Here we go again

Boys bas­ket­ball post­sea­son kicks into gear tonight

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­ Twit­ter: @cfh­philly

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.

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