With regional playoffs on the horizon, a single game can turn team'sfortunes. Edgewood's 48-42 upset of C. Milton Wright Thursday afternoon changed the playoff picture for both teams.
The bad news for Harford County champion C. Milton Wright (17-3) is that instead of a first-round bye, the Mustangs will have to play Bel Air in tomorrow's Class 3A Region II opener.
The good news for Edgewood (12-8) is that the Rams will make their first playoff appearance in four years. They had to beat C. Milton Wright in the upset of the season to make it.
"Even last week, there were so many things that had to happen for us to make the playoffs," said Edgewood coach Eddie Santana.
"Who would have thought we could beat C. Milton Wright?"
The Rams will be the sixth seed in Class 2A, Region IV, and they will travel to Parkside for a 5 p.m. gametomorrow.
Four other county teams also qualified for the regionalplayoffs -- Fallston, Joppatowne and Havre de Grace in Class 1A and North Harford in Class 2A. Only Aberdeen missed out on post-season play.
Getting to the playoffs hadn't even been a goal for Santana and the Rams.
"I just wanted this team to do better than it did lastyear," said Santana.
"My goal was to double last year's win totalof four. To be 12-8 and beat C. Milton Wright, with their record, and make the playoffs -- I can hardly believe it."
The Rams played their best game of the season. Monica Santana, who leads the county inscoring with a 22-point average, scored 26 points.
Edgewood also played a tight 2-3 zone defense to hold down the Mustangs' inside combination of 6-0 Stacey Milton and 5-11 Danielle Rivas.
The Rams front line of Jennifer Miller, Nichole Wilson and Kareema Holmes held Milton to 14 points, down from the 24 she scored in the last meeting. Rivas added 11.
For C. Milton Wright, a win over Edgewood would have sealed the second-seeded spot behind defending regional champ Catonsville (17-3). Instead, the Mustangs fell into third behind Lansdowne (14-6). Kenwood (10-10) was seed ed fourth with Franklin (10-10) fifth.
"It was a costly loss for us," said Mustangs coach Gloria Liedlich.
"You hate to face a cross-town rival twice in a season, andnow we have to come back and face them a third time. It's an entirely new season."
If the Mustangs can beat Bel Air tomorrow night, they would have to go on the road to face Lansdowne. The Vikings eliminated C. Milton Wright from the regionals two of the past three years -- both times at Lansdowne.
In Class 2A Region IV, North Harford also advanced. The Hawks will be seeded fourth or fifth depending on the outcome of Elkton's final game. Wicomico is top-seeded, followed by North Caroline, second, and Parkside, third.
The team with perhaps the best chance to win a regional title and go on to the state semifinals at Catonsville Community College March 12 and 13 is Fallston.
The Cougars (15-5) are the No. 1 seed in Class 1A Region III. No other team in the region has a winning record.
Fallston and second-seeded Kent (9-10) have first-round byes. Third-seeded Joppatowne (8-11) plays host to No. 6 Rising Sun (3-17) tomorrow at 7 p.m., while fifth-seeded Havre de Grace (4-14) travels to No. 5 Perryville (6-13).
First-round games will be played tomorrow with semifinals on Wednesday.
Regional championships are scheduled for Friday. Game timeis 7 p.m. except in Class 2A, where some first- and second-round games will be at 5 p.m.
Semifinal and championship games will be played at the home of the higher seed.