Regional basketball playoffs get started tomorrow with four Carroll County schools involved.
The Westminster and North Carroll girls squads both qualified, while the South Carroll and Francis Scott Key boys will see action.
The Westminster Owls, 11-9 under first-year coach Bernie Koontz, are the fifth seed in girls Class 4A Region II. They will travel to Central Maryland Conference foe Frederick, which finished as the fourth seed with a 13-5 mark.
Frederick got the better of the play in the teams' two regular-season meetings, handing the Owls a 58-49 setback at Frederick on Jan. 10 and then beating them at Westminster, 63-46, in February.
A key for the Owls will be containing Frederick's inside game, featuring senior Angie Davis and junior Jolynn Taylor. In their last meeting, the two combined for 37 points and controlled the boards.
"We just have to come out ready to play," Koontz said.
"We'll need a good game inside defensively keeping them off the boards -- they're a strong rebounding team."
Juniors Tinah Houck andDenise Bollinger will have the task of keeping the two Cadets off the boards most of the way. Houck is averaging 9.3 rebounds a game thisyear (second in the county) while Bollinger pulls down seven a game.
Two things are certain for the North Carroll girls -- they are the third seed in Class 2A Region II and will be at home on Monday.
Chances are the Panthers will be playing Southern-Garrett (11-7), butat press time there also was a slim chance they could face Walkersville (14-8) of Frederick County.
"The kids are just anxious to see who they will be playing," said North Carroll coach Greg Knill.
"We're going back to basics this week stressing fundamentals."
The Panthers finished their regular season last week with a 13-7 record, winners of eight of their last 10.
A North Carroll-Southern matchupwill pit size vs. speed. Southern (11-7) entered its final regular-season game Friday (against Bishop Walsh, after press time) riding a five game win streak.
"They're a zone-oriented team," Knill said. "They don't have the size so they must rely on their quickness."
Southern is led offensively by its senior guard tandem of Michelle Duling and Shelli Cannon. Duling leads the team averaging 17 points a game while Cannon is close behind averaging 16.
North Carroll has a balanced attack led by junior Michelle Jeffery, the county's leading rebounder averaging 12 boards a game and 11.3 points a contest.
In boys Class 1A Region II action, Francis Scott Key (4-15) enters as the fifth seed and will visit fourth-seeded Poolesville (10-9), Montgomery County.
The two teams are no strangers, having met in last year's first-round regional game (a 58-53 Poolesville win) and in a scrimmage early this season.
"We have a little more size and quickness," said Poolesville coach Fred Swick. "We started out 2-5 this seasonbut have been playing well of late."
Poolesville boasts four players who average in double figures -- junior forward Andy Swick (14 points a game), junior center Brad Thoms (13), junior forward Randy Clark (11) and senior guard Ron Randolph (10).
Key counters with the one-two punch of senior guard Dave Layman and junior forward Scott Kreit.
Layman is the team's catalyst at point guard, averaging a county-high 7.6 assists a game. He also averages 13.3 points and 1 1/2 steals a game.
Kreit ranks second in the county in scoring (15.2) and rebounding (9.1).
The South Carroll boys picture didn't clear up until Friday night.
The Cavaliers entered their season finale against Liberty tied with Linganore of Frederick County for the third seed in Class 3A, Region III.
South Carroll clinched a home date bydefeating the Lions, 68-57, Friday. A few minutes later, Linganore lost to Frederick, 81-56, giving the Cavs the third seed.
South Carroll tentatively will play host to seeded DuVal of Prince George's County, the likely sixth seed, tomorrow at 7 p.m. Linganore, which probably finished as fourth or fifth seed in the region, likely will playBladensburg, also of Prince George's County.
If Linganore is fourth seeded, it will be at home; if seeded fifth, the Lancers will be on the road Monday.
Randallstown of Baltimore County had been fighting for the sixth spot, but was eliminated after losing to Lansdowne,70-63, Friday.
Girls second-round games are scheduled for Wednesday night at the home of the higher seed, while the boys second round will be Thursday.