 28 417 14.9
Matt McKim (YC) 23 341 14.8
Jahaire Wilson (YH) 30 443 14.8
Eli Brooks (SG) 22 306 13.9
Brock Geiman (SW) 21 286 13.6
C.J. Boxley (YS) 23 302 13.1
Donte Grim (YT) 20 257 12.9
P.J. McClane (YS) 23 285 12.4
Trey Shifflett (YH) 29 355 12.2
Ryan Trott (KD) 22 267 12.1
Kobi Nwandu (NE) 23 266 11.6
Mike Gibbs (Dt) 22 256 11.6
Nick Spangler (SG) 22 255 11.6
Alex Decinti (NO) 22 255 11.6
Najah Fink (Do) 22 253 11.5
Stone McCreary (RL) 24 268 11.2
Paul Martello (YC) 22 242 11.0
Derrick Hoffman (NE) 23 251 10.9
Royce Clemens (C) 29 311 10.7
Donovian Maxfield (NE) 23 247 10.7
Evan Miller (RL) 22 228 10.4
Grum Kebede (E) 22 227 10.3
Darin Gordon (SG) 22 227 10.3
Andrew Austin (DC) 23 235 10.2
Charlie Gingrich (C) 29 294 10.1
Noah Ayers (Big) 21 212 10.1
Jonny Sutton (Dt) 11 111 10.1

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Team Offense (Scoring)
Gm Pts Avg.
West York 29 1935 66.7
York Suburban 24 1595 66.5
York High 30 1962 65.4
Hanover 27 1767 65.4
Central 29 1783 61.5
Northeastern 24 1461 60.9
Eastern 22 1317 59.9
Red Lion 25 1435 57.4
Delone Catholic 26 1456 56.0
Dover 22 1225 55.7
Bermudian Springs 28 1555 55.5
Dallastown 22 1198 54.5
York Catholic 23 1214 52.8
Spring Grove 22 1103 50.1
Biglerville 22 1085 49.3
Susquehannock 22 1044 47.5
Kennard-Dale 22 982 46.2
New Oxford 22 972 44.2
York Tech 21 928 44.2
South Western 21 921 43.9
Fairfield 22 907 41.2
Littlestown 22 856 38.9

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Team Defense (Scoring)
Gm Pts Avg.
Bermudian Springs 28 1143 40.8
Red Lion 25 1115 44.6
Central 29 1386 47.8
Hanover 27 1305 48.3
Delone Catholic 26 1301 50.0
Susquehannock 22 1135 51.6
Northeastern 24 1241 51.7
Dallastown 22 1146 52.1
York Catholic 23 1215 52.8
South Western 21 1119 53.3
Eastern 22 1221 55.5
West York 29 1617 55.8
New Oxford 22 1229 55.9
Spring Grove 22 1237 56.2
York Suburban 24 1353 56.4
Dover 22 1242 56.5
York High 30 1712 57.1
York Tech 21 1235 58.8
Fairfield 22 1303 59.2
Biglerville 22 1344 61.1
Littlestown 22 1360 61.8
Kennard-Dale 22 1619 73.6

 

By DICK VANO’LINDA

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Dover senior Lindsey Fowler helped the Eagles win their first-ever York-Adams League Tournament championship this season.

Dover senior Lindsey Fowler helped the Eagles win their first-ever York-Adams League Tournament championship this season. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO — jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)

The PIAA state high school basketball playoffs head into the final two games this week without any York-Adams League teams.

That’s a pretty rare thing.

In 10 of the last 12 seasons, at least one York-Adams team has been around for the semifinals.

The absence of local clubs at this stage doesn’t mean there weren’t terrific teams and memorable performances this season.

Here are just some of the 2013-14 highlights:

Dover girls: The Dover girls made the deepest run of any York-Adams team, going all the way to the state quarterfinals in the highest classification.

It was the second straight year that Troy Lokhaiser’s Eagles were among the last eight teams. Dover got there this year after capturing its first-ever York-Adams League Tournament title.

