T.J. Linganore retain No. 1 rankings

March 11, 1997


Staff Writer

The hopes and dreams of nearly 300 Maryland high school basketball teams were dashed within the course of seven days last week.

That's exactly how long it took for the state to weed through 32 regions worth of state semifinals wannabees to come up with the 32 teams vying for eight - four boys and four girls - state championships this weekend.

Locally, only Thomas Johnson (3A boys) and Linganore (3A girls) remain in the state title hunt.

The effects of last week's rash of contests greatly altered this week's state rankings.

Two the week's most significant upsets occurred in Class 1A West. Heavily favored Williamsport lost to Westmar in boys' basketball; while Southern Garrett's girls' victory over Westmar started a chain reaction that left Northern Garrett as regional champion for the first time in school history.


Southwestern, the only undefeated boys' basketball team in Maryland, made it through to the Class 4A North region and now faces Paint Branch, an upset winner in the West. Paint Branch knocked off Sherwood for the regional title, two days after Sherwood ousted Gaithersburg. Both Sherwood and Gaithersburg had spent most of the season ranked among the state's Top 15. The other 4A semifinal features Parkdale, which stunned Largo, and Calvert, a surprise from the East.

Thomas Johnson waltzed through the Class 3A West boys' playoffs, winning by an average of 25 points per game. The Patriots draw Randallstown, the team which dealt Thomas Johnson a stunning defeat in the Class 3A finals two years ago. Dunbar, which has never lost a playoff game since joining the association five years ago, takes on Crossland.

Milford Mill beat former No. 1 Aberdeen for the 2A North boys' title, thus taking over the top ranking into this week's finals. Milford Mill takes on Wheaton, which is trying for a rare double - winning football and basketball state titles in the same school year. Surrattsville meets upstart City College, a team that was unranked until today.

In Class 1A, Williamsport's loss allowed Edgewood to inherit the No. 1 ranking. Edgewood won the North title and faces Westmar. Crisfield, a winner over Easton in the East, faces Long Reach, a first-year program that stunned the South field.

In girls' basketball, Linganore's domination continues. The Lancers needed a big fourth quarter by senior Cara Consuegra to advance to the state semifinals. Linganore has won a Frederick County record 51 straight games and will likely be ranked among the top teams in the East by USA Today starting this week.

Linganore meets Fallston in a semifinal game. Friendly and Centennial, coached by former Mt. Hebron coach Dave Greenberg, meet in the other semifinal.

Largo, the preseason No. 1 in Class 4A, is back in the state semifinals, this time facing Annapolis. Four Largo players have committed to NCAA Division I programs. Western, a perennial Baltimore City power, has ridden a 21-game win streak back to the state semifinals, where it will face Blair.

Wilde Lake worked its way through the strong 2A South region to make a return to the state semifinals. Two years ago, the Wildecats won the Class 1A title. Wilde Lake will face Southern-AA while Towson and Wheaton play in the other semifinal.

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