CLASS 1A SOUTH REGION GIRLS’ BASKETBALL CHAMPIONS
Lyric Fortune never imagined playing on Towson University’s basketball floor at SECU Arena. The Southwestern High senior will get the opportunity.
The Sabres defeated SEED School, 54-41, in the Class 1A South Region final Friday afternoon. Fortune finished with 16 points and senior Ziah Miller added 12.
Southwestern (16-8 overall) will play western Maryland’s Southern from Garrett County in a state final four match Friday afternoon at SECU Arena. It will be the first state semifinal appearance for the Baltimore City school which reached the city league’s Division II final a couple of weeks ago.
“This is what we wanted all along,” said Fortune, a senior. “We’re doing this with freshman so it feels go to finally make it there.”
Southwestern grabbed command in the second as Fortune and Miller combined for the team’s 23 points. The Sabres led 38-21 at halftime.
Marriotts Ridge also made history Friday, winning the 2A West Region crown with a 54-46 victory over Walkersville in Frederick County. Sarah Blalock scored 26 points for the Mustangs (19-6).
The Howard County school will play defending state champ Largo from Prince George’s County in a state semifinal Friday at SECU Arena. A year ago, Marriotts Ridge won just five games.
The breakout season has been sparked by Blalock, who scored 20 points in the opening half. The Marriottsville school led by as many as 14 points in the second half before repelling a Walkersville run.
Frederick County wasn’t as kind for Manchester Valley. The third-ranked Mustangs’ state title bid was ended by Frederick in the 3A West final.
Sophomore guard Makayla Daniels scored 29 points for the Cadets, who repeated as West Region champs. Junior Mackenzie DeWees, who’s verbally committed to Quinnipac, finished with 19 points for Manchester Valley (23-1).
The Carroll County champs led early, but never led again after Frederick captured the advantage midway through the first. It was the third loss in four seasons for the Mavericks.
CLASS 3A EAST REGION GIRLS’ BASKETBALL CHAMPIONS
Atholton senior guard Fran Venegas said it wasn’t a big deal playing on the road for most of the 3A East Region. It was “road sweet home” for the No. 11 Raiders, who knocked off Long Reach, 53-44, for its first state final four berth since 2008.
Vanegas scored 16 points for the Raiders (19-5), and Ryan Jones added 16. Kiana Williams and Lyric Swann each finished with 12 for Long Reach (19-6).
Atholton will play Milford Mill Academy in a Class 3A state semifinal Thursday at Towson University. Milford Mill handled C. Milton Wright in the North final Friday.
After state Elite Eight losses in the two of previous three seasons, Atholton finally broke through Friday, winning the rubber match against its Howard County league foe on the Lightning’s packed gym in Columbia. The Raiders also won at Chesapeake-Anne Arundel and Stephen Decatur this week.
“We had to be focus. We had a game plan and had to stick to it,” said Atholton coach Julia Reynold. “We had to execute towards the end of the game.”
Patterson Mill is headed back to state final four, claiming the 1A North Region title with a 72-43 victory over southern Maryland’s McDonough in Bel Air. George Washington University recruit Chyna Latimer had 17 points for the Huskes, and Chyna Mitchell finished with 16.
The Huskies were dominating in the opening half, building a 39-14 halftime advantage en route to securing a third state final four berth in four seasons. The Harford County school lost to eventual state champ Forestville from Prince George’s County in the 1A Elite Eight last season after winning 2A crowns in 2015 and 2014.
Lucie Passwater had 14 points for Patterson Mill (24-1), which will play Pocomoke Friday evening at SECU Arena.
It’s back to the 2A final four for No. 17 New Town after a 62-36 rout of Chesapeake-Baltimore County in the North final. Marayiha Smith scored 18 points for the Titans (20-5), and Khariah Kosh added 15 points.
“We controlled the pace,” said Titans first-year coach Rich Hibbert. “Our senior leaders came through.”
Hibbert, who had only Smith back from last season’s starting five, said the Titans struggled early implementing a new style. The former boys’ assistant at Benjamin Franklin believes a victory over eventual Class 3A state semifinalist Milford Mill Academy turned the season around.
The Titans will take on Kent Island in a 2A semifinal Friday at SECU Arena. Kent Island defeated Elkton in the East final.
CLASS 2A NORTH REGION GIRLS’ BASKETBALL CHAMPIONS