John Fierstein (3) and Quince Orchard are unbeaten against Maryland 4A competition and earned a top seed in the 4A West region. (Doug Kapustin/For The Washington Post)

The Maryland boys’ basketball state tournaments take flight this weekend, with teams from all four classifications looking to make the final four at Xfinity Center. Here’s a region-by-region breakdown of the field, the favorites and the matchups to watch.

Check out a comprehensive look at the Maryland girls’ playoff brackets here.

And read region playoff previews for Virginia boys here; and girls here.

MARYLAND 4A VITAL STATS

• 49 teams

• State semifinals: March 9 at Xfinity Center, 7 and 9 p.m.

• State final: March 11 at Xfinity Center, 8 p.m.

• Defending champion: Eleanor Roosevelt (Story)

• The winners of the West and South regions square off in one state semifinal while winners from the East and North meet on the other side of the bracket.

4A West

No. 1 seeds: Quince Orchard (20-2), Richard Montgomery (17-4)

Contenders: Quince Orchard, Richard Montgomery, Whitman (16-6) Kennedy (19-3)

Dark horse: Churchill (15-7)

Potential games to watch:

Clarksburg vs. Wootton — section quarterfinal, Feb. 24, 5:30 p.m.

Einstein vs. Gaithersburg — section quarterfinal, Feb. 24, 5:30 p.m.

Breakdown:

Quince Orchard hasn’t lost to a Maryland 4A team all season, and has as good a shot as any team of making it out of the region and into the state semifinals with seniors John Fierstein and Matthew Kelly leading the offense. The Cougars will play either Gaithersburg or Einstein in the second round. Kennedy, the No. 2 seed in the section, is led by one of the state’s best scorers in guard Jonathan Mustamu (22.1 points).

Richard Montgomery has a first-round bye in the other section and meets Blair or Bethesda-Chevy Chase in the second round. Whitman, the defending region champion, plays Northwood in the first round and would likely play Churchill in the second round. The Vikings are loaded with three-point shooters including Alex Sanson, Joey Squeri and Hannes Kogelnik. Senior Brad Leventhal has emerged as a scoring leader for the Bulldogs.


Deon Taylor (left) and Bowie and Jaden Faulkner and Eleanor Roosevelt will look to topple top-seeded and still-unbeaten Wise in 4A South region loaded with talent and primed for playoff drama. (Doug Kapustin/For The Washington Post)

4A South

No. 1 seeds: Bladensburg (16-4), Wise (17-0)

Contenders: Bladensburg, Wise, Eleanor Roosevelt (19-4), Parkdale (13-9)

Dark horses: Bowie (15-6), Suitland (8-8)

Potential games to watch:

Bowie vs. Eleanor Roosevelt — region quarterfinal, Tuesday

Parkdale vs. High Point — region quarterfinal, Tuesday

Breakdown:

No. 12 Bladensburg and top-ranked Wise are primed to meet in the region final, and the Mustangs appear to have the easier path to that game — at least on paper. Parkdale, seeded second in the top portion of the bracket, looks to have the best shot at knocking off Bladensburg if they meet in the third round. Wise, on the other hand, will have to go through No. 13 and defending state champion Eleanor Roosevelt, Bowie and a Suitland team that has displayed the ability to hang with some of the area’s top teams. Nevertheless, Wise — led by Michael Speight (17.8 points per game) and Darron Barnes (13.1) — is the region’s unequivocal favorite after an undefeated regular season and anything less than a trip to Xfinity Center would be a disappointment for the Pumas.

4A East

No. 1 seeds: Old Mill (20-2), North Point (13-9)

Contenders: Old Mill, North Point, Meade (18-5)

Dark horses: Annapolis (17-9), Glen Burnie (18-6)

Potential games to watch:

Old Mill vs. Meade — region semifinal, March 2

North Point vs. Annapolis — region semifinal, March 2

Breakdown:

The Maryland 4A East region has no clear-cut favorite. Old Mill won 18 straight games to start the season before suffering losses to Annapolis and Meade, which came up short in last season’s state final a year after winning the 4A state title. North Point struggled with consistency to start the regular season but finished with five straight wins. Senior Jalen Gibbs, the area’s second-leading scorer at 28.4 points per game, figures to play a big role in the Eagles’ success.

