Already established as one of the region’s largest one-day girls basketball events, the annual Public vs Private Challenge returns this Saturday to McDonogh featuring its largest field ever.
The mixer, which originally started in 2012 with 11 schools, has continually grown with each passing season and this year is slated to feature 52 teams playing on one of three courts over the course of the day. In total there are 26 scheduled games, starting as early as 8:30 a.m. and running continuously through the final match-ups slated to tip at 8:30 p.m.
Among the participants are 12 of The Baltimore Sun’s top 15 teams, with a couple of those squads squaring off. Top-ranked St. Frances, which did not participate in the event last winter, will take on No. 11 Western in one of the event’s showcase games at 7 p.m.
Other high profile match-ups include nationally-ranked New Hope Academy squaring off at 11:30 a.m. against Poly, which is ranked No. 4 in the latest Sun poll, and No. 2 Roland Park taking on defending 3A state-champion Frederick at 1 p.m.
Al Schell, founder and president of 695Hoops.com, is running the event for the seventh straight year and is in charge of matching the teams up — all but one of the games this year feature a public school against a private school.
Admission is $10 for the day.
Public Vs. Private Challenge
Maryvale vs No. 6 South River, 8:30 a.m.
Institute of Notre Dame vs Long Reach, 10 a.m.
New Hope Academy vs No. 4 Poly, 11:30 a.m.
No. 2 Roland Park vs Frederick, 1 p.m.
National Christian Academy vs No. 12 Pikesville, 2:30 p.m.
No. 3 McDonogh vs Rock Creek Christian, 4 p.m.
St. John’s Catholic vs No. 5 Howard, 5:30 p.m.
No. 1 St. Frances vs No. 11 Western, 7 p.m.
Mt. Carmel vs No. 10 Old Mill, 8:30 p.m.
St. Timothy’s vs City, 9 a.m.
St. Paul’s vs Eleanor Roosevelt, 10:30 a.m.
Archbishop Spalding vs Oxon Hill, noon
No. 14 Mount de Sales vs Aberdeen, 1:30 p.m.
Notre Dame Prep vs Catonsville, 3 p.m.
Capital Christian vs Wise, 4:30 p.m.
St. James vs No. 13 Coppin Academy, 6 p.m.
No. 9 Pallotti vs Chesapeake-BC, 7:30 p.m.
Mercy vs Eastern Tech, 8:30 a.m.
Bryn Mawr vs Milford Mill, 10 a.m.
Gerstell vs Urbana, 11:30 a.m.
St. Andrew’s vs North Point, 1 p.m.
St. Maria Goretti vs Edmondson, 2:30 p.m.
St. Mary’s Ryken vs Reservoir, 4 p.m.
Glenelg Country vs Franklin, 5:30 p.m.
John Carroll vs Western Tech, 7 p.m.
Garrison Forest vs Forest Park, 8:30 p.m.
Reach Brent Kennedy at email@example.com or follow him on twitter @BKBSunSports