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Predictions for the Maryland regional basketball tournaments

February 21, 2013|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

Here’s a quick look at the regions involving Washington County teams entering the Maryland state playoffs:

GIRLS

1A West: In the East Section, No. 1-seed Boonsboro (14-8) must get stronger on the inside with the capabilities of Shannon O’Brien and Tiffany Bowman. Warriors should get to region final after beating North Carroll.

In the West Section, Hancock (15-7) joins Fort Hill, Allegany, Northern Garrett, Southern Garrett and Mountain Ridge. Hancock is the underdog against Fort Hill (13-6). Allegany just beat Class 2A Williamsport for the Doub title and has won six of its last eight games. Southern Garrett and Mountain Ridge are even better, and Southern (18-2) should meet Mountain Ridge in the section final.

Region final prediction: Southern Garrett defeats Boonsboro.

2A West: Like 1A West, 2A West is loaded and that’s where Williamsport is docked. The Wildcats (13-8) play at Middletown (14-7) tonight and this is their fourth game this week. Caitlin McLister is tough for Middletown, averaging 14 points. And if Williamsport is fortunate enough to win, No. 1-seed Walkersville (18-4) is ahead. But in the scope of things, Middletown should beat Walkersville in the semifinals and South Carroll gets Oakdale.

Region final prediction: Middletown defeats South Carroll.

3A West: It’s time for the South Hagerstown talent to shine. But Damascus might be too much. The teams are at opposite ends of the bracket. First, South (18-2) likely has to get past a tough Thomas Johnson squad before thinking about the final. The Rebels need to unleash themselves and pick it up a notch, led by the three juniors — Dickson, Stewart and Scott. Damascus (20-2) is led by 6-foot-4 junior Kelli Prange with a 16-point average and this is a tall team. Frederick or Tuscarora loom ahead for Damascus. South and Damascus should reach the final, but South will need big-time defense.

Region final prediction: Damascus defeats South Hagerstown.

BOYS

1A West: In the East Section, any team that gets hot could reach the final. That includes Smithsburg, Clear Spring and Boonsboro, all with losing records. Brunswick (13-9) is the top seed in the section but the Railroaders have shown inconsistency just like everyone else. Smithsburg is 3-1 against Clear Spring and Boonsboro and should get to the section final and lose to Brunswick.

In the West Section, Allegany (16-6) is the top seed and the Campers should waltz to the final with a win over Fort Hill, which should beat Hancock in a first-round game. However, Fort Hill does own a two-point win over Allegany earlier this season.

Region final prediction: Allegany defeats Brunswick.

2A West: There a potential — repeat, potential — here for Williamsport to make a run, but it will be extremely tough. Williamsport (13-9) bounced back this year after an 0-4 start. The Wildcats meet Liberty in the opener and scuffled to a 32-31 win over the Lions earlier this season. With a win, they’ll have to go on the road to South Carroll (15-7) as an underdog. I see South Carroll getting past Williamsport, then Poolesville. The upper bracket should belong to top-seed Oakdale (19-3), which will likely beat FSK to reach the region final.

Region final prediction: Oakdale defeats South Carroll.

3A West: North Hagerstown (17-5) closed the regular season with a big win over Hedgesville and should use that as a springboard. The Hubs have a tough path to the semifinals, where they should once again see Tuscarora (19-3). But first, they likely will have to get past Urbana (17-4) in the semifinals. In the bottom half of bracket, South Hagerstown (13-8) beat Thomas Johnson early in the year by 17 at full strength. It might be different this time around if the teams meet. If they do, South should win and get a rematch with talented top-seed Tuscarora, which beat South by seven earlier this year and should win again.

Region final prediction: Tuscarora defeats North Hagerstown.

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