Prophet Pat will plunge head-first into the region playoffs in boys and girls hoops this weekend coming off a 6-0 slate.
That's right,your rage of a sage hit on all six hoop games last week, four boys and two girls contests. The 6-0 record has propelled the Prophet within striking distance of 70 percent accuracy at 123-54, .695 overall.
In what was the final week of the regular season, the Prophet's predictions of a couple of weeks ago that the Annapolis boys (19-3) would end up as top seed in Class 4A Region IV came true with the Fighting Panthers' 85-57 shellacking of Glen Burnie (5-17).
Prophet Patsaid the Panthers were a lock by at least 15 points, and they easilycovered that huge spread.
In the other boys games so aptly calledby the sage, Meade (18-5) easily covered its two-point spread over 10-13 Severna Park, 84-61; Southern (13-10) took neighbor South River (11-12) by more than one point, 74-51; and Chesapeake (9-13) finishedwith the most wins in school hoop history and with the Cougars' longest win streak (five) in downing 4-18 North County, 61-49. Chesapeakewas a three-point favorite.
On the girls side, the Prophet calledfor the reverse between North County and Chesapeake, and the Knightswon by more than the four predicted points, 40-30. Also, Broadneck'sgirls (17-5) were made three-point picks over Arundel (15-8) and theBruins prevailed with their eighth straight win, 34-29.
Unfortunately, this week the Prophet has to give you his boys playoff pick by the "if formula," because the key games were played last night after the Prophet had already transmitted his exclusive card.
Tonight, all playoff games are at 7 p.m.
Class 4A RegionIV semifinals
No. 4 Severna Park (16-6) at No. 1 Old Mill (20-2):The visiting Falcons are coming off a hard-earned 43-39 victory overArundel in first-round action Tuesday night. It was a good win for Kevin McGrath and his team, while top-seeded Old Mill sat back and watched with its first-round bye.
Prophet Pat believes that Severna Park was a strong contender in the early going before it was beset by a rash of injuries and a makeshift lineup. While their perseverance is a credit to their coach and the character of the team, that just won't be enough against those deeper-than-deep Patriots.
On the girls high school level, the Old Mill team is similar to the men's team run by Dean Smith at Chapel Hill. It just keeps coming at you and doesn't seem to lose a beat when it makes personnel changes.
Stacey Himes will lead the way and make it a three-game season sweep of the Falcons. Saturday, Old Mill will go on to win its first region title since the 25-1 season of 1985-1986.
Old Mill plus three over SevernaPark.
No. 3 North County (17-6) at No. 2 Broadneck (17-5): How could anybody, including the Prophet, pick against the two-time defending state champ Bruins, especially the way they are playing right now?
Broadneck rides an eight-game winning streak into this semifinal clash with the Knights. The Knights advanced to this stage by eliminating LaPlata of Charles County, 57-47, Tuesday.
But that was LaPlata, not the defending state champs. In their only meeting this season, the Bruins shackled the Knights' offense at North County, 39-32. It was a superb lesson in defense and one that Broadneck should give again.
If this game was at North County, the Prophet probably would go with the Knights, but unfortunately for them it's in Cape St. Claire. Broadneck is a proven playoff team that has managed to peak at the right time.
A lot of people thought this would be a rebuilding year at Broadneck, but instead the Bruins have reloaded.
Broadneck plus one over North County.
4A Region IV final -- Old Mill to win by two or more.
Class 2A Region III
No. 5 Southern (11-10) at No. 1 Fairmont Heights (16-4): While the Prophet will be rooting for the Bulldogs of Southern and Coach Linda Kilpatrick to win this one in Prince George's County, he really doesn't think they can do it.
Southern advanced Tuesday night with a 43-38 thriller over Central(Prince George's) as 6-foot freshman Laekeka Wesley poured in 24 points and grabbed 17 boards, but tonight it's going against the favorite to win this region in Fairmont Heights.
Here's hoping the Prophet is wrong, but . . .
Fairmont Heights plus five over Southern.
No. 3 Northeast (14-9) at No. 2 Frederick Douglass (14-4): The Northeast story is a lot like the Southern story in that the Eagles face a tough task, having to win on one of those foreign Prince George's County courts.
Northeast destroyed a weak Chopticon team from St. Mary's County, 45-19, Tuesday but now it gets a real playoff team in Douglass. And adding to the Eagle woes, they will attempt to pull off the upset without the heart and soul of their team, 5-foot-11 senior Stephanie Lazor.
Lazor's season is over due to a sprained knee;the Eagles' season will be over tonight.
Frederick Douglass plus four over Northeast.
2A Region III Final -- Fairmont Heights will win by at least two points.
Here the Prophet will use his patented "if" mechanism to pick or not pick the 4A RegionIV winner tomorrow night. Because of deadlines, the sage had to transmit this hot column before last night's 4A Region IV games were played: No. 4 Meade (18-5) at No. 1 Annapolis (19-3) and No. 3 Broadneck (19-4) at No. 2 Old Mill (17-4).
The Prophet expects Annapolis to return to College Park next week to defend its state 4A title, but here are the "ifs:"
If Annapolis plays Broadneck in the final -- Annapolis plus five.
If Annapolis plays Old Mill in the final -- Annapolis plus eight.
If it's Old Mill and Meade -- Old Mill plus one.
If it's Broadneck and Meade -- Broadneck plus one.
The Prophetto date
Right .. .. Wrong .. .. Pct.
123 .. .. .. . 54 .. .. .695