Boys’ basketball upsets shake up 3A/2A/1A League -- Gazette.Net







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The public high school boys’ basketball postseason is just around the corner — the draw is scheduled for Feb. 23 — which means it’s about time to have a little fun with the transitive property, and the Prince George’s 3A/2A/1A League is a mess: everybody has essentially beaten everybody.

With Friendly High School’s upset of then-No. 10 Crossland and then Frederick Douglass’ upending of No. 5 Potomac, the hierarchy of the county’s smaller schools was smeared into an indecipherable totem pole.

Take this sequence: Friendly has beaten Crossland, Crossland has beaten Gwynn Park, who has topped Largo, Central, and Douglass, and two of those teams — Largo and Douglass — have taken down the leader, Potomac.

So, can Friendly, a 3-13 team allowing just south of 90 points per game, beat Potomac? By that theory, yes. As has been proven time and time again, anybody can beat anybody in this league.

“I told them, I said, ‘The funny thing about basketball is, you just have to get lucky and be healthy,’” Friendly coach Brian Brooks said. “All we had to do was upset one good team, and we already did it.”

The 4A League is much less muddled. Henry A. Wise clinched the Prince George’s 4A title — and with it, a berth to the county championship game — by defeating Northwestern on Friday. Potomac earned a spot in the county title game by defeating Surrattsville on Tuesday.

No matter how the remainder of the regular season shakes out, the 2A South Region, Section II, will still be a slugfest between Largo, Potomac, Douglass, Friendly and Gwynn Park to see who makes it to the region final.

— Travis Mewhirter

Pallotti girls advance

Without its top scorer, the St. Vincent Pallotti girls’ basketball team beat Archbishop Spalding 54-42 to advance to the semifinals of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.

That’s in part thanks to Daijah Johnson, who recorded a season-high 18 points with the season on the line.

“She has the potential to be one of the better guards in the area and what it just comes down to is her heart,” Pallotti assistant Keith McClung said. “How much does she want it? And how much does she want to go after those 18 points every game?”

Johnson, who averages 4.6 points, helped make up for the absence of Beverly Ogunrinde, the team’s leading scorer (15.4), who sat out with an ankle injury, according McClung.

Kiaya Coleman added 17 points for Pallotti, which is scheduled to play Roland Park today, weather pending.

“We think we can have the group that can get it done,” McClung said. “... More than anything, we’re trying to focus on one game at a time.”

— Eric Goldwein

Bowie wrestling prepares for county meet

As his team prepares for this weekend’s Prince George’s County Wrestling Championships at Gwynn Park High School, Bowie High wrestling coach Aaron Hankey remained fairly conservative in his team’s goals for this weekend’s two-day affair.

Bowie (11-3 overall, 9-1 in the county 4A league) has emerged from mediocrity over the past two seasons to be among the county’s top public school programs again. This year’s squad suffered only one setback, a 48-18 loss to undefeated Parkdale, the prohibitive favorite to take home the county title this weekend, and several Bulldogs’ wrestlers will be in contention for county and regional honors.

“Before the season started, I thought, realistically, that we could be top three in the county,” Hankey said. “That’s still my goal heading into counties. But after we wrestled everyone but Flowers in our league, I think we should be second or third this weekend. We have someone in every weight class, which has been a big key for us. In years past, we always had a handful of open classes that we had to forfeit.”

— Ted Black

Best bet

Largo at Gwynn Park, 7 p.m. Friday.

The Lions can clinch the 3A/2A/1A League with a victory. A Gwynn Park win would trigger a tiebreaking coin flip.