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YAIAA boys' basketball preview 2021: A team-by-team breakdown

Matt Allibone
York Daily Record

It looked like this season might not happen. 

We still don't know exactly what the final product will look like — how many games will be played, how many stoppages there will be, if champions will be crowned ... 

But boys basketball games in the YAIAA will begin Jan. 8, with a few teams starting next week as they look to reach 10 total practices as required by the PIAA this year. 

Here's a quick look at every team in the league.

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Division I 

Central York 

Central York's Nolan Hubbs (11) flies through the air as he pulls down a rebound in the YAIAA title game against New Oxford in Charles Wolf Gym at York College Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020.

2019-20 season: 24-5, co-Division I champion, YAIAA tournament champion over New Oxford (42-32), finished third in District 3 6A after semifinal loss to Reading (65-64), lost PIAA Class 6A second round to McDowell (68-61). 

Key returnees: Nolan Hubbs (6-0, G, sr.); Kai'ryn Brown (5-10, G, sr.); Taylor Wright-Rawls (6-2, G, sr.); Judah Tomb (61, G, sr.); Shiloh Johnson (6-5, F, sr.).

Key losses: Gabe Guidinger, Evan Eisenhart, Trey Sweigert

Coach: Jeff Hoke (first season) 

The Breakdown: It's a new era for the Panthers following the resignation of Coach Kevin Schieler, who led Central York to eight District 3 playoffs appearances, six league title games, two league titles and a 166-75 record in nine seasons. But the Panthers enter this season as the favorite in Division I with a lot of talent back from a team that nearly reached the District 3 Class 6A title game last season. New leader Jeff Hoke had a successful six-year run at Bishop McDevitt (three state playoff appearances, .605 winning percentage) from 2008-2014 and runs an up-tempo system that he believes perfectly fits this year's roster. Expect the Panthers to have balanced scoring once again. York College commit Nolan Hubbs is a tough point guard who has drawn comparisons to former Central York star and York College All-American Jared Wagner. The team has size from senior Shiloh Johnson and freshman Greg Guidinger, the brother of 2020 graduate Gabe Guidinger and the son of former NBA player Jay Guidinger. The Panthers also have plenty of athleticism and winning experience with a handful of players from the school's state finalist football team — Brown, Tomb and Wright-Rawls. They also hope to have another two-sport star in Beau Pribula. The Penn State quarterback commit broke his foot in the PIAA football championship game, and while Hoke said in December he hopes the junior can return to the court later in the season, he made no guarantee. Central York had the league's best defense (46.6 ppg) and the division's second-best offense (61.4 ppg) last season. 


Dallastown basketball players Michael Dickson and Jadon Green pose at 2019-20 YAIAA winter sports media day.

2019-20 season: 13-19, fifth place in YAIAA Division I 

Key returnees: Michael Dickson (6-0, G, sr.); Jadon Green (6-3, F, sr.) 

Key losses: Kobe Green, Nike McGlynn, Roman Owens

Coach: Mike Grassel (ninth season) 

The breakdown: The Wildcats had big expectations last season but dealt with injuries and never managed to emerge from a strong pack of Division I teams, finishing 7-7 in divisional play. Dallastown missed out on the District 3 playoffs by three spots. The Wildcats have been bitten by the injury bug a number of the times in the past few seasons and will look to make it back to the District 3 playoffs after a two-year absence. Senior point guard Michael Dickson is one of the best players in the league and should play college basketball, coming off a season in which he averaged 13 points and close to six rebounds and four assists. Jadon Green (8.7 ppg) will also be relied on following the graduation of a handful of seniors, including his brother and leading scorer, Kobe Green (14.9 ppg). Dallastown had the fifth-best offense (53 ppg) and the fourth-best defense (50.6 ppg) in Division I last season. 

New Oxford 

Connor Jenkins (30) skillfully passes the defense during the PIAA 5A boys' basketball playoff game between New Oxford and Thomas Jefferson at Dallastown Area High School, March 6, 2020. The Colonials defeated the Jaguars 70-48.

