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High school basketball playoffs take another snow day

Thursday's snowfall has postponed many girls and boys sectional playoff basketball games at least until Saturday and pushed the regional finals to Monday, and some possibly to Tuesday, just a day or two before the state semifinals start.

All public schools in the Baltimore area closed Thursday, and the snowstorm's aftermath plus near-zero temperatures predicted for many areas Thursday night caused school officials in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties to call off classes again Friday.

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Most sectional finals are now scheduled for Saturday, though officials in Carroll County said their games might be played Friday night if the Snow Emergency Plan in the county is lifted by noon.

In Anne Arundel County, the decision about whether teams can play Saturday will be made on Friday. Officials in Baltimore City also had not made a decision about Saturday games as of Thursday evening. Any team that cannot play Saturday would make up its sectional final Monday, delaying the regional final until Tuesday.

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Some girls regional champion teams that usually have three or four days to practice for the state semifinals will now have one day to get ready, at the most. Any Class 1A or 2A team that has to play Tuesday would move right into the state semifinals Wednesday at Towson's SECU Arena.

Boys teams forced to play Tuesday would still have a day or two to prepare for the state semifinals, which begin Thursday at Maryland's Xfinity Center.

Friday is the fourth day this week that games have been postponed. Teams squeezed their sectional semifinals in Wednesday. Icy roads canceled school on Monday and after-school activities on Tuesday. The girls regional finals were originally scheduled for Friday with the boys' on Saturday.

The state wrestling tournament, which was scheduled to begin at Cole Field House today, will begin Saturday.

Check the MPSSAA website for schedule updates.

The snow also forced officials of the Bishop Walsh Girls Invitational Tournament in Cumberland, which includes McDonogh and Seton Keough, to delay the start of their event until Friday.

The tournament, which features some of the top private and parochial school teams in Maryland and Washington, D.C., will begin Friday and run through Sunday.

No. 1 McDonogh, which won the tournament last season, is scheduled to open with St. Maria Goretti at 7:45 p.m. Friday and No. 12 Seton Keough plays St. Mary's Ryken at 4:30.

If school is closed Friday, McDonogh coach Brad Rees said, his team can go to the tournament "depending on the safety of the roads." Seton Keough coach Jody Powell said school officials told her they would make a decision Friday morning.

Bob Boyle, director of the Bishop Walsh Tournament, said the tournament will begin Friday and that any team that cannot get there will have to take a forfeit into the consolation bracket.

Baltimore Sun Media Group staff contributed to this article.

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