Regional basketball playoffs to begin

Boys play Friday, girls Saturday

Notebook

February 21, 2007|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Reporter

The Annapolis boys and Old Mill girls both earned top seeds in the regional basketball playoffs that are set to start this weekend.

Ninth-ranked Annapolis (18-4) gained the No. 1 seed in Class 3A East over River Hill by virtue of a coin flip, while No. 12 Old Mill (19-3) easily captured the top spot in Class 4A East.

As No. 1 seeds, both teams earn first-round byes and will have home-court advantage throughout the regionals.

The seventh-ranked Broadneck boys (21-2) lost a coin toss with Thomas Stone (20-2) to determine the top seed in Class 4A East.

The regional playoffs begin Friday (boys) and Saturday (girls). The quarterfinals will follow on Monday and Tuesday, with the semifinals set for next Wednesday. The finals are scheduled for March 2-3.

The four regional champions advance to the state tournament March 8-10, with the boys playing at Comcast Center and the girls at UMBC.

Potential spoilers

The Class 4A East boys regional is intriguing, with Arundel (12-10), Old Mill (11-10), Meade (9-13) and South River (7-15) posing a threat to the county's three seeded teams - Broadneck (second seed), Glen Burnie (third) and North County (fourth).

Broadneck, which set a school record for consecutive wins at 15, will host the Meade-Arundel winner Monday, while the other Monday quarterfinals will be South River at Glen Burnie and Old Mill at North County.

Meade, led by sharpshooting Mandell Brown, owns upset wins over Annapolis (70-67) and Glen Burnie (73-70) this season.

Arundel, with strong inside players Paul Bucknor and Ray Hill, upset Annapolis (57-53) and lost by two points to the Panthers in their other meeting this season. The Wildcats were on a roll until losing their last two games.

Joe Benitez, who averages 13.8 points and 11 rebounds, leads South River, and Old Mill, with hot shooter Kenny Alford, is another team to be reckoned with.

Quick hits

The Chesapeake boys and the Broadneck girls both posted big basketball wins Saturday. Chesapeake (1-20) won its first game, 53-50 over Southern (1-21). Broadneck (6-16) stunned then-No. 8 Old Mill, 58-55, as Alexcia Niumatololo had 18 points and 10 rebounds. ... Archbishop Spalding's boys (8-21) will play in the 37th Baltimore Catholic League Tournament at 4:15 Sunday at Loyola College versus No. 4 St. Frances (23-8). The semifinals are Monday and the championship game next Wednesday.

pat.omalley@baltsun.com

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