2019-20 season: 26-5, co-Division I champion, lost YAIAA title game to Central York (42-32), finished third in District 3 Class 5A after semifinal loss to Hershey (62-52), reached PIAA Class 5A semifinals when season was canceled. 

Key returnee: Connor Jenkins (6-0, G, sr.) 

Key losses: Abdul Janneh, Brayden Long, Noah Strausbaugh, Thomas Haugh (transfer) 

Coach: Nate Myers (second season) 

The breakdown: No local program has undergone a transformation like New Oxford over the past half decade. A losing team as recent as 2016, New Oxford posted the best season in program history last season, reached the league title game for the second straight season and the District 3 playoffs for the fourth straight. The Colonials had a puncher's chance at a state title when the postseason was canceled. Replicating that success won't be easy. New Oxford graduated three starters including two league all-stars in Abdul Janneh and Brayden Long. Then 6-foot-8 rising junior and NCAA Division I recruit Thomas Haugh transferred to Perkiomen School, a preparatory school outside of Philadelphia. But don't count the Colonials out. Many coaches around the league expect them to be competitive once again. New Oxford developed a strong feeder program under former head coach (current Penn State women's assistant) Sean Bair, which has continued under current leader and longtime area coach Nate Myers. A number of emerging players on the Colonials are varsity standout in other sports. New Oxford's lone returning starter is sharpshooting guard Connor Jenkins, who averaged about 13 ppg and got better as the season progressed. A number of opposing coaches said at the end of last season that Jenkins could be one of the league's best players this year. New Oxford had the division's best offense (63.5 ppg) last season with its up-tempo, 3-point attack and the division's second-best defense (48.4 ppg). 


Northeastern's Karron Mallory takes a free throw during Wednesday's game. Central York won 69-67 at home in an overtime thriller Wednesday.

Last season: 14-10, fourth in YAIAA Division I, lost in the first round of the District 3 Class 5A playoffs. 

Key returnees: Karron Mallory (6-0, G, jr.); Kaiden Hamilton (6-1, G, sr.) 

Key losses: Nate Wilson, Quay Mulbah, Andrew Brodbeck, Maurice Capo, Zech Sanderson

Coach: Jon Eyster (10th season in current tenure; 26th overall) 

The breakdown: One of the league's best programs in recent years, Northeastern had big expectations last season and got off to a fast start. But a hand injury to 1,000-point scorer Nate Wilson in December and a disappointing overtime loss to Central York in January led a second-half slip that kept the Bobcats out of the league tournament. The Bobcats will be young this year after graduating a large senior class. Junior guard Karron Mallory has been a varsity player since his freshman year and is well-regarded around the league. Kaiden Hamilton has also been a football and basketball starter for multiple years and brings impressive athleticism. The Bobcats have a large crop of first-time varsity players with plenty of potential around those two. Northeastern had the third-best offense in Division I last season (61.3 ppg) and just a tick below Central York. The Bobcats will hope to improve a defense (55.3 ppg) that was just sixth in the division last season. Northeastern has typically played a fast and even above-the-rim style under longtime coach Jon Eyster. The Bobcats have made the District 3 playoffs 10 straight seasons entering 2021. 

Red Lion 

(From left) Red Lion boys' basketball head coach Steve Schmehl and players Davante Dennis and AJ Virata pose in the GameTimePA photo booth during YAIAA winter sports media day at the York Daily Record on Sunday, November 17, 2019.

2019-20 season: 10-12, sixth in YAIAA Division I 

Key returnees:  Davante Dennis (6-6, F, sr.), AJ Virata (G, sr.), Evan Watt (6-0, G, jr.), Mitchell Burchett (6-0, F, sr.), Masen Urey (F, jr.) 

