Here we go again
Boys basketball postseason kicks into gear tonight
On Wednesday night, the Huntingtown Hurricanes boys basketball team celebrated a title, as they defeated the vis- iting Westlake Wolverines to win the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference champi- onship game.
Starting Friday night, the Hurricanes, as well as the rest of their SMAC competitors, begin a journey towards what they hope is another championship.
In the case of Huntingtown, winning the SMAC title made program history but now the team has to forget about it and focus on what lies ahead.
“I’m just happy we’re still play- ing. Hopefully we can continue,” Huntingtown head coach Josh Pratt said after Wednes- day night’s win. “Now we’re 0-0, so it doesn’t really matter.”
By Friday night all regional tournaments will be kicking into swing in the state, with SMAC teams in action in all four classifications.
North Point, the last SMAC program to win a state champi- onship with its Class 4A crown in 2011, leads the SMAC contingent in the 4A East.
The Eagles (13-9 overall) are the top seed in Section II of the region, are scheduled to host a section semifinal contest, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, versus the winner of Fri- day night’s section quarterfinal matchup that has fourth-seeded Leonardtown (5-15) host- ing fifth-seeded South River of Anne Arundel County at 6:30 p.m. Chopticon (4-18), seeded sixth in the section, is scheduled to travel to third-seeded Broadneck of Anne Arundel County for a slated 7 p.m. Fri- day night tip.
In the 3A South, Hunting- town (17-6) will look to defend its regional crown as the top seed in Section II of the region. A year ago, the Hurri- canes made program history with their first state semifinal appearance. This year, they will be tested right out of the gate in Tuesday’s section semifinals, scheduled for 6:30 p.m., when they host the winner of Friday night’s section quarterfinal contest that has fifth-seeded Great Mills heading to fourth-seeded Potomac of Prince George’s County for a scheduled 6 p.m. start.
Great Mills (12-10) enters the postseason on a five-game win- ning streak, though Potomac (13-7) would figure to provide one of the stiffer tests the Hor- nets have faced.
“I know they’re a good team; well-coached,” Great Mills head coach Jeff Burrell said of the challenge that awaited with Potomac. “We have some film on them. I know they’re athletic.”
On the other half of the sec- tion, St. Charles (16-6) is the No. 2 seed and will await the winner of Friday night’s section quarterfinal that has sixth-seeded Northern (7-15) traveling to third-seeded Oxon Hill of Prince George’s County in another 6 p.m. scheduled tipoff. The eventual semifinal is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at St. Charles.
Lackey enters the postseason as the top seed in Section I of the 2A South. The Chargers, who finished the regular sea- son with a 16-6 overall mark, will host a Tuesday section semifinal, slated for 7 p.m., ver- sus the winner of Friday night’s section quarterfinal that has fifth-seeded La Plata (6-16) trav- eling to fourth-seeded Thomas Stone (14-8) for a scheduled a 6 p.m. tip. The Cougars have won both meetings versus the War- riors this season by a combined six points.
On the other side of the sec- tion, Calvert (14-8) is the No. 2 seed. The Cavaliers will play the winner of Friday night’s section quarterfinal, sched- uled for 6:30 p.m. that has sixth-seeded Patuxent (5-17) at third-seeded Westlake (16-7). Westlake took a 66-23 decision from Patuxent when the teams met on Jan. 11. The section semifinal at Calvert is slated for 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Westlake, which enters the postseason on a three-game losing streak and has seen its share of adversity of late, will be looking to turn its fortunes in the playoffs. The Wolverines have enjoyed their share of suc- cess in recent years, reaching state championship games in 2014 and 2015.
“Going into the playoffs ev- er ybody is 0-0. You have to have a short memory,” Westlake head coach Ed Mouton said after his team’s narrow loss at Huntingtown on Wednesday. “Thursday is a new day. We’re 0-0. It’s win or go home. It’s just that simple.”
Calvert, which ended the regular season on a four-game win streak, defeated Patux- ent twice by 10 points or less during the season and did not play Westlake.
Rounding out SMAC’s com- peting teams, McDonough (3-19) will look to finish on a high note in the playoffs after a trying regular season. The Rams are the No. 4 seed in Sec- tion II of the 1A North, and will host fifth-seeded Chesapeake Math & IT at 6 p.m. Friday. The winner will advance to play at top-seeded Fairmont Heights of Prince George’s County on Tuesday.
Private schools in playoffs, too
St. Mary’s Ryken, fresh off its 74-58 defeat of DeMatha to finish the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference regular season, starts the WCAC playoffs as the sixth seed and heads to third-seeded St. John’s of Washington, D.C. for a scheduled 8 p.m. tip Friday. A win puts the Knights in the semifinals at American University in Washington, D.C., on Sunday with the final also being played at American at 8 p.m. Monday.
SMR (16-12) lost twice to St. John’s during the regular season, including a 72-62 home defeat two weeks ago.
King’s Christian (18-1), champions of the Metro Independent Schools Athletic League, is slated to head on to the Maryland Christian Schools state tournament as the top seed and has a scheduled Tuesday quarterfinal contest versus eighth-seeded Arlington Baptist of Baltimore.
Grace Christian (14-11), which fell to King’s Christian in the MISAL final, is scheduled to play in the Mid-Eastern Regional Christian Schools tournament from March 2 to 4.