It's that time of year when basketball teams having decent seasons make it a daily habit to check the rankings to see where they stand.

In District 3, that's not a problem for most area teams.

In the current District 3 power rankings in basketball, which count games through Tuesday, only two Franklin County teams are above the cut line - Chambersburg in Class AAAA boys and Greencastle-Antrim in AAA boys.

The Trojans (10-6) are ranked No. 6, behind 1. Harrisburg (16-1), 2. McCaskey (15-2), 3. York (14-2), 4. Exeter (14-1), and 5. Wilson (12-3).

At least at first glance, it does not seem to be a strong year in the district for quad-A teams. Heck, a team with a losing record (Reading, 8-9) is ranked No. 12. But the top 20 teams will qualify for the playoffs and the top seven will earn a berth in the PIAA Tournament, so opportunity is definitely there.

The Trojans have five games left that count for the rankings - Saturday's game vs. Western Tech of Maryland in the Gettysburg Showcase does not count - and four of those are certainly winnable, with a game at Harrisburg the exception.

Even a 3-2 record in those games should keep Chambersburg in the top eight and bring a first-round home game to CASHS Field House.

Greencastle (13-3) is ranked No. 5, behind 1. Susquehanna Township (17-1), 2. Donegal (18-0), 3. Gettysburg (15-4) and 4. Steel-High (13-2).

The Blue Devils have six games left before the cutoff date of Feb.


6, and only two of those are games you'd automatically pencil in G-A as the winner. So Greencastle will have to do well to keep its high ranking because there are plenty of teams with a decent chance to move up behind them - the last team above the cutoff now, Lancaster Mennonite, is 12-6.

The play-in date for District 3 is Friday, Feb. 15. First-round games are Feb. 19-20. The pairings will be announced officially on Sunday, Feb. 10.

NEED HELP: Currently, no area girls team is in line to make the District 3 playoffs.

But there is still hope for Shippensburg (8-9) and Greencastle (7-9) in Class AAA. The top 18 teams qualify - Ship is No. 20 and G-A is No. 21.

Ironically, those teams play each other Friday at Ship. The loser may be knocked out and the winner will still have life.

The Devils lost a tough game to Middletown (No. 17) last week by three points.

The Lady Hounds appear to have the tougher schedule left, including non-league games against Dover and Mechanicsburg, both of which will be in the playoffs.

DISTRICT 5: The District 5 playoffs will take a little bit longer to figure out, since its cutoff date is 10 days later than District 3 - Feb. 16. The pairings will be announced the following day.

In the girls rankings, unbeaten Southern Fulton is a solid No. 1 in Class A, with Fannett-Metal (No. 7) and McConnellsburg (No. 8) still in the mix.

In boys Class A, Fannett-Metal is No. 5 and McConnellsburg (No. 9) will have to make up a lot of ground in the closing weeks to get into the top eight that qualify.

Southern Fulton, a perennial contender in Class A, is having a .500 season, and has been moved up to Class AA this year. The Indians are No. 5 in those rankings, which is one spot below the top four that qualify.

First-round games in District 5 are Feb. 21-22.