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Watch live at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 6 as Dallastown takes on West York in girls' basketball action. Follow the game with play-by-play from WOYK-1350 AM and a live chat that gives fans a voice.

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  • The West York and Dallastown girls' basketball teams know each other well. Two games that keyed the YAIAA Division I title race will do that.

    Their third meeting tonight at York College will decide much more than just a division -- it will decide the league's champion.

    Here's a breakdown of the YAIAA girls' basketball championship game, which tips off at 7 p.m.

    How West York got here

    Forget about the Bulldogs' Jan. 4 13-point loss to Dallastown. At the time, the team was reeling from injuries -- including an ankle sprain to then-leading scorer Sarah Shearer, whom the team ultimately lost to an ACL injury.

    Slowly, West York (21-3) found confidence in what it still had: a slew of quick, fundamentally sound guards. That play was on display in the Bulldogs' Division I-clinching win at Red Lion in the regular season finale and again Tuesday against York Catholic.

    "Every year Jon (Shultz) gets everything that he can out of every player that plays for him," Irish coach Kevin Bankos said of his West York counterpart. "They're so fundamental on both ends of the floor. They take care of the ball, they don't throw the ball away, they play tough defense. Look, we had the height advantage, and you wouldn't know it on the floor."

    Bankos pointed to the Bulldogs' 37-25 rebounding advantage in their semifinal meeting. West York's tallest active player is 5-foot-9 senior forward Jessica Noll. The Irish, meanwhile, had 6-1 Hannah Laslo and 5-11 Morgan Klunk.

    The feat wasn't just a one-time occurrence. Guard Emily Wood grabbed 11 rebounds in that win at Red Lion when she was sometimes the shortest player on the court at 5-4.
    How Dallastown got here

    YAIAA basketball

  • A look at how boys' teams in York and Adams counties have fared in the District 3 playoffs.

  • A look at how girls' teams in York and Adams counties have fared in the District 3 playoffs.

  • A look back: The history of boys' and girls' basketball in York County.

  • Top scorers: The top 30 boys and girls scorers from York and Adams counties.

  • The Grand Collection: A look at the area players who surpassed the 1,000-point career milestone.

  • With the regular-season split and a one-point loss at West York on Jan. 29, the Wildcats (18-6) were that close to a share of the Division I title. Dallastown has not lost since then, making that game still fresh in the minds of coach Mary Manlove and her players. That was the case with Dover.

    After handing the Eagles their first loss Tuesday night, Manlove said they wanted that rematch. After all, that close loss also played a role in where the Wildcats stands today.

    "It was a big deal for us," senior guard/forward Shae Grim said. "We knew we lost to them the first time by three and didn't play our best game."

    Grim added her team played with more confidence in Tuesday's rematch with Dover. When Dallastown lost those two it was during a stretch of four setbacks in five games.
    Sophomore sensations

    Kari Lankford's 22 points proved pivotal in West York's elimination of York Catholic. Teamed in the backcourt with Wood, the Bulldogs have a one-two punch of sophomores unlike any other -- partly because they played many minutes as freshmen.

    Both can not only shoot, attack the basket and set up teammates but rebound, too. Lankford, a point guard, grabbed a game-high nine rebounds Tuesday.

    Those qualities can also be said for Dallastown's 6-1 sophomore forward/post Amari Johnson, who's coming off a 13-point, 10-rebound semifinal.
    @mgoul; 771-2045