Road To Xfinity Center
This has been a fun high school season in Maryland. We are officially in the final two weeks of the season, state finals on March 14th. Tuesday will be the first game that the top seeds will play in, after receiving a first round bye. Some of the top seeds have some easy match-ups while others are walking into potential trap games.
The 1A class due to size of schools, usually doesn't have too many powerhouses. In the North region, New Town is the only team with more than 10 wins. Surratsville, Fairmont Heights, and Forestville are the other top seeds but I don't think any of them will shock the Titans, who should walk into the states representing the North.
The South region includes two City Powerhouses, Edmondson and Lake Clifton. Both schools playing in games they should win, are expected to meet up in the Regional finals. If both teams do what they are supposed to do in these next two games, we will get to see a third game in this season series, Lake 2-0 against Edmondson so far this season.
Similar to the south, the East region is a battle between two squads, Pocomoke from Worchester County and Joppatowne of Harford county. Both teams have 17 wins on the season.
Allegany High School, out of Western Maryland, should walk into states, only powerhouse in the West region. Allegany is 18-1 on the season, looking to make it back to states after losing to Edmondson in the finals last year.
The 2A Class has a lot more parody in it than any of the classes. Looking at the 2A bracket, I would say it has the best potential matchups out of all 4 classes.
In the North, it's a 3 team race between Patterson, Hereford, and Randallstown. Patterson and Randallstown, my alumn, are the two powerhouses in this region but Hereford is the sleeper of the bunch. Hereford played in their first County Championship last Tuesday, losing to Woodlawn, but they had a very good season, winning 19 games. Hereford is known for their great football program, but guard Gabe Cerribelli has lead this team to be one of the better schools in the area, watch out for the Bulls.
In the East, Wicomico and Parkside are the two front runners but they will potential meet in the Regional semi-finals. I think the winner of this game will more than likely represent the region at states. That game will be March 5th as long both schools don't suffer any upsets.
In the West, Oakdale and Century are the lone front runners. Century is 20-2 seeking their first state title, while Oakdale is 17-5 also seeking it's first state title. Neither team is a stranger to big games though, Oakdale reaching the state-semis the last 2 years and Century last trip coming in the 2009.
The South region, should be a very good one. Oakland Mills, Largo, Gwynn Park, and Douglass of PG-County, are the top seeds in this region. Oakland Mills is the only school of the top seeds outside of Prince Georges, the other 3 schools are very familiar with each other. Largo made it to the County championship losing to the 4A powerhouse, Eleanor Roosevelt, but I like Largo's chances to make it to the big game. They will face the winner of Gwynn Park/Douglas, who play Tuesday, in the regional semis. They beat both schools during the season (split with G.Park) so you expect them to win, but it's not a lock.
I would like to see Oakland Mills vs Largo in the regional final because of the matchups. Largo has 6'8 Abdulai Bundu, who averages 29 points, while OM has Mamadou Ndiaye and Will Robinson who combine for 34 points and 14 boards. I think OM has more depth, reason why I would give them the edge but if Bundu supporting cast can play big, Largo can easily make it.
The 3A class isn't as strong as it normally is but it does have some good potential matchups.
In the North, you have Milford Mill, C.M. Wright, and Woodlawn as the top squads. Milford is the powerhouse of the region, looking to win their 4th State title since 2010. The Millers didn't have a great regular season, suffering bad losses to Pikesville and Hereford. Usually I would say the Millers will walk into States but not this year. Woodlawn, who the Millers only beat by 5 back in December, is a hungry group, led by senior TJ Owens. These two are county rivals and will likely meet March 5th in the regional finals. C.M. Wright should make it to the regional finals and will await the winner of Milford Mill/Woodlawn.
The East region could be an entertaining one. Centennial, River Hill, and Resevoir all represent Howard County as top seeds, while City College represents Baltimore City. City @ Centennial is probably the biggest potential matchup in the region. Both schools have tough games Tuesday before the regional semi-finals, City hosting Digital Harbor and Centennial hosting Poly, neither of which are going to be easy wins. Centennial is 20-2 on the season, the outright favorite of the region but you can not sleep on the City College Black Knights, who are looking to defend their state title. Winner of this game is my pick to represent the region.
In the South, it is loaded with teams from the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference. Top seeds Northeast and La Plata are not the normal powerhouses, but Westlake J.M. Bennett are the other two schools that have some prestige. I predict Westlake, who lost to City in the 3A finals last year, will come out of this wide open region.
In the West, it's not much to look at. South Hagerstown is the only school with 15+ wins but this region is also wide open.
Usually the 4A class hold all the marquee matchups that everyone wants to see but I think this year they might come second behind the 2A class.
In the North, Dulaney, Springbrook, Southwestern, and Sherwood are the top seeds. This region is mostly made up of schools from the Baltimore area and Montgomery County. Springbrook is the favorite for this region and rightfully so, going 18-3 on the season. Springbrook defeated Dulaney last year in the regional final by 30, and we might see the same results since Dulaney is without their best player, Isiah Lamb, who tore his ACL back in January.
The East is filled with teams from Anne Arundel county, which was dominated by the Meade Mustangs, who went 21-2 on the season. The other top seeds are Old Mill, Annapolis, and North Point. Meade defeated everyone in the county by double-digits except Annapolis. Luckily for them, they won't have to see Annapolis until the regional finals. Meade will have to worry about North Point, who is always in the convo for state champions. This is new territory for Meade, who hasn't been to the State Semis since 2003, while North Point has been there 3 times since 2010, winning it in 2011. If they meet in the regional finals, it will be interesting.
The South is filled with the juggernauts of the state. Northwestern of PG county, Eleanor Roosevelt, CH Flowers, and Duval are the top seeds in the region of nothing but Prince Georges county schools. None of the top seeds in this region has an easy road. Eleanor will play Bowie on Tuesday, who beat Flowers and WCAC power, St. Johns earlier this season. Flowers will have to play Wise, who is the defending 4A state champion. Duval will play Parkdale who defeated Eleanor, PG County champs, earlier in the month and is on a 7 game win streak. I'm expecting a lot of fireworks from this region.
The West is filled with Montgomery County schools, Magruder, Richard Montgomery, Bethesda Chevy-Chase, and Gaithersburg are the top seeds in the region. This region looks like it will come down to Magruder and Richard Montgomery. Magruder has been to the state semis 7 times since 2001, winning it most recently in 2012, while RM hasn't won a state title since 1966. RM has only loss one game this season, a 3-point loss to Springbrook, so it's not unlikely for them to reach the State finals or even win it.