Key losses: None 

Coach: Steve Schmehl (14th season)

The breakdown: The Lions have been stuck in the middle of the pack in Division I in recent years. They've finished with the same record the past two seasons. But there's talent there and plenty of continuity back from a young team last season. Red Lion hopes this is the year it emerges as a division contender. The key to everything is 6-foot-6 senior Davante Dennis, a first-team coaches all-star the last two seasons. Dennis is taller than most players in the YAIAA, but he can handle the ball and projects as a guard in college. He averaged 17.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.1 blocks last season. Also a talented defensive end, he has offers to play Division I FBS football for Central Michigan and Massachusetts. He has yet to commit to a school and said this fall he was leaving the door open to play basketball at the next level. He said he received interest from St. Francis and Central Connecticut State for basketball. Dennis needs about 200 points to reach 1,000 for his career. For context, he scored 378 in a full 22-game campaign last year. It will be important for the Lions to get scoring and shooting around Dennis. Senior A.J. Virata (10.2 ppg) nailed 38 3-pointers last season. The Lions actually had one of the best defenses in the league last season (48.8 ppg, third in the league and division) but just the sixth-best offense (51.5 ppg). Red Lion's last District 3 appearance was in 2016, when the Lions finished 11-11. 

South Western 

South Western's John Fenwick scores on a layup during the first official day of winter sports practice on Friday, November 16, 2018.

2019-20 season: 4-18, seventh in YAIAA Division I 

Key returnees: John Fenwick (6-8, C, sr.), Tyler Cook (6-4, F, sr.), Shilo Bivins (6-3, G, jr.), Seth Sager (6-1, G, so.). 

Key losses: Aaron Fry, John Friel 

Coach: Chris Sager (first season) 

The breakdown: The Mustangs have hit restart under a new head coach. Chris Sager takes over for Clayton Wilcox, who stepped down after three seasons. Sager has had a leading role with the district's youth program and will look to rebuild a team that has struggled since making back-to-back YAIAA title games in 2012 and 2013. It will take a major leap for the Mustangs to compete with the top teams in YAIAA Division, but there is plenty of promise with four returning starters back. The Mustangs have size and strength in senior front court duo John Fenwick (10.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and Tyler Cook (9.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and some shooting in Seth Sager (7.1 ppg, 19 3-pointers). Junior Shilo Bivins is a promising athlete who averaged 7.1 ppg last season and won the school's starting quarterback job in football this fall. The Mustangs will need to improve their point differential after finishing seventh in the division in both offense (46.5 ppg) and defense (60.6).

Spring Grove 

Coach Ryan Eisenhart, the Spring Grove High School basketball team, during the 2018-19 GameTimePa YAIAA Winter Media Day Sunday November 11, 2018.

2019-20 season: 2-20, eighth in YAIAA Division I 

Key returnees: Diarmid Stewart (6-5, G, jr.), Caleb Watson (G, sr.), Ryan McKowen (Jr.)

Key losses: Cole McKowen, Brendan Jones 

Coach: Ryan Eisenhart (third season) 

The breakdown: The Rockets enter year four of the post-Eli Brooks era looking for their first winning season since the 2,000-point scorer departed for Michigan. Head coach Ryan Eisenhart enters his third season believing his team has the experience (eight returning lettermen) to be competitive, though acknowledging the Rockets need to improve their shooting and defense to compete against the best teams in Division I. Spring Grove finished last in the division in both offense (43.2 ppg) and defense (62.7 ppg) last season. Still, the Rockets might have one of the most promising players in the league in junior Diarmid Stewart. The 6-foot-5 wing averaged just under 13 points per game last season. 

York High 

Antoine Beard (2) goes up for a layup during the YAIAA basketball game between York High and New Oxford at William Penn Senior High School, January 10, 2020. The Bearcats defeated the Colonials 59-46.

2019-20 season: 20-9, third in YAIAA Division I, reached YAIAA semifinals (lost 60-54 to New Oxford), finished fifth in District 3 Class 5A after quarterfinal loss to New Oxford (78-61), lost second round of state playoffs to Dallas (78-51). 

Key returnees: Antoine Beard (6-0, G, sr.); Rashim Lee (6-4, G, sr.) 

