Throughout the regular season three teams seemed to separate themselves as the frontrunners in 4A — Alta, Mountain View and Skyline. The trio are certainly all expected to make deep runs in the playoffs at SLCC, but there are enough other quality teams in 4A that nothing is a given. For starters, Springville traditionally owns this time of year, while other programs like Box Elder, Highland, Judge, Maple Mountain and Wasatch are all hoping to back up great regular seasons with a strong showing in the 4A playoffs. In alphabetical order, these are the 16 teams that have qualified for the 4A girls state basketball tournament.

Video: Breaking down and predicting the bracket

Alta Hawks (20-1)

Coach: Elizabeth Gustafson (2nd year)

How qualified: Tied for first in Region 7 with 13-1 record, but lost coin flip for No. 2 seed.

Playoff opener: vs. Bountiful, Tuesday, 9:10 p.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 69-59 win at American Fork on Nov. 22

Most important region victory: A 68-63 win at Mountain View on Feb. 10

Top contributors

#1 Mariah Martin, Sr. (16.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 6.8 apg, 4.6 spg)

#15 Kemery Martin, So. (15.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.5 apg, 3.0 spg)

#24 Kacey Blackner, Sr. (12.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.4 spg)

#2 Deserae Falatea, So. (10.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.4 apg, 2.2 spg)

#32 Mattea Sete, Jr. (7.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.9 spg)

Scoring offense: 74.5 ppg (1st in 4A)

Scoring defense: 50.2 ppg (21st in 4A)

Last state championship: 2011

2016 postseason: Loss to Springville in 4A semifinals, 50-49

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Win over Mountain View in 4A championship

Edward’s Evaluation: A couple bad minutes defensively against Mountain View is the only thing that stopped Alta from putting together an undefeated regular season. The Hawks avenged that loss a couple weeks later, and head into the 4A playoffs as the favorite in the top-heavy classification. Alta leads 4A in scoring offense at 74.5 ppg, but it also ranks 21st in scoring defense and is prone to giving up points too — particularly in the post.

Box Elder Bees (19-2)

Coach: Aaron Dooley (3rd year)

How qualified: Tied for first in Region 5 with 10-2 record, and won tiebreaker for No. 1 seed.

Playoff opener: vs. Corner Canyon, Tuesday, 12:50 p.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 58-47 win at Weber on Dec. 14

Most important region victory: A 52-42 win vs. Highland on Jan. 24

Top contributors

#22 Emily Isaacson, So. (14.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.7 spg)

#11 Keslee Stevenson, Sr. (14.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.1 apg, 2.5 spg)

# 42 Addi Peacock, Sr. (8.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.5 spg)

#31 Kambri Curtis, Jr. (5.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.7 spg)

#12 Morgan Reeder, So. (5.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.1 spg)

Scoring offense: 56.6 ppg (4th in 4A)

Scoring defense: 46.6 ppg (12th in 4A)

Last state championship: 1981 (3A)

2016 postseason: Loss to Judge in the 4A first round, 49-41

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Maple Mountain in 4A quarterfinals

Edward’s Evaluation: Had it’s 10-game winning streak come to a surprising end on the last day of the season, but still earned the top seed in Region 5. Of the Bees’ 10 region wins, four were by just one point. That ability to win close games could help the Bees in what should be a tightly-contest 4A playoffs.

Bountiful Braves (13-8)

Coach: Joel Burton (9th year)

How qualified: Third in Region 5 with 8-4 record

Playoff opener: vs. Alta, Tuesday, 9:10 p.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 40-33 win vs. Mountain View on Dec. 16

Most important region victory: A 36-33 win at Highland on Feb. 14

Top contributors

#15 Jaimee Stahle, Jr., Guard (15.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.6 spg)

#22 Mary Larson, Sr., Forward (12.0 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.9 spg)

#10 Kieran Gillins, Sr., Guard (8.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.2 apg, 4.6 spg)

#14 Hannah Nielson, Sr., Forward (4.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg)

#12 Natalie Eyring, Sr., Guard (3.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg)

Scoring offense: 48.1 ppg (14th in 4A)

Scoring defense: 40.8 ppg (2nd in 4A)

Last state championship: 2016

2016 postseason: Win over Springville in 4A championship, 63-42

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Alta in 4A first round

Edward’s Evaluation: The defending 4A champs only placed third in Region 5, but did win its last three regular season games including a win over Highland. Bountiful’s best victory was a win over Mountain View back in December, and that strong defensive showing should give it some confidence heading into a brutal first-round draw against No. 1 Alta.