York High boys: The York High boys reached the state Class AAAA Round of 16 with a starting lineup of all underclassmen. Coach Troy Sowers’ Bearcats also stunned everyone but themselves by winning the District 3-AAAA title after entering as the No. 8-seeded team.

York will be a force, for sure, in the 2014-15 season.

Central York boys: The Central York boys’ team, meanwhile, scored a breakthrough by capturing the York-Adams title for the first time in 40 years under Head Coach Kevin Schieler. With nine of the 12 players on the roster eligible to play again next year, the Panthers will be a serious contender for postseason honors next season. It was a rather amazing turnaround for the Panthers, who struggled to a 9-12 mark in 2012-2013.

York Catholic girls: The York Catholic girls, under longtime Coach Kevin Bankos, broke their own record by winning a ninth consecutive District 3-AA championship. The seniors on this year’s team were in fourth grade when the Fighting Irish began their amazing run of titles.

20-win seasons: The Central boys (24-5), West York boys (24-5), York High boys (23-7), Bermudian Springs boys (22-5), Dover girls (26-4), York Catholic girls (24-5), Susquehannock girls (23-6) and Delone Catholic girls (21-6) each won at least 21 games this season.

York High’s Kristopher Johnson emerged as an inside force this season for the Bearcats. The 6-foot, 5-inch Johnson was one of five underclassmen in

York High’s Kristopher Johnson emerged as an inside force this season for the Bearcats. The 6-foot, 5-inch Johnson was one of five underclassmen in the Bearcats’ starting lineup. (BILL KALINA — bkalina@yorkdispatch.com)

Susquehannock, Delone girls: Susquehannock, under Coach Dave Schreiner, played in its second straight District 3-AAA final, and Delone Catholic, under veteran mentor Gerry Eckenrode, made it to the district AA championship game for the fourth consecutive year.

So, even though there won’t be any state basketball titles for the York-Adams League this season, there were still plenty of highlights.

Dick VanOlinda covers high school sports for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at dvanolinda@yorkdispatch.com.

By DICK VANO’LINDA

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Keesey

Keesey

York Catholic High School is looking for a head boys’ basketball coach.

Joe Keesey, the team’s head coach for the past six seasons, will not return to the position next year.

York Catholic principal Katie Seufert, in an email addressed to York Catholic family, thanked Keesey for his decades of service to the school and its programs.

Seufert wished Keesey well and said an official description regarding the opening will be posted on the York Catholic website in the coming weeks.

Keesey, when contacted, confirmed he was no longer the coach. He said he didn’t resign and didn’t retire from coaching.

“I was fired,” Keesey said. “I was told my leadership and communication weren’t good enough. I thought we had a good season this past year. We didn’t have much experience coming back (two players with varsity experience), and we did pretty well.”

The Fighting Irish finished with a 10-5 York-Adams League record and 11-12 overall mark this season.

Their season ended with a 68-47 loss to Columbia in the quarterfinals of the District 3 Class AA playoffs.

Keesey’s teams compiled an overall mark of 72-74 in his six seasons at the helm. The Fighting Irish were 57-31 in league games (contests against York-Adams Division III and Division IV opponents).

Before succeeding Jim Senft at York Catholic, Keesey served in various basketball positions at the school and was a coach in the Catholic Youth Organization program.

He also helped develop individual skills with a number of former York Catholic players.

Keesey, who’s been employed as a hall monitor at the York County School of Technology for the past 13 years, said he would consider another coaching position if one became available.

“Absolutely. My health’s pretty good,” he said.

Delone: The other parochial school in the York-Adams League, Delone Catholic, also is searching for a head boys’ basketball coach.

The school opened up the position and is accepting applications.

Tom Becker directed the Squires to a 15-11 record this past season. Becker took over the program when veteran coach Jim Dooley died at the age of 69, following an illness.

— Reach Dick VanOlinda at dvanolinda@yorkdispatch.com.

By STEVE HEISER

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Lindsey Fowler and her Dover teammates get a rematch with Cumberland Valley on Friday night.

