State tournament time is finally here, and eight local girls basketball teams have earned their tickets to UMBC’s RAC Arena with regional championship victories Friday night.
Of the local teams to make the field, only defending Class 1A champ Dunbar, River Hill and Owings Mills have won state titles. Three teams are in the state tournament for the first time – Century, Patterson Mill and Western Tech. Aberdeen and Poly are looking for their first crowns although both have reached the final in the past.
No. 1 Aberdeen faces a semifinal rematch with Frederick, which beat the Eagles 76-71 in last year’s Class 3A title game. The Eagles (25-1) defeated No. 10 and previously-undefeated Milford Mill for the regional title, 84-66.
No. 3 Poly goes into the Class 4A semifinals for the third time in six years. The only unbeaten local team to advance, the Engineers (25-0) will meet another undefeated team, defending champion Gaithersburg (24-0). The Trojans, ranked No. 3 by The Washington Post, defeated Northwest, 53-45, in Saturday afternoon's West region final. The Engineers, who beat Springbrook, 31-22 in Friday's North region final, made it to the state Class 3A final in 2008.
No. 4 Dunbar (17-6) is looking to add to an illustrious state tournament resume that already includes five state titles. Only three teams have ever won more than five and the record is seven. The Poets, who beat Surrattsville 68-46 in the region final, will face Kent County.
No. 14 Century is looking to become the first Carroll County team to win a state title since Francis Scott Key in 1997. The Knights (23-2) earned their first trip with a 46-35 victory over Poolesville in Class 1A North. They will meet Owings Mills in the semifinals.
Owings Mills won its only state title in 1984 and hadn’t been back to the tournament since. The Eagles (13-11) make a return appearance thanks to a 50-43 win over Loch Raven in Class 2A North.
River Hill (17-8) returns to the semifinals for the first time in three years and aims to add a second trophy to its case to match the 2006 championship hardware. The Hawks defeated last year’s regional champion Howard, 46-33, for the Class 3A East title and will play Westlake in the semifinals.
Patterson Mill (18-5) earned its first appearance with a 61-58 win over Kent Island and will meet defending champion Calvert in the state Class 2A semifinals.
Western Tech (22-4) defeated New Town, 42-36, in the Class 1A North final to earn their first trip to UMBC. The Wolverines will meet Fort Hill, which defeated North Carroll, 49-35, in Saturday's West region final.
Following is the state tournament schedule for UMBC’s RAC Arena. Check the MPSSAA web site to get your tickets in advance.
North Point vs. Wise, 3
Poly vs. Gaithersburg, 5
River Hill vs. Westlake, 7
Aberdeen vs. Frederick, 9
Patterson Mill vs. Calvert, 3
Century vs. Owings Mills, 5
Dunbar vs. Kent County, 7
Western Tech vs. Fort Hill, 9
Class 2A, 1
Class 4A, 3
Class 1A, 6
Class 3A, 8