Corner Canyon Chargers (13-9)

Coach: Jeramy Acker (2nd year)

How qualified: Fourth in Region 7 with 8-6 record

Playoff opener: vs. Box Elder, Tuesday, 12:50 p.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 43-32 win at Syracuse on Dec. 8

Most important region victory: A 54-48 win at Timpanogos on Feb. 10

Top contributors

#10 Jaeden Vaifanua, So., F/C (15.1 ppg)

#13 Annie Bowen, Jr., Guard (7.5 ppg)

#24 Alexa Cheney, Sr., Guard (6.7 ppg)

#1 Hanna Sanderson, Jr., Forward (5.6 ppg)

#5 Nicole Critchfield, Jr., Guard (4.6 ppg)

Scoring offense: 52.5 ppg (10th in 4A)d

Scoring defense: 50.0 ppg (20th in 4A)

Last state championship: None

2016 postseason: Did not qualify

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Box Elder in 4A first round

Edward’s Evaluation: The Chargers are making their first playoff appearance since the school opening four years ago, and with four underclassmen contributors this season the future looks bright for more playoff appearances in the future. As for this year, the fourth-seed Chargers are an underdog in the opening round, but Box Elder is a team it can definitely compete with.

East Leopards (14-9)

Coach: Olosaa Solovi (1st year)

How qualified: Fourth in Region 5 with 7-5 record

Playoff opener: vs. Mountain View, Tuesday, 11:10 a.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 58-45 win at Juan Diego on Dec. 6

Most important region victory: A 43-42 win vs. Woods Cross on Feb. 14

Top contributors

#23 Liana Kaitu, Jr., Forward(14.3 ppg)

#34 Lani Taliauli, Jr., Forward (10.7 ppg)

#2 Margarita Satini, So., Guard (8.2 ppg)

#15 Prescious Faamausili, Fr., Center (7.2 ppg)

#22 Aloma Solovi, Sr., Guard (3.5 ppg)

Scoring offense: 52.7 ppg (9th in 4A)

Scoring defense: 48.7 ppg (16th 4A)

Last state championship: None

2016 postseason: Did not qualify

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Mountain View in 4A first round

Edward’s Evaluation: With a victory over Box Elder in the final game of the regular season, East proved itself as a dangerous team in the 4A playoffs. It has a difficult first round draw against Mountain View, but East is talented enough offensively to compete with the Bruins if it’s hitting its shots.

Highland Rams (15-5)

Coach: Kurt Schneider (2nd year)

How qualified: Tied for first in Region 5 with 10-2 record, but lost tiebreaker for No. 2 seed.

Playoff opener: vs. Timpview, Tuesday, 4:10 p.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 55-42 win vs. West on Nov. 30

Most important region victory: A 50-45 win vs. Box Elder on Jan. 3.

Top contributors

#24 Breana Moeai, Sr., G/F (9.8 ppg)

#21 Alex Debow, Sr., G/F (8.3 ppg)

#22 Kaija Glasker, Fr., Forward (6.4 ppg)

#33 Svetlana Olevao, Jr., F/C (5.7 ppg)

#34 Sini Fifita, Jr., Forward (5.5 ppg)

Scoring offense: 42.5 ppg (20th in 4A)

Scoring defense: 36.5 ppg (1st in 4A)

Last state championship: 1984

2016 postseason: Loss to Alta in the 4A quarterfinals, 51-36

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Springville in 4A quarterfinals

Edward’s Evaluation: Whenever Highland takes the floor, you know what you’re going to get — a grind. Highland led 4A in scoring defense this year allowing only 36.5 ppg. Only five teams scored more than 40 points on that stout defense all season. Conversely, Highland ranks 20th in scoring offense though, and most of its games are tightly contested and up for grabs in the fourth quarter. It’s a recipe that’s worked throughout the season, but might not be sustainable in the playoffs against better offensive teams than it saw in Region 5.

