Maryland 1A vitals
• 49 teams
• State semifinal: Mar. 14, 3 and 5 p.m. Comcast Center
• State final: Mar. 15 1 p.m. Comcast Center
• Defending champions: Dunbar (now in 2A)
No Post teams play in the 1A South, but this region does feature a solid choice for state champion in Lake Clifton, the Baltimore City champions. The Lakers, 2A state champs two seasons ago, will be challenged by the other 1A South No. 1 seed, Edmondson/Westside, which beat defending 4A state champs Eleanor Roosevelt and Post Top 20 team Theodore Roosevelt this season.
No. 1 seeds: New Town, Central
Contenders: New Town (19-3), Central (11-7)
Upset potential: Pikesville (7-13), Sparrow’s Point (6-13)
Potential games to watch:
— Surrattsville vs. Central — region semifinal Mar. 5
— Pikesville vs. New Town — region semifinal Mar. 5
New Town put together a spectacular season, earning wins over 2A powers Randallstown, Western STES, and 3A power Milford Mill. The other No. 1 seed in the North, Central, features a standout scorer in Davon Taylor (25 ppg), but likely doesn’t have the depth to knock off New Town. Still, that region final matchup, should it materialize, will be one to watch, as its winner probably has the best chance to keep a state championship away from the 1A South.
No Post teams play in the 1A East or 1A West regions, which are mostly devoid of realistic state title contenders, too. Cumberland’s Allegany (15-1) has been dominant this season against inconsistent competition, and wins points for mascot originality (the Campers). The other No. 1 seed in the West, Smithsburg (11-10) may challenge, but the Campers are the favorite to earn a berth in the East/West semifinal.
In the East, No. 1 seed Joppatowne (14-4) boasts strong wins on its schedule, including a reference victory over Montgomery County’s Churchill in December. Fellow East No. 1 Crisfield, in addition to having a stellar regional mascot of its own (Crabbers), won 14 games this season.
Big 1A picture
With perennial challenger Dunbar up to 2A and out of the way, everyone in 1A must feel like they’ve got a better shot than they have in previous years. That said, Lake Clifton and New Town are the likeliest to succeed Dunbar as 1A state champions in 2014.