Lindsey Fowler and her Dover teammates get a rematch with Cumberland Valley on Friday night. (JOHN A. PAVONCELLO — jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)
 —-

And then there were two.

After two rounds of state playoff basketball action, there are just two York County teams left in the PIAA field — the Dover girls and the New Hope Academy boys.

The Dover girls will get a rematch with Cumberland Valley in their Class AAAA quarterfinal, while the New Hope boys will take on unbeaten St. John Neumann in their Class A quarterfinal. Both games will be at 6 p.m. Friday, with the Dover-Cumberland Valley game set for Milton Hershey High School, while the New Hope-Neumann contest will be played at Hazleton High.

Dover: It will be an Eagles-vs.-Eagles rematch in the Dover-CV game. The York County team can only hope the rematch follows the same plot line as the first meeting.

In the District 3-AAAA semifinals, Dover standout Alayah Hall had 22 points and nine rebounds to lead the York-Adams League Tournament champions to a 45-38 come-from-behind victory. Dover trailed at halftime, 28-19.

As always, defense was the real key for Dover in the earlier win over CV.

Dover held CV’s leading scorer, Maddie Torresin, to nine points, which is six below her average, and also limited Kelly Jekot to 11 points, which is three below her average. Torresin is a senior who has an NCAA Division I scholarship to Maryland-Baltimore County, while Jekot is a sophomore who reportedly has multiple D-I offers, including one from Penn State. Both Torresin and Jekot are listed at 6 feet, 1 inch, giving CV a significant edge in height over Dover. But that didn’t keep Dover from outrebounding CV in the previous meeting, 23-17. Dover also committed three fewer turnovers in that game (19-16).

Good defense, of course, is nothing new for Dover. The York County team has been stellar on the defensive end all season, allowing just 38 points per game. Dover has allowed only 30 points in each of its first two state playoff triumphs.

While the 5-7 Hall, who averages 17 points per game, is definitely the focal point of the Dover offense, she is hardly a one-woman gang. She gets plenty of help from her teammates. In the first meeting vs. CV, for example, Lindsey Fowler (eight), Megan Lokhaiser (eight) and Marissa McMahon (seven) combined for 23 points.

Despite the earlier win over CV, Dover enters the game ranked No. 4 in the latest Penlive.com AAAA state poll, while CV is ranked one spot higher at No. 3. CV, the Mid-Penn Commonwealth champion, is attempting to get back to the AAAA state title game after losing to Spring-Ford in last year’s final. Dover advanced to the state quarterfinals a year ago before losing to that same Spring-Ford team.

Dover enters as the second-place team from District 3 after losing to Wilson in the district AAAA final. CV finished third in District 3.

New Hope: The New Hope boys, meanwhile, are hoping to put the first blemish Neumann’s record.

The District 4-A champions enter with a 29-0 mark, while the Mighty Ants step in at 16-9.

New Hope, however, faced a strong regular-season schedule and has been perfect in the postseason en route to the District 3-A championship and the state Class A quarterfinals.

Neumann, from Williamsport, enters ranked No. 4 in the latest Pennlive.com Class A state rankings, while New Hope is listed only as a team to watch. If the Ants can upset the Golden Knights, however, you can expect those rankings to change drastically next week.

Montrel Morgan, a 6-2 sophomore, leads New Hope with 19.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. He’s already getting D-1 looks. NaGus Griggs, a 6-4 senior, adds 15.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. The Ants also get double-digit points from 6-3 junior Michael Coleman, who scores 10 per game.

Alize Johnson, a 6-6 senior, is the man to watch for Neumann. The emerging D-I prospect pumps in 24 points and 17 rebounds per game. In Neumann’s two state playoff games, Johnson has scored 29 and 25 points, while no other Knights’ player scored more than 10 points.

All-star showcase: Four York County girls’ basketball players will compete in the 38th annual Pennsylvania vs. Maryland All-Star Girls’ Basketball Weekend, set for Friday, March 28, and Saturday, March 29, at Harrisburg Christian.