Hillcrest Huskies (11-9)

Coach: Shannon Hurst (2nd year)

How qualified: Third in Region 6 with 8-4 record

Playoff opener: vs. Maple Mountain, Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 49-46 win vs. Judge on Dec. 30

Most important region victory: A 58-55 win at Kearns on Feb. 3

Top contributors

#31 Annabella Jensen, Jr., Forward (12.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg)

#12 Cara Snowder, Jr., Forward (11.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg)

#20 Taylee Allen, Jr., Guard (8.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.3 apg, 3.0 spg)

#1 Gabi Desjardins, Jr., Guard (5.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.3 spg)

#24 Olivia Palepoi, Jr., Forward (3.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg,)

Scoring offense: 47.6 ppg (16th in 4A)

Scoring defense: 48.9 ppg (18th in 4A)

Last state championship: 1983

2016 postseason: Did not qualify

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Maple Mountain 4A first round

Edward’s Evaluation: Hillcrest is making its first playoff appearance since 2013 after winning its last four region games to secure the No. 3 seed from Region 6. The region wasn’t very strong this year, and Hillcrest might be overmatched in the opener. But even if that’s the case, Hillcrest’s five top contributors are all juniors and the experience gained could pay dividends next year.

Judge Memorial Bulldogs (16-4)

Coach: Paul Shiramizu (2nd year)

How qualified: Second in Region 6 with 10-2 record

Playoff opener: vs. Wasatch, Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 56-44 win vs. Maple Mountain on Dec. 1

Most important region victory: A 57-48 win vs. Skyline on Feb. 10

Top contributors

Miyalla Tarver (14.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.9 apg, 2.4 spg)

Vanessa Austin (13.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.2 apg)

Mayree Ellis (12.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.2 spg)

Emily Garcia (5.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 2.2 spg)

Haley Auer (4.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.6 apg, 3.0 spg)

Scoring offense: 54.8 ppg (6th in 4A)

Scoring defense: 44.1 ppg (5th in 4A)

Last state championship: None

2016 postseason: Loss to Springville in 4A quarterfinals, 57-46

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Mountain View in 4A quarterfinals

Edward’s Evaluation: Judge won seven straight to end the regular season, which isn’t necessarily saying much in the subpar Region 6. One of those wins, however, was a 57-48 win over title-contender Skyline, a victory that should give the Bulldogs a ton of confidence heading into the playoffs.

Kearns Cougars (10-10)

Coach: Emily Williams

How qualified: Fourth in Region 6 with 6-6 record

Playoff opener: vs. Springville, Tuesday, 5:50 p.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 44-37 win at Oden on Dec. 20

Most important region victory: A 46-44 win vs. Murray on Jan. 27

Top contributors

#21 Tierra Afufasi, Sr. (13.4 ppg)

#10 Tristin Evans, Sr. (7.2 ppg)

#25 Ruby Maiava, Jr. (7.0 ppg)

#43 Lucy Tuigamala, Jr. (4.3 ppg)

#22 Via Lavatai, Sr. (4.1 ppg)

Scoring offense: 46.7 ppg (17th in 4A)

Scoring defense: 45.8 ppg (10th in 4A)

Last state championship: 2000

2016 postseason: Did not qualify

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Springville in 4A first round

Edward’s Evaluation: Kearns went 0-6 against the three teams ahead of it in the Region 6 standings, and then 6-0 against the three teams below it. In the playoffs, it opens with a very good Springville, and Kearns will need to play its best game of the season to have any hope of pulling off the upset.

Maple Mountain Golden Eagles (13-7)

Coach: Cory Green (8th year)

How qualified: Tied for second in Region 8 with 8-4 record, and won tiebreaker for No. 2 seed.

Playoff opener: vs. Hillcrest, Tuesday, 2:30 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 60-54 vs. Mountain View on Dec. 14

Most important region victory: A 63-60 win at Spanish Fork on Feb. 16

Top contributors

#3 Nicole Heyn, Sr., Guard (12.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.8 apg, 2.8 spg)

#5 Maddie Eaton, So., Guard (12.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.7 spg)

#22 Karlee Worthington, Sr., Center (8.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.1 spg)

#10 Lily Jex, Sr., Guard (8.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 spg)

#23 Courtney Anderson, Jr., Guard (5.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.7 spg)

Scoring offense: 53.2 ppg (8th in 4A)

Scoring defense: 49.1 ppg (19th in 4A)

Last state championship: None

2016 postseason: Loss to Mountain View in 4A first round, 50-48

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Mountain View in 4A semifinals

Edward’s Evaluation: Maple Mountain’s defense is prone to give up a lot of points, which isn’t always a bad thing as its offense is one of the better squads in 4A as well. It should have no problem in the opener against Hillcrest, but after that it will likely be an underdog in each game beyond that.