Key losses: Cam Gallon, Branden X. Mutunga, Isiah Carroll

Coach: Clovis Gallon (fifth season) 

The breakdown: The Bearcats entered last season without much varsity experience but plenty of confidence in their ability to remain a contender. After a successful season, they hope to do the same this year. York High brings back just two starters from a team that won 20 games and a state playoff contest with plenty of toughness and depth but no superstars. Antoine Beard averaged about 10 points per game to go with three assists and three steals last season. York High hasn't won a District 3 title since winning back-to-back crowns in 2014 and 2015, but the Bearcats have come close in recent years, reaching the title game in 2018 and finishing third in 2019. They'll face a tougher task this year after bumping up to Class 6A. Still, Clovis Gallon is a confident head coach who sets the bar high for his players. The Bearcats will be determined to compete with Central York for the Division I title this season. York High had the third-best offense (59.6 ppg) and fifth-best defense (52.7 ppg) in the division last season. 

Division II 


2019-20 season: 2-20, seventh in YAIAA Division II 

Key returnees: None 

Key losses: Ryan Hilbert; Austin Henze; Adam Jovicevic 

Coach: Joe Falci (second season) 

The breakdown: Last year was the beginning of a rebuild for the Eagles. Dover graduated a strong crop of seniors highlighted by 1,000-point scorers Keith Davis and Elijah Sutton and had plenty of new faces. The results were just two wins in year one of former Central York assistant Joe Falci's tenure. Dover averaged just over 40 points points per game last season while giving up just under 61 per game — the two lowest marks in Division II. The Eagles will be extremely young once again with no seniors or returning starters. Falci pointed to Owen Malehorn, Jake Hasson and Tim Brant as newcomers to watch and complimented his team's work ethic. 

Eastern York 

Last season: 16-10, fourth in YAIAA Division II, finished fifth in District 3 Class 4A (went 2-1 in tournament), lost PIAA first round game to Bonner-Prendergast (78-40). 

Key returnees: Micah Myers (F, jr.), Tristan Sawmiller (6-0, G, sr.), Austin Bausman (6-4, F, so.) 

Key losses: Trevor Seitz, Kaleb Corwell, Dustin Cunningham

Coach: Justin Seitz (third season) 

The breakdown: The Knights were a .500 team in late January last season, before a 9-1 push down the stretch and in districts earned them a state playoff bid. Much of the production during that run came from Division II Player of the Year Trevor Seitz (22.2 ppg), who is now at Division III Marywood University. Eastern York does bring back some talent from a group that finished third in the division in offense (57.9 ppg) but fourth in defense (57.4 ppg) with a small point differential. Micah Myers averaged 10 points and eight rebounds per game last year and the Knights have solid size and a balanced lineup, even if they need guards to emerge. Eastern York hopes to be a District playoff team for the third straight season. 


2019-20 season: 23-5, first in YAIAA Division II, lost YAIAA quarterfinals to York High (59-46), finished eighth in District 3 Class 5A (going 1-3 in the tournament), lost PIAA first round game to West Chester East (55-35) 

Key returnees: Mike Hankey (G, jr.); Asher Baddick (G, sr.); Trenton Ramirez-Keller (G, jr.)

Key losses: Quadir Copeland (transfer), Charles Warren, Zach Ketterman 

Coach: Marc McLean (first season) 

The breakdown: The defending division champs will look a lot different this year. Head coach Lawrence Williams stepped down after three seasons. Senior leaders and multi-sport stars Charles Warren and Zach Ketterman both graduated. But the biggest loss is 6-foot-6 superstar and Division I recruit Quadir Copeland, who was named first-team all-state after averaging 22.1 points, 11 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. Copeland, who holds offers from Syracuse, Maryland, Penn State, Oregon and Miami among other schools, transferred to Life Center Academy — a prep school in New Jersey — to finish his high school career. New head coach Marc McLean inherits a young group that will need to prove itself this year. A former Biglerville player, McLean previously coached at Fairfield. The Warriors went 22-0 in the regular season last year before a disappointing 1-5 postseason, but the program is likely to be focused on getting better this year with such a different cast. Juniors Mike Hankey and Trenton Ramirez-Keller scored in double digits at times last season and Asher Baddick is also standout football players.


