Maryland 3A boys’ basketball playoff preview: region by region breakdown


Milford Mill topped Potomac to win the 2013 championship, and is a favorite to return to Comcast Center for the 3A semifinals next month. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
February 25

Maryland 3A vital stats

• 49 teams

• State semifinals Mar. 13, 3 and 5 p.m., Comcast Center

• State final: Mar. 15, 3 p.m., Comcast Center

• Defending champion: Milford Mill

3A North

Because the teams in the 3A North region fall outside the Post’s coverage area, we’ll skip a full-court press here. Suffice it to say defending champion Milford Mill is the top seed in this region, and the favorite to emerge from the North/South side of the bracket and earn return trip to the state title game.

3A South

No. 1 seeds: Stephen Decatur, Westlake

Contenders: Stephen Decatur (16-5), Westlake (17-4), Thomas Stone (14-7)

Upset potential: La Plata (6-12), Crossland (12-10)

Potential games to watch:

— J.M. Bennett vs. Stephen Decatur — region semifinal, Mar. 5

— Crossland vs. Westlake — region quarterfinal, Mar. 3

— Thomas Stone vs. Westlake — region semifinal, Mar. 5

Breakdown:

The 3A South region is populated predominantly by SMAC teams, none of which were better this season than Westlake. The Wolverines didn’t lose a game to a team in the 3A South region all season, though their closest call came from Thomas Stone, who they’d likely face in a regional semifinal if both teams win quarterfinal games. That may prove easier said than done for both, as Westlake will have to face an unfamiliar foe in Prince George’s County squad Crossland, which grew up against the grueling competition in Prince George’s 3A/2A/1A this season and could take the Wolverines by surprise. Still, Westlake is the favorite to face off with Decatur, whose schedule contains no indication of how that matchup might play out.

3A West

No. 1 seeds: Urbana, Rockville

Contenders: Urbana (20-2), Rockville (16-5), Tuscarora (15-6)

Upset potential: Wheaton (12-9), Frederick (13-9)

Potential games to watch:

— Tuscarora at Urbana — region semifinal, Mar. 5

Damascus vs. Rockville — region quarterfinal, Mar. 3

— Wheaton vs. Rockville — region semifinal, Mar. 5

Breakdown:

Frederick County’s Urbana is the favorite in the 3A West region, and the Hawks didn’t lose a game to any of the county foes in their 3A West bracket this season. Rockville’s been atop the Montgomery County 3A/2A standings all season, and is one of the most balanced teams in the 3A West region. Still, the Rams are susceptible to upsets from familiar Montgomery County competition like Damascus or Wheaton. Wheaton is loaded with scoring talent, including one of MoCo’s most gifted scorers in Ibrahim Kallon, but the Eagles are streaky both in games and overall. If they can keep confidence high and play consistent basketball, the Eagles may be able to work their way through to the region final.

3A East

No. 1 seeds: City, Atholton

Contenders: City (23-0), Atholton (19-3), Centennial (16-6)

Upset potential: Reservoir (15-6), River Hill (13-9)

Potential games to watch:

— Centennial vs. City — region semifinal, Mar. 5

— River Hill vs. Reservoir — region quarterfinal, Mar. 3

— River Hill/Reservoir vs. Atholton — region semifinal, Mar. 5

Breakdown:

To put it bluntly, if a team other than City emerges from the 3A East region, that would be a stunning upset. City is 23-0 and has beaten Post Top 10 team Riverdale Baptist and defending 3A champions Milford Mill. If they survive fellow Baltimore-area teams in the top half of the East region bracket, they should have no trouble moving past Howard County’s best — likely Atholton or Reservoir — and into the state semifinals. Still, Atholton played a different but still dangerous Eleanor Roosevelt team — the defending 4A state champs — to a two-point loss, and could give City a run for its money in the regional final.

Big 3A picture

The 3A state title will likely pit Milford Mill against City, and if either one of those teams gets knocked off early, the other immediately becomes the prohibitive favorite. Westlake may be the most likely underdog to disrupt that script, and would face off with Milford Mill in the state semifinals if both teams get that far.

Brackets: Follow your school through the postseason

More: Maryland 4A region-by-region breakdown | 2A | 1A

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