West York and Sarah Shearer won the YAIAA Division II title last season. Now they will look to challenge defending champion Red Lion and others in Division
West York and Sarah Shearer won the YAIAA Division II title last season. Now they will look to challenge defending champion Red Lion and others in Division I. (GAMETIMEPA.COM -- FILE)

GameTimePA.com presents the YAIAA Division I girls' basketball preview capsules:

Central York

   Coach: Andrew Stiffler (5th season)
   2011-12 record: 7-15, 4-11
Returning starters
   Samantha Sweeney (5-6, Sr., F., 4.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals), Alexis Balanda (5-4, Jr., G., 7.0 points), Alexis Cash (5-9, Jr., F., 4.0 points, 4.0 rebounds), MacKenzie Windsor (5-8, Jr., F/G., 5.0 points, 2.0 rebounds)
Others to watch
   Kelsey Wisner (5-6, So., G., 2.0 points)
   The skinny: The Panthers return plenty of players from last season, including four starters in Sweeney, Balanda, Cash and Windsor. Cash and Balanda each started more than half the games last year. Cash started all but one (21-of-22 games).

Despite so many returning players, the Panthers are still a young team. With three girls who started as sophomores, Stiffler expects his team to utilize its experience and continue to grow.

Of the returning players, Balanda was the leading scorer a season ago with seven points per game, and Stiffler expects a balanced offense. The Panthers aren't a tall team and will rely on execution and some timely aggressiveness.


Wisner, a sophomore who split time on JV last season, also is expected to make a jump in her second season of varsity basketball. She averaged two points per game as a freshman.
-- Jonas Fortune


   Coach: Mary (Kurnat) Manlove (4th season)
   2011-12 record: 12-12, 11-4
Returning starters
   Shae Grim (5-9, Sr.), Shannon Thomas (5-9, Sr.), Jenna Jackson (5-5 Sr.), Amari Johnson (6-1, So.), Alex Lehman (5-8, Jr.), Kaitlyn Small (5-5, Jr.)
Others to watch
   Kellie Butler (5-11, Sr.), Katie McGowan (6-0, So.), Rachael Anstine (5-8, Jr.), Brooke Crumbling (5-6, Jr.)
   The skinny: This is it. The talented senior class has finally reached its final season. How they choose to go out is up to them. Not a single player was lost from last season's varsity squad.

Grim, Thomas and Jackson return with starting experience, along with Lehman, Small and Johnson. Butler, McGowan, Anstine and Crumbling will solidify the bench.

The Wildcats won 11 league games last year, and Manlove has been impressed during the offseason with her players' commitment. She pinpointed the seniors, who have helped develop the younger players. If Dallastown can stay healthy, it should be in league contention.
-- Jonas Fortune

New Oxford

   Coach: Mike Sanders (1st season)
   2011-12 record: 10-12, 6-9
Returning starters
   Lindsey Miller (5-5, Sr., G, 6.4 points)
Others to watch
   Jensen Sneeringer (5-7, So., G), Emily Clinton (5-7, So., G), Emily Lawrence (5-2, So., G), Taryn Crone (5-9, So., F), Ashley Caster (5-10, So., F)
   The skinny: The graduation of seven seniors, including leading scorer Gabby Reichart, leaves the first-year coach with one senior and 10 freshmen and sophomores for the 2012-13 season.

Miller, who will continue her basketball career at Millersville University next year, is capable of a big scoring effort, such as a 21-point game against West York last season.

Sanders said the Colonials will force the tempo on both offense and defense, a change from past seasons under former coach Brandon Horick.
-- Chuck Curley

Red Lion

   Coach: Don Dimoff (19th season)
   2011-12 record: 29-2, 15-0
Returning starters
   Jen Horvatinovic (6-0, Sr., G/F, 13.0 points)
Others to watch
   Kasey Seitz (5-5, Sr., PG), Morgan Kuehne (5-10, Jr., F), Devan Horka (5-11, Jr., F/C), Courtney Dimoff (5-9, Fr., G), Kelsey Clever (5-7, Sr., G)
   The skinny: Coming off a 29-2 season that included a district title and ended in the second round of the PIAA Class AAAA tournament, the Lions return their second-leading scorer from last season with a lineup of mostly new players injected into coach Don Dimoff's system.

The defending YAIAA Division I champions could see a challenge from newcomer West York, which moves up from Division II, and others.
-- John Clayton


South Western

   Coach: Jana Bonds (3rd season)
   2011-12 record: 5-17, 4-11
Returning starters
   Jenna Hoffnagle (Sr., G, 6.8 points), Amy Spigelmyer (Sr., G/F, 9.4 points), Holly Arey (Jr., F, 3.4 points)
Others to watch
   Leah Crump (Jr., F), Heather Dell (Jr., F), Kayleigh Thomas (So., G), Lauren Schmidt (So., G/F), Kaenna Rebert (So., G), Hannah Glover (So., G/F)
   The skinny: Seeking their first winning season under Bonds, the Mustangs return no one who averaged in double figures last season, so Bonds said one goal is clear.

"We desperately need a leader on the court who leads not just vocally, but by example," she said.

Spigelmyer led the team in scoring last season and was the only player to surpass 200 points for a team that averaged 34 per game. The team also shot only 52.8 percent from the foul line.

Bonds sees Red Lion as the YAIAA I favorite and says her team must avoid injuries to contend with a small roster.
-- Chuck Curley

West York

   Coach: Jon Shultz (8th season)
   2011-12 record: 21-8, 12-2 (Division II)
Returning starters
   Sarah Shearer (5-9, Sr., F), Jess Noll (5-9, Sr., F), Heather Zinn (5-9, Sr., G), Kari Lankford (5-7, So., PG)
Others to watch
   Alyssa Krepps (5-7, Sr., F), Raychel Johnson (5-8, Jr., G), Emily Wood (5-4, So., PG/G), Kelly Slagle (5-10, Sr., G), Sela Fuhrman (5-10, So, F), Katie Pallman (5-7, Fr., F), Shyanne Kimbrough (5-5, Sr., G)
   The skinny: The Bulldogs return four starters from last season as they move to Division I. They are coming off yet another successful season in which Shultz's team won Division II, finished fifth in the District 3 Class AAA tournament and qualified for states.

"The groups in the past have set that standard, and every year the girls are trying to live up to that standard," Shultz said. "My girls just hate to lose, so they give everything they have to get to that point."

The Bulldogs also get the addition of Kimbrough, a soccer standout, who Shultz describes as, "Fast as lightning and a defensive stopper."

Shearer, a second-team all-star last season, enters the season closing in on 1,000 career points.

Shultz likes his team's depth and could go as deep as 10 to 12 players, an advantage as they transition to Division I with a schedule loaded with Class AAAA teams.

"Out of our 22 games, we are playing 15 Class AAAA schools," he said. "We always try to go out and schedule the best teams we can. We just want to compete in Division I. There are a lot of tough teams there with Dallastown and Red Lion."
-- Ryan Dixon

More YAIAA previews

  • Division II breakdown

  • Division III breakdown

  • Division IV breakdown