Carter Day (55) calls a play during the YAIAA boys' basketball game between York Suburban and Kennard-Dale at York Suburban High School, January 24, 2020. The Trojans defeated the Rams 74-47.

2019-20 season: 6-16, sixth in YAIAA Division II 

Key returnees: Carter Day (5-9, G, sr.), Drew Dressel (6-2, F, sr.) Ryan Schubert (6-3, F, sr.) 

Key losses: Wyatt McCleary, Zach Waltrup 

Coach: Jake Roupe (fifth season) 

The breakdown: The Rams have been down the past two seasons after a state-playoff campaign in 2018, but hope to be more competitive in star Carter Day's senior season. Last season's YAIAA leading scorer, Day (23.4 ppg) is an undersized jitterbug with the shooting skills, ball-handling skills and quickness to score more than 30 on any given night. He enters his final season with 1,289 career points and a shot to surpass Adam Freese (1,401 points) for second place in program history behind 2,000-point man Adam Miller. Day hopes to play college basketball. Kennard-Dale averaged 51 ppg last season (sixth in the division) but gave up close to 60 per game (fifth in the division) so improving defensively will be key for the Rams. They do have a good amount of experience back with three returning starters. 


Jalen Franklin (15) decides what to do during the boys' basketball game between Dover and Susquehannock at Dover Area High School, December 18, 2018. The Eagles defeated the Warriors 69-61.

2019-20 season: 12-11, fifth in YAIAA Division II, lost in first round of District 3 playoffs to Octorara (65-55)

Key returnees: Jalen Franklin (6-1, G, jr.), Michael Staub (F, sr.), Josh Franklin (G, so.) 

Key losses: Jake Eden, Jon Lippy, Nolan Holloway

Coach: Andy Shelow (fourth season) 

The breakdown: The Warriors made big strides last season by sneaking into districts — their first appearance since 2013. It was also the team's first winning season since 2013. The Warriors did graduate some solid senior leaders, but this program's development has always been about its rising juniors and sophomores. The players that grew up around current IMG superstar Jarace Walker are developing into strong players in their own right and hope to keep this program on an upward trajectory. The leader of the group is junior point guard Jalen Franklin, who has already been a varsity standout for two straight seasons. A pass-first point guard who can also score at will, Franklin averaged about 19 points and more than six rebounds and six assists as a sophomore. His younger brother, Josh, also got on the court last year as a freshman and is considered a rising talent. The Warriors do need to replace some shooting with Jake Eden graduating, and need to improve their defense. Susquehannock had the third-best offense in the division (59.3 ppg) but the sixth-best defense (60 ppg). 

West York 

2019-20 season: 13-12, third in YAIAA Division II, lost YAIAA quarterfinals to Central York (58-41), lost first round of the District 3 Class 5A tournament to Milton Hershey (76-54). 

Key returnees: Jaden Walker (5-11, G, jr.), Ty Nalls (6-4, G, sr.), A.J. Williams (F, jr.) 

Key losses: Corey Wise, Jared Shearer 

Coach: Garrett Bull (fifth season) 

The breakdown: The Bulldogs were competitive last season despite graduating a big senior class led by star guard Alex McClellan. While West York will need to replace two key seniors this time around, the pieces are in place for the Bulldogs to be one of the division's top teams. Guards Ty Nalls (10.5 ppg, 46 3-pointers) and Jaden Walker (9.6 ppg, 51 3-pointers) both averaged close to double digits last season and were among the league's best 3-point shooters. Nalls has committed to play basketball at NCAA Division III Pitt Greensburg. Head coach Garrett Bull said depth could be a question mark, but said the team has set winning the division and making a playoff run as its goals. The Bulldogs had the division's fifth-best offense (56.4 ppg) but its best defense (51.8 ppg) and its offense was in striking distance of a few other teams. 

