The Baltimore Brigade opened their Arena Football League season Friday night with a 59-51 victory over the Washington Valor at Royal Farms Arena. The victory avenged the Brigade’s loss to the Valor in last season’s championship game.
Indoor soccer: The Blast head to Milwaukee to play the Wave on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. in a one-game showdown for the Eastern Conference championship in the Major Arena Soccer League. After eliminating Utica City FC in the Divisional Round on Monday, the Blast (17-7) face the Wave for the third straight season in the conference final. The Blast won both of the matchups, but the Waves (21-3) swept both regular-season games this year.
The Blast playoff run has been led by Andrew Hoxie, who leads the MASL postseason in points at six, is tied for second in goals with four, and is tied for second in points per game average at 2.0. Hoxie is also tied for second on the league leaderboard for assists with two, joining teammates Vini Dantas, Jamie Thomas and Mike Deasel. Adriano Dos Santos has been the spark on special teams play for the Blast as he has netted two power-play goals.
The Wave beat the Comets in back-to-back games to take the best of three series. They collectively outscored the Comets, 15-5, in the two games with a 10-3 win Saturday afternoon to advance. They were led by goalie Josh Lemos who had a 2.64 goals against average and an 80% save percentage. The Wave have four players who are tied for second in points for the playoffs. Ian Bennett leads the team with three goals, two of which were power play goals and Chad Vandegriffe and Leonardo De Oliveira lead the team with two assists. Strong defense was the theme in the series as Jonatan Santos and Marcio Leite lead the way with five blocked shots.
Men’s college basketball: Maryland officially announced the addition of Philadelphia's 2018-19 Player of the Year Hakim Hart (6 feet 7, 192 pounds) to the class of 2019 Friday. …Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball has added a second member of the Spanish National Team program to its Class of 2023, as Golden Dike (pronounced DEE-kay) has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Greyhounds starting in the fall. Dike, who plays for the Real Madrid EBA and U-18 teams, will join countryman Santi Aldama and Baltimore-area native Cam Spencer who signed NLIs during the fall.
Horse racing: The Maryland Racing Commission approved a 43-day summer meet schedule for Laurel Park set to kick off May 31 and include 13 stakes worth $1.1 million in purses. Laurel’s summer stand will feature live racing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through June 30, adding Thursdays to the schedule starting July 4. The summer meet will conclude Aug. 18.
Pro basketball: The Baltimore Shuckers (1-6) were eliminated from playoff contention with a 115-98 loss to the Jackson Eagles (4-3). The Shuckers and Eagles square off Saturday at 8 p.m. with Jackson still vying for a Central Basketball Association playoff spot.Brian Smith (Overlea) led Baltimore with 27 points, while Marquis Powell (Riverdale Baptist) added 21 points, and Antonio Wright (Meade) and Ed Dyson both contributed 12.