Public hoops championships on line starting Saturday
by Derek Toney
With the state boys and girls basketball tournament drawing a few days away, area public leagues will start crowning their champions.
The Anne Arundel County titles will be decided Saturday at South River. Defending league champ and No. 10 Old Mill will face South River in a rematch of last year’s title game.
Wednesday, the Patriots (20-1) defeated the Seahawks (17-5), 65-58, to clinch the regular season league championship. Old Mill, which reached the Class 4A state semifinals last March, has won 25 straight against Anne Arundel foes, including playoffs since last season.
No. 15 Annapolis and Northeast will match for the boys crown. The Panthers won the regular season title, their first in the post-John Brady era.
Brady, who retired before the 2016-17 season, won an area-record 772 games in 39 seasons in the state capital. Annapolis last won the league title in 2015.
It will be the first league title game for Northeast. The Pasadena school last won the Anne Arundel crown in 1992. Annapolis defeated the Eagles, 67-58, last month.
Baltimore City and County will decide their champions Tuesday. At Towson University’s SECU Arena, Woodlawn and New Town meet for the boys title with 16th-ranked Pikesville and Western Tech vying for the girls crown.
The Panthers (18-4), who haven’t lost a county decision since the 2018 league final, are going for a second straight championship. Pikesville defeated the Wolverines, 53-30, in last year’s final, but Western Tech (17-5) pushed the Panthers in a 52-46 loss at the start of the regular season.
New Town (21-1), riding the area’s longest winning streak at 21, will look to repeat as Baltimore County champions. Woodlawn, winners of 13 straight, last won the league title in 2018.
Top-ranked Poly girls will try for a 3-peat at Morgan State University’s Hill Field House. The Engineers (21-1), whose only lost came against nationally-ranked Riverdale Baptist School (No. 5 by MaxPreps) in December, defeated Western, 74-65, back in December.
The Doves (16-3) last won the city title in 2017.
The nationally-ranked and area’s No. 2 Poly boys look to complete a dominant run through the area’s toughest public league when it take on area’s fourth-ranked Lake Clifton. The Engineers (20-2), ranked 18th by MaxPreps, won their 13 city league matches by an average of 45 points.
Poly defeated Lake Clifton, 79-52, back in December. The Lakers (17-4), who play River Hill in the regular season finale Friday, have won 11 straight.
Carroll County Athletic League champions have been decided with Century boys and Westminster girls. Century (11-1 CCAL) finish a game clear of Westminster (10-2 CCAL), while the Owl girls (10-2) were two games better than Liberty (8-4).
No. 18 Havre de Grace and Bel Air won the UCBAC Chesapeake and Susquehanna boys titles, respectively. No. 20 Bel Air won the Chesapeake girls while Bohemia Manor and Harford Tech (both 12-2) shared the Susquehanna crown.
Howard girls and Reservoir boys are on the cusp of Howard County titles. The second-ranked and undefeated Lions (21-0 overall. 15-0 Howard) visit Wilde Lake, seeking to complete a perfect regular season.
If the Lions are upset, they will be co-champs with River Hill (15-1 Howard). Reservoir can claim its first outright league championship with a victory over Glenelg Friday evening.
The No. 17 Gators (12-3 Howard) gained sole possession of first Wednesday, thanks to their win over Long Reach, and Oakland Mills’ victory over Marriotts Ridge.
If Reservoir loses, Centennial (11-4), Marriotts Ridge (11-4) and Oakland Mills (12-4) get a piece of the crown with a victory. Marriotts Ridge plays Mount Hebron and Centennial hosts Hammond Friday.
The state tournament boys and girls brackets will be revealed this Tuesday.
PUBLIC LEAGUE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE
Saturday Feb. 22
Anne Arundel County final at South River
Girls championship – No. 13 South River vs. No. 10 Old Mill, 2 p.m.
Boys championship – Northeast vs. No. 15 Annapolis, 7 p.m.
Tuesday Feb. 25
Baltimore City final at Morgan State University
Girls championship – No. 8 Western vs. No. 1 Poly, 5 p.m.
Boys championship – No. 4 Lake Clifton vs. No. 2 Poly, 7 p.m.
Baltimore County final at Towson University
Girls championship – Western Tech vs. No. 16 Pikesville, 5:30 p.m.
Boys championship – No. 13 Woodlawn vs. No. 6 New Town, 7:30 p.m.