York Suburban 

Aidan Hughley (24) takes a jump shot over a Trey Sweigart (3) during a semifinal game on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. Central York defeated York Suburban 55-50.

2019-20 season: 21-8, second in YAIAA Division II, lost YAIAA semifinals to Central York (55-50), finished ninth in District 3 Class 5A (went 3-1 in tournament after first round loss to York High), lost second round of state tournament to New Oxford (73-47). 

Key returnees: Aidan Hughley (6-6, F, sr.), Cam Brewer (6-1, G, jr.), Alon Gorham (6-2, G, sr.) 

Key losses: Anthony Brown, Savon Sutton (transfer) 

Coach: Mitch Kemp (first season) 

The breakdown: The division favorite will need to move forward without a key piece. Division I recruit sophomore point guard Savon Sutton has enrolled at Legacy Early College — a charter school in South Carolina — after attending the team's first few practices. Sutton is a rare talent, a 6-foot-3 distributor with great shooting skills, and he was likely going to make quite a leap this season after a promising freshman season. However, the Trojans should remain a very strong team without him. Aidan Hughley will be one of the league's best players after averaging about 16 points per game last season. He's committed to NCAA Division II Shepherd University and could reach 1,000 points this season. Cam Brewer averaged about 12 points per game and nailed 41 3-pointers last season and Alon Gorham could play college basketball. The Trojans also have a number of talented athletes who could contribute this year, including football players Nate Banks and Isaiah Pineda. First-year coach Mitch Kemp has been an assistant with the team in recent years under successful longtime coach Tom Triggs and was an 1,000-point scorer on the Trojans 2009 District 3 title team. He thinks this might be the most talented squad in program history. The Trojans also got big-game experience last season, challenging Central York in the league playoffs and shocking WPIAl champ Laurel Highlands in the first round of the state playoffs. The Trojans had the best offense in the league last season (64.3 ppg) and best defense in the division (53.7 ppg) after having a stronger postseason than Gettysburg. 

Division III 

Bermudian Springs 

Bermudian Springs' Jaylen Martinez guards Waynesboro's Jay Alvarez during play in the opening game of the New Oxford Holiday Tournament on Thursday, December 27, 2018.

Last season: 7-14, fifth in YAIAA Division III 

Key returnees: Jaylen Martinez (6-3, F, sr.),  Connor Shaw (5-10, G, jr.), Ethan Beachy (G, jr.), Jacob Schriver (F, sr.) 

Key losses: None 

Coach: Jared Nace (third season)

The breakdown: The Eagles haven't made the postseason since 2014, but have regularly been one of the best-coached and most-fundamental teams in the division under Jared Nace and former coach Tom Flaherty. The Eagles had the division's second-best defense last season (51.3 ppg) but will look to improve offensively after averaging just 43.3 points per contest — the lowest in the division. Senior Jaylen Martinez should be one of the divsion's best players after averaging close to 13 ppg a year ago. There's enough experience around him for Bermudian to make some strides this year. Bermudian actually finished with the third-most 3-pointers (107) in the division last year. 


Delone Catholic's Evan Brady, right, tries to grab the ball from the hands of Biglerville's Drew Parker on December 11, 2018. The Squires fell 77-65.

Last season: 4-18, eighth in YAIAA Division III 

Key returnees: Drew Parker (6-3, F, sr.), Eli Weigle (G, jr.) 

Key losses: Colby Martin, Jorge Cervantes

Coach: Neil Weigle (second season)

The breakdown: The Canners struggled last season after graduating a strong senior class led by a pair of 1,000-point scorers. They do bring back more experience this season with two starters and a double-digit scorer in Drew Parker (13.9 ppg). Guard Eli Weigle has an established inside-outside rapport with Parker, but the team will need unproven players to step up to provide more depth and scoring. Size outside of Parker could be a problem. Biglerville will need to improve its point differential in what should be an improved division. The Canners averaged just 45.1 ppg while giving up an average of 57.4 ppg. 

