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Maryland boys region semifinals, Class A section final tonight

Feb. 28—The Maryland Class 1A West Region I boys playoffs, and a Class A sectional playoff, which may serve as a preview of the Class A state championship, fill a loaded area basketball schedule tonight.

On the Maryland side of the Potomac River, top-seeded Fort Hill (17-4) hosts fourth-seeded Mountain Ridge (14-9) in the region semifinals.

Second-seeded Allegany (19-4) hosts third-seeded Southern (15-8) on the other half of the bracket.

Both contests are set to tip off at 6 p.m.

Fort Hill — champions of the Western Maryland Athletic Conference for the second straight year (the Sentinels shared the honor with Allegany last season) — swept Mountain Ridge during the regular season: 69-40 on the road (Jan. 5) and 65-48 at home (Feb. 7).

The Sentinels are the defending region champs, and their 2022-23 season ended with their first trip to the state semifinals in 15 years and their 11th area championship.

Fort Hill had a first-round bye by virtue of capturing the top seed. Mountain Ridge defeated Northern, 56-48, at home in the region quarterfinals on Tuesday night.

Fort Hill is led by a pair of double-figure scorers in Deshaun Brown, who averages 19.5 points per game.

Brown, a senior, has scored at least 25 points in three straight games, including a career-high 36-point outburst in the Sentinels' final game, a 63-51 road win over Southern to capture the WestMAC title and home-court advantage.

Gavin Carney joins him in double figures with an 11.0 scoring average. Steven Spencer (7.7), Landon Sensabaugh (7.3), Jabril Daniels (7.2) and Liam Hamilton (6.7) are also players to watch.

Mountain Ridge is paced offensively by Will Patterson and Cameron Breighner, who score at a 13.8 and 12.7 per-game clip, respectively. Point guard Owen McGeady averages 9.2 a night.

The Miners hope to have Ian Duncan return to the line-up after the guard missed the region quarterfinals with an illness.

Duncan, an 8.2 points per game scorer, is the team's best foul shooter, making 41 of 53 during the regular season.

Allegany defeated Clear Spring, 82-31, in its region quarterfinal Tuesday, while Southern took care of Hancock, 78-38, in Oakland.

The Campers and Rams split two regular-season meetings, with the road team winning both times.

Allegany routed Southern, 75-46, at Ram Arena on Jan. 5 — part of a 4-4 start by Southern before it rattled off nine victories in 11 games.

One of those triumphs featured a surprising road win atop Haystack Mountain when the Rams edged Alco, 61-57, on Jan. 20.

Allegany is the lone area team to have two players averaging at least 17 points a night.

Big man Zach Michael leads the squad with a 17.6 scoring average and has scored at least 10 points in 22 straight games. The lone exception was the second game of the year when the 6-foot-4 center was held to two in a 55-40 win at Northern.

Isaiah Fields averages 17 a night and has scored in double figures in 21 of 23 games. The two times he didn't — Smithsburg and Southern — the Campers lost.

Dylan Shaffer makes it two forwards to average double figures at 12 per game scoring, and Dae Dae Smith is Alco's fourth-leading scorer at 8.8 a game.

Southern's offense is led by a pair of sharpshooting guards in Jared Haskiell (15.7 ppg) and Isaiah Keller (14.1 ppg). Noah Wilt adds 9.5 points a night.

Keller has made 63 3-pointers and Haskiell has 61 this year. Allegany has 67 as a team.

In West Virginia, East Hardy (18-2) takes on Tucker County (19-3) in the Class A, Region II, Section 1 championship tonight at 7 p.m. at Keyser High School.

East Hardy routed Paw Paw, 97-60, and Tucker County beat Union, 62-40, in the section semifinals Monday.

East Hardy and Tucker, which have both spent time at the top of the Class A Associated Press poll this year, split during the regular season.

The Cougars won 59-55 on the road (Dec. 12) but were routed at home by the Mountain Lions, 70-49 (Jan. 5).

After that defeat to Tucker, the Cougars rattled off 12 straight wins before falling to Frankfort, 54-48, last week in Short Gap.

East Hardy has made an area-best 177 3-pointers this season (8.9 per game). Jordan Teets (69 3s), Nate Smith (47) and JW Teets (29) are all consistent deep threats.

Jordan Teets (16 ppg), JW Teets (12.9), Nate Smith (12.1) and 6-foot-6 forward Gideon Good (10.2) all average double figures for East Hardy.

Ethan Rosenau and Trevan Bonner average double figures for Tucker with 17 and 13.9 points per game, respectively. Rosenau has made 75 3s this year.