Mountain View Bruins (18-3)

Coach: Alexis Kaufusi (2nd year)

How qualified: Tied for first in Region 7 with a 13-1 record, and won coin flip for No. 1 seed.

Playoff opener: vs. East, Tuesday, 11:10 a.m.

Best preseason victory: A 62-57 win at Sky View on Dec. 6

Most important region victory: A 62-57 win at Alta on Jan. 17

Top contributors

Lavender Briggs (16.9 ppg)

Tahlia White (15.8 ppg)

Skye Lindsay (9.1 ppg)

Danja Stafford (5.1 ppg)

Maya Smith (4.5 ppg)

Scoring offense: 62.3 ppg (3rd in 4A)

Scoring defense: 44.4 ppg (7th in 4A)

Last state championship: 2009

2016 postseason: Loss to Bountiful in 4A quarterfinals, 66-55

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Alta in 4A championship

Edward’s Evaluation: Mountain View was the only team in Utah to knock off Alta, which it did on the road back in January. Alta avenged that loss in the region rematch, but the Bruins got first-hand experience how to beat the best team in 4A, and that confidence and knowledge should pay dividends as throughout the playoffs.

Salem Hills Skyhawks (10-12)

Coach: Kyle Francom

How qualified: Tied for fourth in Region 8 with 6-6 record, and beat Spanish Fork in play-in game.

Playoff opener: vs. Skyline, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 43-35 win vs. Bountiful on Dec. 20

Most important region victory: A 58-47 win vs. Springville on Feb. 10

Top contributors

#13 Sadie Hodgson, Sr., Guard (14.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.8 apg, 3.0 spg)

#22 Terissa Hamilton, Sr., Guard (8.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.6 spg)

#5 Windsor Moore, Sr., Forward (5.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.3 spg)

#1 Erin Parker, Sr., Forward (4.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg)

#15 Olivia Sampson, Sr., Forward (4.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.2 spg)

Scoring offense: 48.7 ppg (13th in 4A)

Scoring defense: 50.8 ppg (22nd in 4A)

Last state championship: None

2016 postseason: Loss to Bountiful 4A semifinals, 59-51

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Skyline in 4A first round

Edward’s Evaluation: The Skyhawks are as unpredictable as any team in the 4A playoffs. During the first half of Region 8 they lost to Maple Mountain, Wasatch and Springville, but in the second half they beat all three in consecutive games. Salem Hills failed to build on the momentum though, losing to Payson in the regular season finale which forced it to win a play-in game over the weekend simply to qualify for the playoffs. It could give Skyline a scare in the opener, but it could easily lose by 20-plus.

Skyline Eagles (19-4)

Coach: Lynette Schroeder (5th year)

How qualified: First in Region 6 with 11-1 record

Playoff opener: vs. Spanish Fork/TBD, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 70-56 win vs. Sky View on Nov. 29

Most important region victory: A 57-41 win vs. Judge on Jan. 17

Top contributors

#25 Madison Grange, Jr. (16.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.6 spg)

#40 Cameron Mooney, Jr. (10.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.8 spg)

#15 Hannah Anderl, Sr. (10.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.8 spg)

#14 Sarah Trela-Hoskins, Sr. (7.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, 2.6 spg)

#11 Barrett Jessop, Jr. (6.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.2 spg)

Scoring offense: 62.6 ppg (2nd in 4A)

Scoring defense: 44.1 ppg (6th in 4A)

Last state championship: 2008 (5A)

2016 postseason: Loss to Salem Hills in 4A quarterfinals, 73-65

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Alta in 4A quarterfinals

Edward’s Evaluation: After rolling through the soft Region 6 schedule with 20, 30 and 40-point victories, it was strange to see Skyline lose to Judge 57-48 in the second to last game of the regular season. Perhaps it was a good eye-opener for the Eagles heading into the state tournament. It gave them a brief taste of competitive basketball again after so many blowouts throughout January and February. Skyline is likely headed to a quarterfinal showdown with Alta, a team it lost to 60-50 back in the second game of the season.