Delone Catholic 

Delone Catholic's Matt Rineman scores on a contested shot in the second quarter of a YAIAA Division III game against Hanover Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. T

Last season: 9-13, fourth in YAIAA Division III 

Key returnees: Coltyn Keller (6-1, G, jr.), Matt Rineman (6-2, F, sr.), Ryan Murphy (F, sr.)

Key losses: Corbyn Keller 

Coach: Brandon Staub (second season) 

The breakdown: A district title team in the early part of the past decade, Delone Catholic is coming off two losing seasons. The Squires knew last season would be one of transition with a new coach and the graduation of star guard Evan Brady. Delone averaged scoring just under 50 points per game while giving up an average of 55. A former assistant with Delone's girls' team, coach Brandon Staub has made it his goal to reestablish a winning culture within the boys' program. The team does have solid depth and a good amount of experience back this year. Senior forward Matt Rineman will be a three-year starter who averaged just under 10 points per game. Guard Coltyn Keller averaged a similar number and also made 42 3-pointers. The Squires hope to challenge rivals Hanover, Littlestown and York Catholic in what could be a crowded race for the division title. 


Kwame Myers plays defense on Peyton Stadler. Fairfield High School lost at Hanover High School on Dec. 21, 57 to 43.

Last season: 9-12, sixth in YAIAA Division III 

Key returnees: Eric Ball (6-3, F, jr.), Peyton Stadler (5-11, G, jr.), Nik Nordberg (6-0, G, so.)

Key losses: Garrett Stadler, John Whitcomb

Coach: Andy Winebrenner (10th season)

The breakdown: Fairfield hasn't made districts since 2008. The YAIAA's smallest school often faces an uphill battle in big-time sports like football and basketball, and this year could be the same with a lot of Division III teams looking to be improved. However, the Green Knights have plenty of promise with three returning starters and a decent amount of size. Longtime coach Andy Winebrenner thinks his squad can compete with the rest of the division and make a run at qualifying for the District 3 Class 2A tournament. The Knights weren't far off from .500 last season with a point differential (-3) pushing close to even. 6-3 forward Eric Ball (11.5 ppg) and 6-foot guard Nik Nordberg (10.6 ppg) both scored in double digits as underclassmen last season. 


Hanover's Zyaire Myers (5) loses the ball during the fourth quarter of a YAIAA Division III game against Delone Catholic Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. The Nighthawks won, 58-50.

Last season: 13-11, second in YAIAA Division III, lost YAIAA quarterfinal to New Oxford (69-41), lost District 3 Class 3A first round to Camp Hill (83-34)

Key returnees: Zyaire Myers (5-10, G, sr.), Kyle Garman (6-4, F, sr.), Michael Killinger (C, sr.), Mason Smith (6-2, F, so.) 

Key losses: Andre Caban 

Coach: Alex Staub (first season)

The breakdown: A small-school power not long ago, Hanover had a bounce back season last year after a few down years. A winning campaign and trips to the postseason ended abruptly with blowout losses in both the YAIAA and District 3 tournaments — with head coach Bart Gibbon resigning after the league game for family reasons. But former ninth grade coach and new leader Alex Staub inherits a talented and experienced group that should keep improving within the league ranks. The Nighthawks bring back four starters from a team that beat division champ Littlestown at one point last season. Zyaire Myers should be one of the best players in the division after averaging 13.4 points per game last season. Kyle Garman (12.2 ppg) and Michael Killinger (11.1 ppg) also averaged double digits last season. Hanover had the second-best offense (55.5 ppg) in the division, but will need more 3-point shooting after the graduation of Andre Caban (40 3-pointers). Hanover's defense (55.8 ppg) statistically finished toward the bottom of the division — though that was skewed by the two postseason losses. 


Littlestown's Jayden Weishaar is introduced during the starting lineup before a YAIAA Division III game against Delone Catholic Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. The Bolts won, 74-36.

