Whitman Coach Dean Swink has not done the math, but he knows one way to figure out his team's chances of making the playoffs.
"We could make the playoff picture a lot clearer -- if we lose this week, we're not going," said Swink, whose team faces Richard Montgomery on Friday. "So that's what we're concentrating on this week."
But if the Vikings (6-2) beat the Rockets (5-3) -- who are still in playoff contention but need help -- and close the regular season with a victory over Churchill (7-1), there could be a logjam near the top of the Maryland 4A West Region. Damascus (7-1) is on track to finish first in the region, but Quince Orchard (6-2), Churchill, Sherwood (6-2) and Whitman all could finish 8-2. With only the top four teams making the playoffs, the teams' power-point averages could be so close that the results of other games would almost certainly be the determining factors.
"There could be four 8-2 teams and somebody might not go," Swink said. "I haven't done the points because quite frankly, I don't know if I want to know."
Meantime, Maryland 3A defending champion Linganore (5-3) will need nothing short of a miracle to make the playoff field in the 3A West Region.
With two games remaining, the only way the Lancers can qualify is to beat Thomas Johnson and undefeated Urbana and also have Frederick and Seneca Valley lose both of their remaining games. Frederick will close with North Carroll (4-4) and Thomas Johnson (2-6), and Seneca Valley will play Northwest (8-0) and Watkins Mill (1-7).
-- Josh Barr