We're two rounds into the boys basketball regional playoffs, and things are beginning to heat up with the semifinal round set for Tuesday.
Here's a look at some of the area's bigger games:
The North had a quarterfinal round shake-up when Mervo upset the top seed, No. 15 Westminster, 71-68, on Thursday. Next in line for Mervo is fellow Baltimore City foe and No. 12 Poly, which beat Kenwood, 50-47, in Thursday's quarterfinal. Dulaney, the No. 2 seed, needs to get past Paint Branch to reach the regional title game.
The East is shaping up to be a rematch of last year's title game, when North Point knocked off Arundel. Both teams still have some work left to make it happen with No. 10 Arundel hosting Meade in Tuesday's semifinals, while Old Mill tries to get past top-seeded North Point.
The North features a rematch of last year's title game when top seed and No. 4 Milford Mill hosts defending state champion Patterson. On their way to the state championship, the Clippers came away with a thrilling 75-72 win at Milford Mill with Aquille Carr leading the way. With Carr at Princeton Academy, Patterson hasn't been the same team, while the Millers rolled to their fourth straight Baltimore County championship and another top seed. The bottom part of the bracket has second seed and No. 8 City at home against Aberdeen, a perennial Harford County power who could pose a considerable threat.
The East has surging Annapolis and three pesky Howard County teams left. Annapolis, which upset Arundel in the Anne Arundel County championship game and is playing its best basketball of the season, hosts Wilde Lake. The Wildecats upset top seed J.M. Bennett in Thursday's quarerfinals. The bottom of the bracket has Reservoir hosting Centennial. The Gators defeated Centennial twice during the regular season.
Undefeated and No. 9 Oakland Mills made a huge statement in the South with Thursday's 73-45 rout over Gwynn Park to reach the semifinals. It avenged a bitter loss two years ago when the Scorpions were again undefeated and fell to Gwynn Park in the regional title game. Oakland Mills next faces defending region champ Largo in Tuesday's semifinals.
The North could be the deepest among area teams in all the classifications with Owings Mills at No. 5 Edmondson and No. 13 and defending state champ Lake Clifton at Randallstown. Lake Clifton defeated Randallstown, 60-53, at the IAABO Holiday Tournament at Northwestern on Dec. 27, but the Rams have since had two impressive wins against Baltimore City competition with wins overs Poly and City at the Basketball Academy in January.
Dunbar has ruled the Class 1A with four straight state titles and the Poets are the clear-cut favorite until proven otherwise. They will next look to get past Surrattsville in the South semifinals with Baltimore City Division II champion Ben Franklin-Masonville hosting Forest Park in the bottom of the bracket.