At 7:15 p.m. March 28, a Capital Area all-star team will take on a Pennsylvania all-star team. Susquehannock’s Makenzie Fancher will play for the Pennsylvania team.

At 2:15 p.m. March 29, a Pennsylvania East-West game will be held. Susquehannock’s Katie Wagner and Central York’s Alexis Balanda will play for the East team.

At 7:15 p.m. March 29, a Pennsylvania-Maryland game will be held. Susquehannock’s Shannon Druck will play for the Pennsylvania team.

— Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.

By JOHN WALK

505-5406/@yorksportsguy

York High’s bench reacts to the 59-53 loss to Abington in a PIAA Class AAAA boys’ basketball playoff game at Coatesville High School on

York High’s bench reacts to the 59-53 loss to Abington in a PIAA Class AAAA boys’ basketball playoff game at Coatesville High School on Wednesday. BILL KALINA-bkalina@yorkdispatch.com
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COATESVILLE — Jahaire Wilson stood in front of the York High bench with his hands on his knees.

Looking up at the scoreboard, Wilson saw the clock showed 42.7 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and his team down seven points.

Wilson had just fouled out, committing his fifth foul seconds after missing a layup that would’ve made it a five-point game with under a minute to play.

Fifteen seconds later, teammate Stephen Dickson joined him on the bench after committing foul No. 5.

That’s how the 2013-14 season ended for York High on Wednesday night, when the Bearcats lost 59-53 to Abington in the second round of the PIAA Class AAAA state playoffs inside the Coatesville gym.

York High’s Jahaire Wilson drives past Abington’s Lazaro’s Mackrides, left, and Matthew Penecale in a PIAA Class AAAA boys’

York High’s Jahaire Wilson drives past Abington’s Lazaro’s Mackrides, left, and Matthew Penecale in a PIAA Class AAAA boys’ basketball playoff game on Wednesday. Wilson led York High with 19 points. BILL KALINA-bkalina@yorkdispatch.com

York High actually led 28-22 at halftime. But Abington’s 2-3 zone defense proved to be the equalizer in slowing down the Bearcats’ offense in the second half. That and Abington’s one-two combo of junior guards Matthew Penecale (21 points) and Amir Hinton (20 points). Abington (24-5), the sixth seed from District 1, had just two other scorers besides Penecale and Hinton. York High was held to just four points in the third quarter, with Abington taking a 34-32 lead into the final period.

“When your outside shooters are not knocking down any outside shots they lose a little bit of confidence,” York High coach Troy Sowers said. “They tend to not want to shoot. But you have to keep shooting. Unfortunately it just never came around for us tonight.”

York High shot 18-of-52 from the floor (34.6 percent), including just 3-of-13 (23 percent) from beyond the arc. The Bearcats, however, were without sophomore starter and leading 3-pointer shooter Trey Shifflett because of injury. Sophomore guard Kris Johnson, who has turned out to be a 3-point threat this postseason, scored all seven of his points inside, but went 0-for-5 from beyond the arc.

All three York High treys came in the final three minutes of action, the first coming from Dickson to cut the deficit to 47-44 with three minutes left to play.

Abington answered with back-to-back layups to put the game out of reach. In a tightly-officiated contest, York High went to the free throw line 28 times but made just 14.

“We really struggled at the foul line tonight. It’s not gonna go your way with that against a good team in the second round of states,” Sowers said.

Wilson, a junior forward, paced York with a team-high 19 points, mostly inside the paint.

York High (23-7) finished the season with a state loss at Coatesville for a second-straight season. But Sowers did point out that this club wasn’t even expected by many to get back there. With a roster of just three seniors, only one of whom saw consistent action all season, the Bearcats had won 15 of its last 16 games, including the District 3-AAAA title, coming into Wednesday.

“I’m proud of these guys. Coming into the season nobody thought we’d play for a county (league) title,” Sowers said. “Nobody thought we’d win the district title. I told those seniors I’m proud to send you guys out with a (district) gold medal that nobody thought we would win.”

— Reach John Walk at jwalk@yorkdispatch.com.