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Brackets revealed for Maryland state girls basketball tournaments

Defending state champion Catonsville won a coin flip with Western to earn the second seed behind Howard in one of the toughest sections of the Class 4A girls state basketball tournament as the brackets were revealed Tuesday.

The Baltimore Sun’s No. 5 Howard (19-1), No. 4 Catonsville (18-3) and No. 9 Western (17-4) are among the top five public school teams in the Baltimore area and all are in Section I of the the 4A North region.

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Holiday tournaments are not included in the records used to seed teams, so the Comets and the Doves had identical 17-2 marks. Because they did not play each other during the regular season, a coin flip determined the higher seed.

The Doves are now the third seed and will play Mervo in the first round Friday or Saturday. The winner will play at Catonsville Tuesday when Howard will host the winner of the first-round game between Perry Hall and Dulaney.

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The winner of that section advances to the regional championship March 3 against the winner of Section II, where Paint Branch is the top seed. Howard is the overall top seed and would host the game if the Lions make it through.

Several other sections or regions could also see top Baltimore area teams collide in the finals.

No. 11 Old Mill and No. 12 South River, who play for the Anne Arundel County championship Wednesday night, could meet again in the 4A East regional final. Old Mill is the top seed in Section I and South River is top seeded in Section II. South River is the overall top seed.

Westminster and Manchester Valley could also meet for the third time this season if they make it to the finals of Class 3A West, Section I. The Mavericks are seeded first, but Westminster won both regular-season games.

Other area teams to earn the No. 1 seed in their sections: No. 7 Long Reach (3A East, Section I), Franklin (3A North, Section I), Aberdeen (3A North, Section II), Hereford (2A North, Section I), Oakland Mills (2A South, Section I), No. 13 Pikesville (1A North, Section I), Dunbar (1A North, Section II) and Joppatowne (1A East, Section I).

The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association basketball playoffs are set to being Tuesday night with quarterfinal play. In the A Conference No. 1 St. Frances and No. 3 John Carroll have earned top seeds

No. 6 Poly is seeded second in Class 3A South, Section I. Tuesday, the Engineers host the winner of City-Potomac, and if they advance, they could play at unbeaten Oxon Hill for the sectional championship March 1.

In Class 3A East, No. 15 Chesapeake-AA is the second seed in Section II behind James M. Bennett. If the Cougars win the section, they could face Long Reach for the regional title. The Lightning won the regular-season meeting, 61-51.

The regional championships are scheduled March 3, with the winners advancing to the state semifinals at Towson University’s SECU Arena. The Class 3A and 4A semifinals are March 8 with the 1A and 2A semifinals March 9.

The state finals are set for March 10 — Class 2 A at 1 p.m., followed by Class 4A at 3 p.m., Class 1A at 6 p.m. and Class 3A at 8 p.m.

To see all the brackets, go the MPSSAA web site.

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