Unpredictable South River (12-4) visits No. 10 Broadneck (15-2) at 7:30 tonight for Part I of what should be a two-part battle for the four-team county 2A-3A title.
Both boys teams are 2-0 in league play and will meet again in the final game of the regular season on Feb. 24 in Edgewater.
Class 3A Broadneck routed Northeast, 66-29, and Southern, 85-50, while 2A South River romped over Southern by 86-62 and over Northeast by 68-57. Class 2A Northeast is 0-3 and 2A Southern is 1-2 in the 2A-3A.
Tonight is an interesting game for several reasons. Just a week ago, Broadneck was stunned at home by Arundel, 68-67, on Bakari Ward's 50-footer at the buzzer.
The shock carried over into Tuesday's game as the Bruins found themselves trailing Glen Burnie (9-8) by 54-41 with just over five minutes left. Jamaine Young keyed a 23-4 run as the Bruins woke up and went on to post a 64-58 nonleague victory.
South River upset No. 13 Annapolis (13-4), 75-71, in double overtime last week and turned around two days later and got waxed by Glen Burnie, 87-66, as Desmond Dailey hit a career and county season-high 47 points for the Gophers.
Actually, that should have been no surprise because it is the way the Seahawks have played the last 17 years under Ken Dunn (175-196, 47 percent).
But can the Seahawks and high-scoring Corey Davis, who is averaging 20.3 points, win tonight?
Jason Smith, who is averaging 19.3 points, hopes to make sure they don't. Smith needs nine points to become the fourth player in county boys history to reach the 1,500 milestone in career points.
Being the unselfish player he is, reaching 1,500 tonight won't mean much to Smith unless his team wins the game. Smith had 19 points in the Glen Burnie game Tuesday.
Isn't it difficult to believe that Smith is not going to play big-time college basketball? He has accepted a football scholarship to Division I Rutgers, where he is expected to be a wide receiver.
I wouldn't be surprised if after he establishes himself on the football field that we see Smith playing basketball for Rutgers. He is too good at the game to give it up.
In other action tonight, North County (9-8) and Old Mill (9-8) need victories to stay alive in the 4A East Region playoff hunt. North County plays host to Southern (7-10), a 61-59 victor over Old Mill Tuesday, while the Knights visit Severna Park (4-13).
Glen Burnie was at Annapolis last night and the Gophers are going down to the wire with North County and Old Mill for the fifth and sixth seeds in the region. The Gophers are defending regional champions.
North County is in its fifth year and never has had a winning season nor made the playoffs. But the Knights already have matched their highest win total (9-13 last year) and are hoping this is their year.
"I especially want it for the three seniors who have been through the tough times [6-60 first three years]," said North County coach Brad Wilson. "It would be a shame for them if we didn't make the playoffs."
The three seniors are Lou Brown, Reno Owens and Tweety Barton.
"We proved we can play with the best [referring to Tuesday's 74-72 loss to Arundel after the Knights blew a 17-point third-period lead] and we just need to learn how to finish. We're getting closer," added Wilson.
Arundel and Annapolis are all but cinches for the 4A East playoffs; only their seedings are yet to be determined. Two Calvert County teams, Northern and Calvert, started the week as Nos. 1 and No. 4, respectively, in the region, with Arundel 2 and Annapolis 3.
If the Wildcats finish strong, they could catch Northern for the top seed and home-court advantage throughout the regional. Annapolis has a shot at the second seed. The advantages of being Nos. 1 and 2 are home court and first-round byes.
In the ring
The 54th annual Navy Brigade Boxing Championships start at 7:30 tonight with 14 semifinal bouts at Halsey Field House. The winners advance to the championship bouts on Feb. 24 at Halsey, and admission is free.
The Mids who survive the Brigade competition move on to the Eastern Collegiate Boxing Association Southeast Regional at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., March 24-25. Regional champions qualify for the Eastern Collegiate Nationals at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, April 6-7.