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What a wonderful weekend it was for Harford County basketball fans who made the trips to UMBC Friday and Saturday.

It was just a year ago that we celebrated Fallston’s Class 3A girls basketball state title win, the first for any Harford County girls hoop team since the tourney broke into four classifications in 1976.

Now, some 35 years later, we can mark 2010 as the year that Harford County is home to half of the girls basketball state titles after Fallston won its second consecutive title and Joppatowne picked up its first.

I recall in a past January column that I mentioned the girls basketball region and state playoff possibilities.

Here’s what I wrote:

All three, Aberdeen (3A), Fallston (2A) and Joppatowne (1A) will vie for region and possible state crowns without the interference of the others.

Fallston made that unbelievable run at a perfect season and the 3A state title a year ago. Can it be repeated this year by any of the three?

This month of February and the first half of March could prove to be very interesting as well as fun. Might it also be history in the making? We’ll see.

Well, what do you think?

Was it fun? Did we make a little history? I’d say the answer to both questions is an emphatic yes.

I wasn’t sure if we’d see two or even one state championship brought back to Harford County this year, and to have two? Oh my.

Friday’s 2A semifinal pitting Fallston against Baltimore City power Digital Harbor was a match of defending state champions. Something had to give.

There was one annoying Digital Harbor fan sitting among some Fallston fans behind press row. According to him, the game was over before it was played as Fallston clearly didn’t measure up, at least in his eyes.

The Cougars measured up, and did so in a humble and professional way.

Joppatowne didn’t have the same type of fan rooting against them from Mardela in its 1A semifinal late Friday night. It was a good game that the better team won going away.

Saturday’s finals were simply awesome, beginning with Fallston’s title win over Gwynn Park.

I told Cougars coach Mike McTeague earlier in the week, “I’m a believer.” On Saturday, they showed me and everyone else why.

Senior leader Jess Harlee, who missed most of the season recovering from a major knee injury, said it best afterwards: “We win because we are a team.” Words were never more true.

Some hours later it was Joppatowne’s turn to make a little history and it didn’t take long for the Mariners to state their case.

A 15-0 run to start any game, yet a state final, was unbelievable. The Mariners couldn’t miss (14-for-28) and the Leopards couldn’t make (5-for-23) in the first half. Smithsburg’s 16 first-half turnovers and Joppatowne’s eight first-half steals made for a great lead.

The Mariners also have a senior leader in Brittany Thornton, who played a complete game to lead the Mariners to the title.

Three girls basketball titles in two years is absolutely wonderful.

Hey boys, its time to step up your game. I plan on being at UMBC again next year. Might there be a reason to travel to the Comcast Center? We’ll see.


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