Class 3A state boys’ basketball semifinals
Where: Comcast Center, University of Maryland
Thomas Stone (24-1) vs. No. 12 Centennial (21-5)
Time: 3 p.m.
Road to Comcast
Thomas Stone defeated LaPlata (87-53), Friendly (73-31) and Potomac (79-63) to win South Region; Centennial defeated Howard (69-64), Atholton (63-51) and Annapolis (76-73) to win East Region
Scoring: Thomas Stone-Michael Briscoe (13.5 points per game); Centennial-Keonte Potts (21 ppg.)
Rebounding: Thomas Stone-Anthony Chisley (7.3 rpg.); Centennial-Timi Tinuoye (6 rpg.)
Assists: Thomas Stone-Michael Aderinkola (3.2 apg.); Centennial-Potts & Ben Goldsmith (3 apg.)
Steals: Thomas Stone-Anthony Chisley (6 spg.); Centennial-Potts (3 spg.)
After surviving Annapolis in the East Region finals, Centennial is back in the state Final Four. The Eagles are the first Howard County school since Oakland Mills (1990 and 1991) to make consecutive trips to the University of Maryland.
The Ellicott City school blew a 25-point second half lead before eliminating Annapolis last weekend. Keonte Potts scored 32 points for the Eagles, and Omari Ringgold scored seven points in the extra session. Last season, Centennial lost to Milford Mill in the state championship game.
Thomas Stone, which lost to Milford Mill in the 2010 3A finals, secured a fourth trip to Comcast in five seasons, knocking off Potomac from Prince George’s County in the South Region finals. Michael Briscoe scored a game-high 25 points, and Emeka Emakwa added 16.
The Cougars split with defending Class 4A champ North Point during the regular season. Thomas Stone last won a state championship in 1972.
Thomas Stone coach Dale Lambert on Centennial: “They play stingy defense and have two good guards. Their role players are talented and contributed a lot. You don’t win that many games with just two players.
Centennial coach Chad Hollwedel on Thomas Stone: “They have good size across the board. We can play big, but the athleticism Thomas Stone brings is different. They rebound the heck out of the ball. They’re going to get after it.”
By the numbers
19: Total margin in Centennial’s five losses
79.7: Average points scored by Thomas Stone in region playoffs
72: Points scored by Centennial’s Keonte Potts in postseason
1: Starter (Ben Goldsmith) back from starting lineup for Centennial from last year’s state finals
2: Thomas Stone wins over Baltimore-area since losing 2010 state final to Milford Mill. The Cougars defeated Arundel last season and Old Mill this season.
23: Season high scored by Thomas Stone guard Michael Briscoe
No. 2 Patterson (19-7) vs. Tuscarora (20-5)
Time: 5 p.m.
Road to Comcast Center
Patterson defeated Hereford (76-44), Franklin (84-44), City College (67-59) and Milford Mill Academy (75-72) to win North Region; Tuscarora defeated Watkins Mill (81-78), Frederick (69-67) and Linganore (64-58) to West Region
Scoring: Patterson-Aquille Carr (24 ppg.); Tuscarora-Lamell Washington (14.5 ppg.)
Rebounds: Patterson-Shakir Brown & Nyme Manns (8 rpg.); Tuscarora-Washington (7.5 rpg.)
Assists: Patterson-Carr (5 apg.); Tuscarora-Jaylen White (3.4 apg.)
Steals: Patterson-Carr (71); Tuscarora-Bobby Ingram (71)
Blocks: Patterson-Leonard Livingston (73); Tuscarora-Washington (61)
The No. 2 Clippers return to Comcast Center after winning four road games in the North Region playoffs, capped with an emotional victory over then-No. 1 and then-defending champ Milford Mill. Junior guard Aquille Carr scored 31 points and Myrek Fowkles added 16.
The Kane Street school has been road-toughened, playing games in D.C., Milwaukee, New Jersey and Pennsylvania during the regular season. Patterson is familiar with Comcast Center where its state title hopes fell short with a loss to North Point in the 4A state finals last year.
It’ll be a totally new experience for Tuscarora, which claimed its first state Final Four berth as Jaylen White scored a career-high 25 points. The Frederick County school won just seven games a year ago.
The Titans have been led by junior forward Lamell Washington. Washington, 6-foot-5, is a transfer from Archbishop Spalding.
Patterson assistant coach Seth Hoffman on Tuscarora: “They got good size across the board. They can shoot and athletic. They have a chip on their shoulders and going to play us as hard as any team we’ve played this year.”
Tuscarora coach Pat Cook on Patterson: “Aquille Carr is unstoppable, what you hope is being able to maintain. We want to make sure we’re challenging every shot and we have to get on the boards. It’s a big hill to climb.”
By the numbers
11: Total margin of victory in Tuscarora’s three playoff games
6: Consecutive road victories by Patterson
3: Number of state semifinal teams (Lake Clifton, Dunbar and Largo) Patterson played during regular season
47: Season-high points scored by Aquille Carr
9: Years Tuscarora has been in existence
32: Difference between points scored by Jaylen White in Tuscarora’s first playoff game (nine vs. Watkins Mill) and last two (41 total vs. Frederick and Linganore)