Maryland 2A vital stats
• 50 teams
• State semifinals: March 12, SECU Arena
• State finals: March 15, 1 p.m. SECU Arena
• Defending champion: Calvert (2011, 2012, 2013)
No. 1 seeds: Calvert, Gwynn Park
Upset Potential: Douglass (10-9)
Potential games to watch:
• Largo vs. Gwynn Park — region semifinal, Mar. 6
• Gwynn Park vs. Calvert — region final, Mar. 8
This region, which has a good chance to yield the eventual state champion, will feature some of the most heated region semifinal and final matchups in the entire tournament.
If Largo and Gwynn Park both advance to the region’s semis, it will mark the third time the teams have played this season. The Prince George’s County rivals split the regular season series in two games that were filled with fouls and palpable intensity from players, fans, and coaches.
If Gwynn Park emerges from that game, the Yellow Jackets will then likely take on Calvert for the region championship. Calvert has haunted Gwynn Park for the past few years, knocking the Yellow Jackets out of the tournament over and over again, most recently in last year’s regional final. Perhaps the only consolation for Gwynn Park the past three seasons is that Calvert has gone on to win the 2A title in each of those seasons.
The Cavaliers may be hungrier than ever this year, particularly star Daijha Thomas, who will be hunting her fourth state championship in four years. But it’s the last chance for many of Gwynn Park’s standouts as well, and the Yellow Jackets hope to replace past tournament stumbles with lasting senior memories.
The 2A North region is short on teams from The Post’s coverage area, but features top seeds Carver Vocational Tech and Hereford, neither of which made big waves in last year’s state tournament. Whichever team emerges from this region will face a challenge in the 2A South champion.
Just one Post team — Poolesville (17-5) — falls into the 2A West region, but the Falcons are a No. 1 seed in the region, along with Walkersville (19-3). Poolesville fell to eventual state finalist Middletown in last year’s West region final, but with the Knights battling through a down season (6-16), Whitney Carmack (14 points per game) and the Falcons’ greatest challenge will likely come from two seeds Mountain Ridge or Century.
No Post teams in the 2A East region, either. Top seeds Patterson Mill and Queen Anne’s matched up in the East final last season, and will likely be featured again this year with a chance to take on the West’s champion on the line.
Calvert is the hands-down, no-doubt favorite, given that the Cavaliers have won three straight 2A titles and reload annually. But Gwynn Park is as complete a team as any on the North/South side of the bracket and has the experience and motivation to knock Calvert off if the stars align. While the top seeds in 2A West and East are strong, the depth of those regions can’t match the South’s, so whoever survives the North/South side of the bracket would be a good bet to take the 2A title.