The state girls basketball playoffs move to the regional semifinals Wednesday night with some intriguing matchups involving local teams, including a rematch of No. 1 Aberdeen vs. No. 7 Digital Harbor.
At the Basketball Academy in January, the Eagles (23-1) broke open a close game with Digital Harbor, then ranked No. 2, with a 15-point run early in the second half to fuel a 67-38 win. Although the Eagles got 22 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks from 6-foot-3 All-Metro center Bri Jones, they made their move while she was on the bench for a while after taking a nasty fall.
The guard play of Lakeia Hayden, Nia Alleyne, Jimmia McCluskey and Kierra Palmer at both ends of the court is tough for most teams to handle, especially in combination with the inside play of Jones and forward TK Fowlkes.
The Rams, whose 18-7 record is a little deceptive because of the caliber of their non-conference competition, stayed in the game early and it didn’t help them to lose key ball handler Jaida Scarborough to a sprained ankle.
This time, the Rams likely will look to slow things down a little to try to prevent Aberdeen from running away with the game. They will need big games from stellar forward A’Lexus Harrison and 6-foot-5 center Infiniti Alston as well as strong perimeter defense to contain the Rams’ 3-point shooters.
The Eagles, who have lost only to nationally-ranked Riverdale Baptist, are looking to advance to the state final for the second year in a row after falling to Frederick, 76-71, last season. The Rams, the 2009 state Class 1A champions, aim to return to the final four after missing out last season. Tip off time for their Class 3A North semifinal is 6:30 p.m. at Aberdeen.
Two local teams aim to remain undefeated – No. 3 Poly (21-0), the Baltimore City champion, and No. 10 Milford Mill (24-0), the Baltimore County champion. The Engineers will play host to Paint Branch while Milford Mill hosts C. Milton Wright.
The area’s only 2011 state champion, No. 4 Dunbar, hosts Northwestern.
No. 6 Glenelg hosts Largo, looking to advance to a possible regional-final rematch with defending Class 2A champion Calvert in the regional final.
No. 9 Meade faces a road trip to North Point, which won the Class 4A East region last season. No. 14 South River hosts Broadneck in the other half of the 4A East bracket.
Following are the local matchups for Wednesday. Winners advance to Friday's regional finals. For the complete brackets, go to the MPSSAA web site.
Class 4A North
Paint Branch at Poly, 6:30
Springbrook at Perry Hall, 7
Class 4A East
Meade at North Point, 7
Broadneck at South River, 7
Class 3A North
Digital Harbor at Aberdeen, 6:30
C. Milton Wright at Milford Mill, 7
Class 3A East
Annapolis at River Hill, 5
Reservoir at Howard, 7
Class 2A North
Loch Raven at Douglass-B, 5:45
Owings Mills at Chesapeake-B, 7
Class 2A South
Largo at Glenelg, 7
Class 2A East
Patterson Mill at Joppatowne, 6
Class 2A West
Walkersville at Century, 7
Class 1A North
Perryville at Western Tech, 7
FAST at New Town, 7
Class 1A South
Northwestern at Dunbar, 5
Ben Franklin at Surrattsville, 7
Class 1A West
North Carroll at Smithsburg, 7