Desert Hills spent most of the 2016-2017 ranked No. 1 in the Deseret News weekly rankings, but heading into the 3A state tournament this year, the Thunder are by no means the clear-cut favorite. On any given night, any of five or six teams have the potential to string four wins together in late February and ultimately cut down the nets.

In alphabetical order, these are the 15 teams that have qualified for the 3A girls state basketball tournament, and the two Region 9 teams that have a play-in game for the last playoff spot on Wednesday.

Scores and schedule can be found here.

Carbon Dinos (17-3)

Coach: Ted Bianco (5th year)

How qualified: Tied for first in Region 12 with a 7-1 record but lost coin flip to earn No. 2 seed.

Playoff opener: vs. Stansbury on Saturday, 7 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 64-51 win vs. West on Dec. 29

Most important region victory: A 43-36 win vs. Richfield on Jan. 31.

Top contributors

#24 Lindsey Blanc, Sr., Guard (13.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.6 apg, 3.4 spg)

#11 Kelsey Sorenson, Jr., Guard (8.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.7 apg, 2.7 spg)

#5 Cyene Bigelow, Sr., Forward (7.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.1 spg)

#32 McKenna Sorenson, Sr., Forward (6.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg)

#13 Chandelle Nichols, Sr., Guard (4.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.4 spg)

Scoring offense: 54.2 (4th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 38.7 ppg (5th in 3A)

Last state championship: 2005

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Richfield in 3A championship

Edward’s Evaluation: After last year’s heartbreaking semifinal loss, the senior-laden Dinos are hoping for another deep run in this year’s state tournament. A major roadblock awaits in the semifinals with Desert Hills, but Carbon plays a brand of basketball that usually produces wins in the playoffs, and this team is definitely capable of hoisting the trophy at Utah State on championship day.

Cedar Redmen (16-5)

Coach: John Elison (11th year)

How qualified: Finished second in Region 9 with a 7-3 record

Playoff opener: vs. Logan, Saturday, 5 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 46-40 win vs. Juan Diego on Dec. 17.

Most important region victory: A 44-33 win vs. Desert Hills on Jan. 10.

Top contributors

#25 Carly Davis, Jr., Forward (9.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.1 spg)

#00 Dream Weaver, Jr., Guard (8.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.4 spg)

#4 Lindsey Robinson, Sr., Guard (8.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2.4 spg)

#23 Japrix Weaver, Fr., Guard (6.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.7 spg)

#33 Maisie Elison, Sr., Forward (5.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.0 apg)

Scoring offense: 45.9 (6th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 38.7 ppg (6th in 3A)

Last state championship: None

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Richfield in 3A quarterfinals

Edward’s Evaluation: Last year’s 3A runners-up head into the playoffs on a four-game winning streak after a rough patch in the middle of region play. Cedar doesn’t have anyone who averages in double figures, balance that is great through the grind of a regular season, but in the playoffs you need a couple of go-to players to emerge. Perhaps last year’s semifinal hero Dream Weaver can emerge as that player again.

Desert Hills Thunder (17-3)

Coach: Ron Denos (2nd year)

How qualified: Finished first in Region 9 with a 9-1 record

Playoff opener: vs. Ridgeline, Saturday, 4 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 60-44 win vs. Pleasant Grove on Dec. 1

Most important region victory: A 55-36 win vs. Cedar on Jan. 26

Top contributors

#24 Ashley Beckstrand, Sr., Guard (19.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.7 apg, 3.6 spg)

#12 Ellyn Williams, Sr., Forward (9.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.2 spg)

#32 Morgan Myers, Sr., Guard (8.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.8 apg, 3.5 spg)

#4 Jessica Mathis, Jr., Guard (4.6 ppg)

#10 Madison Clark, Jr. Guard (3.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.1 spg)

Scoring offense: 55.9 (3rd in 3A)

Scoring defense: 41.8 ppg (10th in 3A)

Last state championship: 2014

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Carbon in 3A quarterfinals

Edward’s Evaluation: Led by BYU-bound Ashley Beckstrand, Desert Hills is certainly one of the most talented teams in 3A. The bracket, however, is brutal after the first round as the Thunder are likely headed to a quarterfinal showdown with Carbon. Desert Hills has proven all year that it can outscore teams, but in the playoffs it’s about getting stops, and if this team can do that, it will be tough to beat.

Grantsville Cowboys (20-2)

Coach: Megan Vera

How qualified: Finished first in Region 10 with an 8-0 record

Playoff opener: vs. North Sanpete, Saturday, 5 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 51-41 win vs. Lehi on Nov. 29

Most important region victory: A 64-50 win at Union on Jan. 13

Top contributors

#32 Abby Butler, Sr. (13.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.9 spg)

#12 Rylie Ekins, Sr. (12.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.9 apg, 2.2 spg)

#22 Brayle Crosman, Sr. (11.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.6 spg)

#15 Hannah Butler, So. (6.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2.2 spg)

#14 Paige McKluskey, Jr. (4.8 ppg, 1.7 spg, 1.6 apg, 1.0 spg)

Scoring offense: 63.6 ppg (1st in 3A)

Scoring defense: 39.0 ppg (7th in 3A)

Last state championship: None

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Morgan in 3A quarterfinals

Edward’s Evaluation: Grantsville ran the table in a subpar Region 10 this season. It led 3A in scoring as a result with 63.6 ppg. One of the big questions heading into this year’s playoffs is can Grantsville keep up the scoring against much better competition? It should have no problem in the first round against North Sanpete — a team it beat by 40 in December — but after that, the bracket is loaded with contenders. Outside of its own region, Grantsville didn’t play one playoff-bound 3A team this year.

