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Previewing the girls basketball state semifinals

(All games at Towson University's SECU Arena)

WEDNESDAY

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CLASS 1A

Forest Park (23-0) vs. Southern-Garrett (20-4)

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Time: 3 p.m.

Outlook: In their first trip to the state tournament in school history, the Foresters meet the defending champions who are aiming to add a fourth state title to their trophy case. The Foresters won just six games last season, but the addition of guards Tiffani Rice and Makelle Randolph, whose transfer to the school helped turn coach Jermaine Dunn's program around. Forest Park will have to be ready for a Rams team with a strong inside-outside game led by 6-foot-3 center Lauren Francillon.

CLASS 2A

Oakland Mills (17-8) vs. Oakdale (23-1)

Time: 7 p.m.

Outlook: Oakland Mills hasn't been to semifinals since it won a state title in 1998 and Oakdale, from Frederick County, has never been. The Scorpions, led by point guard Tori Diggs and center Ny'Jayah Lockwood, came from behind in the region final to upset Largo, which had won 15 of its previous 16 games, 74-71. In its region final, Oakdale took a big lead and then fought off Liberty's comeback attempt to win, 52-47, as Christi LaBella provided two late free throws to seal the win.

No. 8 Patterson Mill (20-5) vs. Western Tech (15-8)

Time: 9 p.m.

Outlook: Defending state champion Patterson Mill's veteran team rolled through its region, winning by an average of 47.3 points per game to return to the semifinals for the fourth straight year. The Huskies also easily handled Western Tech early in the season, 54-18. The Wolverines, the 2014 Class 1A state champs, are led by freshman forward Kayla Spruill and they edged Hereford, 55-51, in the region final on senior guard Deja Dennis' four points in the final 31 seconds. All-Metro senior guard Qalea Ismail, who scored 38 points in the region final, leads the Huskies, along with and senior point guard Sam Herman.

THURSDAY

CLASS 4A

No. 9 Old Mill (24-2) vs. Paint Branch (23-2)

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Time: 5 p.m.

Outlook: Old Mill won three straight titles in the early 90s, the last in 1993, but they've only been to the state tournament once since 2007. Paint Branch has been to the tournament more than any other team, making its 15th appearance and, like the Patriots, the Panthers have won four titles, the last in 2008. The Patriots, who have won 16 straight, have developed a balanced offense led by junior guard Kaneshia Afi. The Panthers count on a handful of players, including senior guard Daisa Harris and 6-4 junior center Sofilia Ngwafang.

CLASS 3A

No. 4 Milford Mill (23-1) vs. No. 6 Poly (23-3)

Time: 9 p.m.

Outlook: The defending state champion Millers make their eighth appearance in the state tournament since 2000, while the Engineers return to the semifinals for a fourth straight year. The teams have met twice in the past four years at The Basketball Academy and Poly has won both times, but the Engineers might have trouble with Milford Mill senior guard Dionna White, who scored 38 points in the region final win over No. 5 Aberdeen. The Engineers, who have had an up-and-down season, were led by senior guard Jayda Pearson and senior forward Aneah Young in the 58-49 region final victory over No. 7 Atholton. The Engineers will not only have to corral White (21.5 points, 4 assists, 4.5 steals per game), but they will also need to battle against an overachieving Millers inside game that easily outrebounded a much taller Aberdeen team.

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