Poly, Milford Mill, Catonsville, Patterson Mill, Howard and New Town were among the girls basketball teams seeded No. 1 in their sections after yesterday’s draw for seedings for the state tournament held at Long Reach High School.
The brackets also solidify the timing for some anticipated rematches, including a possible third showdown between Poly and City, which are seeded first and second in Class 3A East Section I.
There could also be a rematch of last year’s state Class 1A championship game early in the tournament although it would be in Class 2A since last year's 1A champion Western Tech and Dunbar have both moved into Class 2A North. Western Tech is seeded fourth with Dunbar second behind top-seeded Carver.
These are just two of many scenarios for the path to the state tournament which begins Thursday or Friday on the home courts of the higher-seeded teams. In Sunday’s draw, the top two seeds in each section were predetermined based on win-loss percentage. The rest of each bracket was filled out by blind draw.
For the first time, each of the state’s 16 regions is divided into two sections. The sectional winners will meet in the regional finals. Regional champions move on to the state semifinals on Wednesday, March
12 and Thursday, March 13 at Towson University’s SECU Arena. The championships will be decided on Saturday, March 15 at SECU.
For Poly, the highest ranked public school team in The Baltimore Sun’s Top 15 at No. 2, a third meeting with No. 7-ranked City could come in the sectional final on March 6. Both teams have first-round byes this weekend and will play in sectional semifinals March 4. Poly won both the regular-season game and Saturday's Baltimore City Division I title game.
The Engineers, who reached the Class 4A final last season, will meet Centennial or Long Reach in the section semifinal. City will play No. 14-ranked Mount Hebron or Digital Harbor. Both Mount Hebron and Centennial contended for the Howard County championship before Howard finally claimed the title.
The 3A East Section I winner could meet another Howard County contender, Reservoir, for the regional championship. Reservoir finished ahead of the rest of the teams in its all-Howard County section, including River Hill, which lost to Aberdeen in last year’s state 3A final.
Also in Class 3A. No. 4-ranked Milford Mill is the top seed in the North Section I while defending champion Aberdeen is top seeded in Section II. Last year in the North region, Aberdeen defeated City in the regional final after City beat Milford Mill in the semifinal.
In addition to its two wins over City this season, Poly also beat Milford Mill, 66-57, at The Basketball Academy in January. That was the Millers' only loss this season. Poly also has just one loss, falling to Bethlehem Catholic, Pa. at the Holly & Hoops Tournament in December.
In Class 2A North, Western Tech will have to beat Lansdowne and top-seeded Carver to play Dunbar. That is if Dunbar, which has a first-round bye can beat the Patterson-Loch Raven winner in the section semifinal. The winner of Section I could face Hereford, which is top seeded in Section II, for the regional championship.
In Class 4A, No. 9-ranked Catonsville is the top seed in the North region Section I and could face No. 12-ranked Howard, the top seed in Section II, for the regional title. Catonsville's section includes Baltimore City and Baltimore County teams while Howard's sectional opponents are all from Montgomery County.
In 4A East, Old Mill is top seeded in Section I, an all-Anne Arundel County region. No. 11-ranked South River, the Anne Arundel County champion, is the second seed in Section II, a mix of Anne Arundel and Southern Maryland teams. Defending state champion North Point is seeded first. The Seahawks fell to North Point in last season’s regional final.
No. 10 ranked Patterson Mill is the top seed in 2A East Section I and No. 15 New Town in 1A North Section I.
With defending champ Western Tech moving to 2A, Class 1A is wide open for a new champion.
For the complete brackets, go to mpssaa.countysportszone.com.