The 2022-2023 high school girls basketball season gets underway this week.
No matter where you go in the Baltimore metropolitan area you can find great action each and every week. However, the following games promise to be just a little extra special.
Mark your calendars.
Harford Tech at Manchester Valley, Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m.
The first play date for public schools kicks off with this crosstown rivalry as Manchester Valley aims to continue a long string of wins in the series. The Mavericks won, 45-33, last season with a big second half. Both teams have veteran rosters and are aiming for the top of their respective leagues.
Old Mill at Glen Burnie, Dec. 9, 5 p.m.
The Anne Arundel County rivals played four times last winter and Glen Burnie won them all, including the county championship and the regional championship. The Patriots had won six straight county titles. This game features the top two players in the county, Glen Burnie guard Amourie Porter and Old Mill post Amani Watts.
St. Vincent Pallotti at McDonogh, Dec. 9, 6 p.m.
The defending Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference champion Eagles face their first conference test against Pallotti. The Eagles beat the Panthers twice last season, but both teams now boast strong returning contingents and have added key young players to their lineups.
Howard at Atholton, Dec. 16, 5:15 p.m.
The Lions won the Howard County championship last winter with little competition, but Atholton provided their toughest test. Howard prevailed, 46-29, but the Lions’ next closest game was a 26-point win. The are aiming to increase their eight-game winning streak in the series.
Western at Forest Park, Dec. 16, 5:15 p.m.
Defending Baltimore City champion Western could face a tough early season challenge from the Foresters, who have the more experienced squad. That doesn’t necessarily mean a lot, because Western just reloads every year. Last winter, the Doves won, 72-30, so it could be an uphill battle for Forest Park.
Poly at Western, Jan. 13, 5:15 p.m.
Western ended Poly’s run of three straight Baltimore City championships last season before both went on to claim state titles — Western in Class 4A and Poly in Class 3A. Poly returns much of its strength while the Doves have some rebuilding to do. Despite that, the next-door neighbors tend to bring their best efforts to the rivalry.
St. Frances at McDonogh, Jan. 13, 6 p.m.
This rematch of last season’s championship features the two teams that have combined to win every IAAM A Conference title since 2014. The Panthers had won five straight before the Eagles ended their reign, 77-65, in February. Since 2016, St. Frances has a 23-17 advantage in the series, but the Eagles have won the past five meetings.
Hereford at Pikesville, Jan. 18, 5:30 p.m.
The top teams in Baltimore County meet only during the regular season. Being in the same division, they can’t play for the county title, so a berth in the final could be on the line. Last year, the Bulls beat Pikesville, 50-39, and went on to win the county crown. They also reached the Class 2A state final while the Panthers won the Class 1A state championship.
Mercy at Mount Carmel, Jan. 18, 6 p.m.
Mercy and Mount Carmel both claimed IAAM B Conference titles last season when the large conference split in two. That success boosted them into the A Conference where they each have the talent to pose a threat to the stalwart powers. They haven’t played since January 2020 when Mount Carmel won, 45-26.
Mercy vs. Maryvale Prep at Towson University’s SECU Arena, Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m.
The first edition of The Classic drew about 3,000 fans last season to watch Mercy’s 62-40 win over the Lions. For 52 years, Mercy had played the Institute of Notre Dame in The Game, a raucous rivalry that was as much an event as a game. When IND closed in 2020, Maryvale stepped in and The Classic got off to a rousing start.