4A North

No. 1 seeds: Perry Hall (20-2), Paint Branch (15-5)

Contenders: Perry Hall, Paint Branch

Dark horses: Sherwood (12-10), Springbrook (10-11)

Potential games to watch:

Springbrook vs. Howard — section quarterfinal, Feb. 24/25

Sherwood vs. Howard/Springbrook — section semifinal, Feb. 28

Breakdown:

Paint Branch has a top seed and first-round bye after a successful regular season and is seeking its first region title since winning the state championship in 2000. The Panthers’ high-scoring offense doesn’t have a dominant scorer, but instead has five players with more than eight points per game, including senior guard Steve Etienne and junior forward Xavier Reaves.

Paint Branch plays the winner of Mergenthaler-Vocational (Mervo) and Frederick in the second round. Sherwood also has a bye, and plays the winner of Springbrook and Howard. The Warriors have an explosive offense led by junior guard Davis Long, and have recorded victories over some of the area’s top teams.

Defending region champion Perry Hall has the top seed in the opposite section while Dulaney is seeded second.


Triston Price (2) and Seneca Valley carry a 15-game winning streak into the playoffs, where they’ll look to defend their 3A West region title. (Doug Kapustin/For The Washington Post)

MARYLAND 3A VITAL STATS

• 50 teams

• State semifinals: March 9 at Xfinity Center, 3 and 5 p.m.

• State final: March 11 at Xfinity Center, 3 p.m.

• Defending champion: Milton Wright

• The winners of the West and South regions meet in one state semifinal while winners from the East and North clash on the other side of the bracket.

3A West

No. 1 seeds: Seneca Valley (21-1), Tuscarora (19-2),

Contenders: Seneca Valley, Tuscarora, Oakdale (19-2)

Dark horses: Frederick (14-8), Linganore (15-7)

Potential games to watch:

Urbana vs. Poolesville — section quarterfinal, Feb. 24, 7 p.m.

Seneca Valley vs. Oakdale/Westminster — region semifinal, March 2

Breakdown:

Seneca Valley is riding a 15-game winning streak into the playoffs as it sets out to defend its region title in a wide open Maryland 3A West field. The senior-heavy Screaming Eagles are led by 6-foot-3 guard Brandon Simpson, who is averaging 18.3 points and helping anchor a dominant defense. Seneca Valley’s lone loss this winter came against Tuscarora, and it could get a rematch against the Frederick County school if both teams reach the region final.

Poolesville and its senior guard trio of Jake Drissel, David Esser and Stephen Lang meet Urbana in the first round, with the winner taking on Seneca Valley. Damascus, led by junior Mason Green (17.9 points per game), will look to play spoiler against Oakdale.

3A South

No. 1 seeds: Huntingtown (16-6), Magruder (14-8)

Contenders: Huntingtown, Magruder, St. Charles (16-6), Potomac (13-6)

Dark horses: Great Mills (12-10)

Potential games to watch:

Huntingtown vs. Great Mills/Potomac — region quarterfinal, Feb. 28

Breakdown:

Reigning region champion Huntingtown is back with a well-balanced, deep roster that found its groove over the latter half of the season. The Hurricanes will have to get past a tough St. Charles team, though, to make it back to the region final, and both Great Mills and Potomac are capable of playing spoiler to either team.

Magruder has the top seed and a first-round bye in its section after a strong regular season led by senior forward Bryan Boehlert (19.3 points). The Colonels play the winner of Wheaton and Rockville in the second round, while Blake is hosting Watkins Mill in the second round in the bottom of the section.