Last season: 18-7, first in YAIAA Division III, lost YAIAA quarterfinals to York Suburban (55-41), lost in District 3 quarterfinals to Susquehannan Township (68-45) 

Key returners:  Jayden Weishaar (6-0, G, sr.), Rachard Holder (sr.), Dante Elliott (6-1, F, sr.), Braden Unger (G, sr.), Michael Gazmen 

Key losses: Brayden Staub

Coach:  Jonathan Forster (fifth season) 

The breakdown: The Bolts have been a playoff team since head coach Jonathan Forster's arrival and are coming off three straight Division III titles. Littlestown will hope to make further in the postseason after losing in the first round of the league tournament and dropping two straight district games for a quick exit last season. There's certainly reason to believe the Bolts can be as good as they were two years ago when they went 24-4 and reached the state playoffs. Littlestown brings back a lot of talent from last year's team that finished first in the division in offense (59.8 ppg) and defense (51.2 ppg). Jayden Weishaar is the reigning Division III Player of the Year after averaging 17 points per game and finishing second in the league with 62 3-pointers. He could be one of the league's best players in any division this season. He already has 1,164 career points and could potentially make a run at Logan Collins' career record of 1,618 points depending on how many games the Bolts play. Forster also believes this is the deepest team of his tenure. However, don't just hand the division crown to the Bolts once again. A number of teams — particularly Hanover and York Catholic — will be improved and could make a run at first place. 

York Catholic

York Catholic freshmen Luke Forjan led the Irish with 12 points in a 47-46 victory over Millersburg in the District 3 Class 2A championship game at the Giant Center Monday.

Last season: 12-13, third in YAIAA Division III, won District 3 Class 2A title over Millersburg (47-46), lost in first round of PIAA playoffs to Constitution (43-39). 

Key returnees: Preston Boeckel (6-2, F sr.), Luke Forjan (6-0, G so.), John Forjan (6-0, G, so.), Brady Walker (5-10, G, so). 

Key losses: Dylan Durbin, Ben Nelson

Coach: Dustin Boeckel (third season) 

The breakdown: The Irish entered last season with a talented but extremely young core that was expected to need some time to learn before it could win. That was how most of the season went. But after qualifying for the four-team District 3 Class 2A bracket as the No. 4 seed, York Catholic pulled off the improbable. Down by more than 20 midway through the fourth quarter against Steel-High, the Irish rallied for a stunning 73-68 overtime win. Then the Irish came back from down 10 to beat Millersburg for the title. The next step: Maintaining that level of play for a full season. It should be doable with a season of experience. The Irish bring back one senior in Preston Boeckel, who was terrific in the postseason last year. He younger brother, junior Caden, returns after missing time with a broken wrist. The two players to really watch are twins Luke and John Forjan — the grandsons of legendary York Catholic coach Jim Forjan Sr. and children of legendary Irish player Jim Forjan Jr. Both were impressive last season, but Luke (14.4 ppg) was really impressive as a scorer. York Catholic had a slightly negative point differential last season but after the postseason improvement, could be looked at as a contender for the division. 

York County Tech 

Last season: 5-15, seventh in YAIAA Division III 

Key returnees: Abdias Hernandez (G, sr.) 

Key losses: Darnell Wilkes, Johan Suero, I’mage Greer 

Coach: Doug Fink (second season) 

The breakdown: After back-to-back league playoff seasons under coach Jim Collins and star guard Terence Romey, the Spartans entered a rebuilding phase last year under new coach Doug Fink. A former head coach at Penn State York and assistant with the York Tech program, Fink knows about the school's struggles to build consistency without a feeder program. The team will try to take a step forward this season and will need to improve its offense after averaging just 46.2 points per game (seventh in the division). York Tech might have its hands full in an improved division, but Abdias Hernandez (12.1 ppg) gives the team a solid returning scorer. 

Matt Allibone is a sports reporter for GameTimePA. He can be reached at 717-881-8221, or on Twitter at @bad2theallibone.