Springville Red Devils (15-8)

Coach: Camie Oakey (4th year)

How qualified: First in Region 8 with 9-3 record

Playoff opener: vs. Kearns, Tuesday, 5:50 p.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 42-33 win at Highland on Nov. 22

Most important region victory: A 45-42 win vs. Wasatch on Jan. 24

Top contributors

#10 Savannah Sumsion, Jr., Forward (14.1 ppg)

#21 Cheyanne Brown, Sr., G/F (10.7 ppg)

#2 Kami Warner, Sr., Guard (7.3 ppg)

#12 Mary Fredrickson, Sr., G/F (5.7 ppg)

#4 Brooke Lynn Galbraith, So., Guard (3.2 ppg)

Scoring offense: 52.3 ppg (11th in 4A)

Scoring defense: 45.1 ppg (9th in 4A)

Last state championship: 2014

2016 postseason: Loss to Bountiful in 4A championship, 63-42

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Alta in 4A semifinals

Edward’s Evaluation: Springville has advanced to the 4A championship game in seven of the past eight seasons. One could argue that SLCC is more of a home-court advantage for the Red Devils than SLCC. Springville, however, hasn’t been quite as dominant as in past years, losing three times in region play, including two of its last three. The bracket is favorable for it to advance to the semifinals, but after that it will be an underdog the rest of the way.

Timpview T-Birds (15-5)

Coach: Aimee Dorais (2nd year)

How qualified: Third in Region 7 with 10-4 record

Playoff opener: vs. Highland, Tuesday, 4:10 p.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 39-36 win vs. Pleasant Grove on Dec. 15

Most important region victory: A 67-64 win vs. Corner Canyon on Feb. 14

Top contributors

#4 Ella Pope, So. (12.7 ppg)

Sierra Neves, So. (9.4 ppg)

#1 Kealani Neves, So. (9.2 ppg)

#10 Jasmine Espinoza, So. (9.2 ppg)

#3 Jessie Creer, Sr. (3.5 ppg)

Scoring offense: 55.4 ppg (5th in 4A)

Scoring defense: 44.8 ppg (8th in 4A)

Last state championship: 2007

2016 postseason: Loss to Salem Hills in 4A first round, 66-48

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Highland in 4A first round

Edward’s Evaluation: Timpview’s top four scorers are all sophomores, but that youth didn’t hurt Timpview much this year as it won 15 games and finished third in Region 7 behind juggernauts Alta and Mountain View. It only lost to Mountain View by seven points in both games, and if intangibles fall their way in the opener against Highland, they could be prime for the first-round win.

Wasatch Wasps (17-5)

Coach: Norm Hayter (2nd year)

How qualified: Tied for second in Region 8 with 8-4 record, bust lost tiebreaker for No. 3 seed.

Playoff opener: vs. Judge, Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. (at SLCC)

Best preseason victory: A 53-42 win at Timpview on Dec. 9

Most important region victory: A 40-37 win vs. Springville on Feb. 16

Top contributors

#30 Kenzie McBride, G/F (9.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.2 spg)

#35 Tori Dorrius, Center (8.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg)

#23 Lexy Mackay, Guard (7.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.1 spg)

#24 Taylor Hardman, G/F (5.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.3 spg)

#20 Hannah Johnston, G/F (5.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg)

Scoring offense: 48.0 ppg (15th in 4A)

Scoring defense: 41.4 ppg (3rd in 4A)

Last state championship: 2009 (3A)

2016 postseason: Did not qualify

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Judge in 4A first round

Edward’s Evaluation: The Judge-Wasatch rivalry was one of the best rivalries in 3A when they were in the same region before they were bumped to 4A before the 2013-2014 season. Since then they’ve only met once — a 2014 first-round game — but they’ll renew that rivalry in this year’s first round. Wasatch won 17 games this season, including wins over 4A teams like Bountiful, Timpview and Springville. Its defense ranks third in 3A, but the offense will need to pick it up a bit in the first round against a good Judge offensive unit.