Last year, the Calvert Hall ice hockey program accomplished a huge goal when it knocked off nine-time Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association champion Mount St. Joseph to win the A Conference title. The Cardinals defended the title this year and went a step further.
Calvert Hall (20-4-4) used a hat trick by Andrew Klick to defeat perennial D.C.-area power DeMatha (21-17-2), 5-0, to win the Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League title at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel. The championship, essentially the Maryland state championship in hockey, was another first.
The players "bought into the fact that we could beat them," Cardinals coach Mike Shramek said.
Shramek says next year will be an interesting one at the Towson school.
"We've never been in this position before, where everyone will be gunning for us," he said.
In Sunday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference basketball championship game at UMBC's RAC Arena, St. Mary's senior guard Nick Groce couldn't have written a better script for himself.
The Saints beat St. Vincent Pallotti, 62-60 - their second conference championship in three years. Groce made the winning shot and finished with a game-high 26 points. And he did it on what will be his home court, as he's set to play for the Retrievers next year. UMBC coach Randy Monroe was courtside, and some of Groce's future teammates were in the stands to watch the performance.
"I knew I was going to take the shot, so I was just dribbling it out, waiting for an opening to the hole. I just put it up hoping to get a foul - I wasn't expecting it to go in," Groce said.
I think I can ...
The Bel Air wrestling team turns out to be the Little Engine that Could.
At the start of the season the Bobcats were thought to be in a rebuilding year. They had lost nine senior starters from last season's 19-8 county championship team that qualified 13 wrestlers for the state tournament and produced a state champion in Matt Cross.
At 23-7, Bel Air has the most wins in a single season by a Bobcats wrestling team. Earlier this month, Bel Air won the Chesapeake Division title in a tiebreaker over Harford Tech and Rising Sun. Then, the Bobcats won the county team title over Harford Tech by 2.5 points.
"We had kids seeded third, fourth and fifth make it to the finals," Bel Air coach Craig Reddish said. "Joe Flanagan, a senior, who wasn't even seeded, came back and got fifth with a one-point decision over Pat Revera of Harford Tech. Every single little win mattered, and that sums up our team."
When the seedings for the state girls basketball tournament were announced Sunday, there weren't any surprises at the top.
All but two of the teams ranked in The Baltimore Sun's Top 15 picked up top-seeded spots, including the area's only two unbeaten teams: No. 6 River Hill in Class 2A South and No. 11 Fallston in 3A East.
No. 5 Arundel, which fell to Eleanor Roosevelt, 52-50, in the 4A final last season, is seeded first in the East region, while No. 4 City is first in 2A North, No. 7 Digital Harbor in 1A North, No. 8 Catonsville in 3A North and No. 15 Joppatowne in 1A South.
No. 3 Western (3A North) and No. 14 Howard (3A East) are seeded second.
The only unranked team to earn a top seed is Dulaney in 4A North. That could be an interesting region, with Perry Hall, which beat Dulaney a month ago, seeded second.
Defending champions Eleanor Roosevelt (4A) and Pocomoke (1A) received top seeds in their regions while Paint Branch (3A) was second behind Urbana in its region.
Mount Hebron (2A) graduated most of its starters from last season and has struggled with injuries but earned the fourth seed in its South region.