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Oh, the what-ifs after the 2012 basketball playoffs for all four boys and girls teams from the county, the most ever to get so far from the area.

Certainly, the North Point and Westlake girls basketball teams were not exempt from the oh-so-close outcome.

Westlake (18-8 overall) was on the cusp of the program’s first trip to the Class 3A state final as the clock ticked down inside the final minute of its March 8 semifinals clash with River Hill of Howard County.

Westlake drew within 55-54 of favored River Hill with 23 seconds left but scored no more at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County’s RAC Arena in Baltimore.

River Hill posted the final four points from the free-throw line in the waning seconds to seal a tight 59-54 victory, ending Westlake’s celebrated ride through the playoffs that included upsets of second-seeded Chopticon and top-seeded Friendly in the 3A South Region playoffs.

“River Hill just played good defense, and they were very disciplined,” Westlake senior go-to weapon Tejahne Malone said after her 11-point performance in the state semifinals.

“It came down to the last two seconds,” Westlake head coach Ardell Jackson said about coming close against River Hill. “We scrapped and it was anybody’s game. The kids stepped up and fought hard.”

Like the boys basketball team, the North Point girls (23-2) also suffered two-point heartbreak in the 4A state semifinals. They were edged, 64-62, by Dr. Henry A. Wise of Prince George’s County at RAC Arena on March 8.

The North Point girls rallied in the fourth quarter behind Diana Logan, cutting an 11-point deficit down to two, but Wise held on. North Point fell for the second straight year in the state semifinals despite Logan’s late heroics, scoring 13 of her team-high 21 points in the fourth.

“We had an incredible season,” Logan said. “I wish we could’ve made it to the state championship, but I’m proud of our girls. We did the best we could.”

DALLAS COGLE