3A East

No. 1 seeds: River Hill (16-6), Stephen Decatur (21-1)

Contenders: River Hill, Stephen Decatur, Hammond (10-12), Reservoir (16-6)

Dark horses: Centennial (15-7), Northeast (10-12), Glenelg (13-11)

Potential games to watch:

Centennial vs. Reservoir — region quarterfinal, Feb. 28

Centennial/Reservoir vs. River Hill — region semifinal, March 2

Breakdown: River Hill surprised many by taking control of Howard County after a slow start. The Hawks’ strong second half included wins over Glenelg, Centennial and Reservoir. Hammond proved to be the Hawks’ kryptonite, as the Golden Bears won both of the teams’ regular season matchups. A third installment could be on tap in the region finals, but that would likely call for a Hammond win over Stephen Decatur in the semifinals.

(Video by Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)
MARYLAND 2A VITAL STATS

• 52 teams

• State semifinals: March 10 at Xfinity Center, 7 and 9 p.m.

• State final: March 11 at Xfinity Center, 6 p.m.

• Defending champion: New Town

• The winners of the West and South regions will play in one state semifinal while the winners of the East and North meet on the other side of the bracket.

2A West

No. 1 seeds: Mountain Ridge (12-8), Century (20-2)

Contenders: Century, Mountain Ridge, Williamsport (16-7), Liberty (12-9)

Dark horses: Oakland Mills (7-15), Middletown (10-12)

Potential games to watch:

Oakland Mills vs. Century — region quarterfinal, Feb. 28

Breakdown: Oakland Mills’ bid to earn a second consecutive Maryland 2A state championship last season ended with a shocking 2A West region final loss to Middletown. With eight seniors gone from that team, the Scorpions’ success and postseason expectations dipped this season. Oakland Mills squares off with Marriotts Ridge, the only other Washington area team in this region, in the first round. The Mustangs split the season series with the Scorpions.

2A South

No. 1 seeds: Lackey (16-6), Douglass (19-2)

Contenders: Lackey, Douglass, Calvert (14-8), Westlake (16-6)

Dark horse: Thomas Stone (13-8)

Potential games to watch:

Calvert vs. Westlake/Patuxent — region semifinals, Tues., Feb. 28

Breakdown:

The eventual 2A South champion certainly has its work cut out for it in a bracket full of strong competition that could shake out any which way.

After a hot month of January, Lackey cooled off in February, going 2-4 to close out the regular season. Regardless, the Chargers can hang with anyone when their defense is firing on all cylinders. The same can be said of Thomas Stone (13-8), which followed a similar regular season trajectory.

Calvert, meanwhile, found its groove over the latter half of the season. With just one underclassman on the roster, the Cavaliers are hungry to make their mark now.

Douglass comes battle-tested after emerging unbeaten from a grueling slog through Prince George’s 3A/2A/1A play. The Eagles’ offense has been red hot as of late, scoring 95.6 points per game during a six-game win streak.

MARYLAND 1A VITAL STATS

• 41 teams

• State semifinal: March 10 at Xfinity Center, 3 and 5 p.m.

• State final: March 11 at Xfinity Center, 1 p.m.

• Defending champion: Lake Clifton

• The winners of the West and South regions will play in one state semifinal while the winners of the East and North meet on the other side of the bracket.

1A North

No. 1 seeds: Joppatown (18-4), Fairmont Heights (12-7)

Contenders: Surrattsville (7-11), Have de Grace (14-7)

Dark horses: McDonough (3-15)

Potential games to watch:

Fairmont Heights vs. Chesapeake Math and IT (1-14)/McDonough — region quarterfinal, Tuesday

Surrattsville vs. Croom Vocational (0-15) — region quarterfinal, Tuesday

Breakdown:

Fairmont Heights and Surrattsville are the clear-cut favorites to challenge front-running Joppatowne, and Fairmont Heights took the regular season meeting between the two, 85-73. Havre de Grace could give Joppatowne trouble in the top half to bracket, and three-win McDonough seems to be the next most-viable contender in the region.