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The Baltimore Sun

Commentary: Aberdeen, Patterson Mill girls looking to bring home state hoop titles

The glory days of high school girls basketball here in Harford County continued last week with Aberdeen and Patterson Mill each claiming region titles. For Aberdeen, it was the Eagles' fourth overall and second straight, while Patterson Mill broke into the celebration with its first.

For much of the MPSSAA's girls hoop history — this the 40th year — Harford County was not much of a threat where state titles and even state final appearances were concerned.

There was a blip here and a blip there, a handful of runs from a few schools, but none found a way to bring home a title.

Four years ago, that all changed.

Yes, it was the winter of 2009 when the Fallston Cougars made a bit of history, making the trip to UMBC twice and coming back with the county's first state championship since the tournament's inception in 1973.

In many eyes, the Cougars' 65-62 win over Paint Branch that Saturday evening in Class 3A play was an upset, but it was a title nonetheless.

A year later the Cougars dropped in classification to 2A and many thought that was a good sign of a possible repeat. The many were right. The Cougars made their way back to the state tournament and were part of a little more history in 2010.

The Cougars were not alone in their travels to UMBC. Joppatowne also played its way into the state tourney, as a 1A school, and more history began to unfold.

Both the Cougars and Mariners won their semifinal games, setting up a history-making Saturday.

First the Cougars won the 2A title, their second straight. That was history in itself, but then a handful of hours later, Joppatowne took the floor and won the 1A crown. It was Joppatowne's first and Harford County's second of the day.

What a day it was – two of the state's four girls basketball state titles were brought back to Harford County.

A year ago we were looking for the same kind of magic, but it just wasn't to be. It was Joppatowne that was looking for a repeat to join Fallston's accomplishment the year before and Aberdeen was making its first showing since back-to-back semifinal appearances in 2002 and 2003.

If you recall, the Mariners were bumped out in the 1A semifinals and Aberdeen was beaten by Frederick in the 3A final.

Fast forward to this year and it's the Eagles and Huskies making the trip and representing Harford County.

Somewhat ironic is that both are playing defending state champions in the semifinals. Aberdeen knows Frederick all too well, while Patterson Mill will have to deal with Calvert.

Not making any bold predictions here, but here's what I feel might happen. I believe Aberdeen will have too much for Frederick this time around and then win its first state title over River Hill or Westlake. I don't think it will matter who they meet in the final.

As for Patterson Mill, I see the road a bit tougher. Calvert is no slouch and while I'm not counting the Huskies out, the semifinal might as well be the final. If the Huskies can pull off what I see as an upset of Calvert, then I see the Huskies also winning their first title.

Best of luck to both teams.

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