Hurricane Tigers (11-10)

Coach: Franci Homer (3rd year)

How qualified: Tied for third in Region 9, has play-in game on Wednesday

Playoff opener: Has Region 9 play-in game on Wednesday vs. Pine View

Best preseason victory: A 51-48 win vs. North Sevier on Dec. 29

Most important region victory: A 49-43 win vs. Cedar on Jan. 19

Top contributors

#11 Jayden Langford (13.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2.5 spg)

#33 Madi Hirschi (7.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.2 spg)

#1 Kylee Stevens (6.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.1 apg, 2.6 spg)

#32 Alexa Christensen (5.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg)

#0 Halli Gubler (3.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 1.0 apg)

Scoring offense: 44.1 ppg (10th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 43.8 ppg (13th in 3A)

Last state championship: 2000

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Pine View in Region 9 play-in game

Edward’s Evaluation: Hurricane was a shoo-in to make the playoffs a couple of weeks ago, but it lost its last four region games and now must win a play-in game on Wednesday just to qualify for the playoffs.

Juab Wasps (13-7)

Coach: Jeff Wallace (5th year)

How qualified: Finished third in Region 12 with a 4-4 record.

Playoff opener: at Union, Saturday, 5 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 40-34 win vs. Cedar on Dec. 29

Most important region victory: A 41-28 win at North Sanpete on Jan. 17

Top contributors

#24 Hannah Robins, Jr. (14.1 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.1 spg)

#34 Taya Jones, Sr. (7.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.1 spg)

#13 Bayi Heap, So. (5.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.7 spg)

#3 Taylei Williams, Sr. (5.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.7 spg)

#32 Tyler Wall, Sr. (4.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg)

Scoring offense: 41.8 ppg (15th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 36.2 ppg (3rd in 3A)

Last state championship: None

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Juan Diego in 3A quarterfinals

Edward’s Evaluation: Juab finished third in the very top-heavy Region 12, but now must hit the road in the opening round of the playoffs. To have any hope of advancing past any round, it will need to up the offensive output. The Wasps rank 15th in 3A in scoring at 41.8 ppg, but often make up for it with the third-best scoring defense in 3A.

Juan Diego Soaring Eagle (14-5)

Coach: Tim Turpin (1st year)

How qualified: Finished first in Region 11 with a 9-1 record

Playoff opener: vs. Snow Canyon, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 46-36 win vs. Desert Hills on Dec. 3

Most important region victory: A 72-65 win at Morgan on Jan. 19

Top contributors

#32 Trista Vawdrey, Sr., G/F (11.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.7 spg)

#12 Becca Curran, Sr., Guard (10.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.7 apg, 3.1 spg)

#33 Brynn Drummond, Sr., G/F (9.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.8 spg)

#13 Brianna Veltri, Sr., G/F (4.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.1 spg)

#34 Anna Ewoniuk, Sr., G/F (4.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.9 spg)

Scoring offense: 49.5 ppg (5th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 40.5 ppg (8th in 3A)

Last state championship: 2015

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Carbon in 3A semifinals

Edward’s Evaluation: With five senior starters, Juan Diego definitely has the experience to become one of the last teams standing in 3A this year. It can be just as unpredictable. Juan Diego beat Snow Canyon, Hurricane and Desert Hills on consecutive nights in early December, but then lost to fellow 3A contenders Richfield and Cedar on consecutive nights a couple of weeks later. If the Soaring Eagle get a roll, watch out.

Logan Grizzlies (9-12)

Coach: Josh Zentner (1st year)

How qualified: Tied for third in Region 11 with a 6-4 record

Playoff opener: at Cedar, Saturday, 5 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 46-42 win vs. Hurricane on Dec. 1

Most important region victory: A 49-46 win vs. Ridgeline on Jan. 10

Top contributors

#20 Kira Peterson, Sr., Guard (11.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.1 spg)

#14 Tori Craner, Jr., Center (8.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg)

#23 Samalie Prom, Sr., Guard (4.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg)

#21 Liz Timmerman, Sr., Guard (4.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg)

#42 Sharron Wallace, Sr., Forward (4.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg)

Scoring offense: 44.8 ppg (9th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 43.4 ppg (12th in 3A)

Last state championship: None

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Cedar in 3A first round

Edward’s Evaluation: Despite being one of just three teams in the 3A playoffs with a losing record, the Grizzlies are no pushovers. They ended the regular season on a three-game winning streak, including an impressive 55-54 win over Juan Diego. Logan ranks in the middle of the pack in 3A in offensive and defense, but if they get hot they can compete with anybody.

Morgan Trojans (17-5)

Coach: Kade Morrell (3rd year)

How qualified: Finished second in Region 11 with a 7-3 record

Playoff opener: vs. Pine View/Hurricane winner, Saturday, 4 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 50-48 win vs. Fremont on Dec. 3

Most important region victory: A 57-40 win vs. Ridgeline on Jan. 17

Top contributors

#21 Brookelyn Hurlbut, Sr. (17.9 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.1 apg, 3.0 spg)

#32 Jalyn Vandyke, So. (10.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.3 spg)

#23 Marcie Stapley, Jr. (6.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.7 apg, 2.5 spg)

#5 Jaci Jensen, Jr. (6.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2.8 spg)

#2 Kayden Jorgensen, Jr. (4.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg)

Scoring offense: 56.4 ppg (2nd in 3A)

Scoring defense: 41.5 ppg (9th in 3A)

Last state championship: 2004

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Richfield in 3A semifinals

Edward’s Evaluation: Morgan ranked second in 3A in scoring this season at 56.4 ppg, but none of that matters in the playoffs where the number of possessions goes way, way down. Getting stops is how teams traditionally march through the bracket in 3A. Finding the right balance will be key for Morgan, which struggled down the stretch, losing two of its last three.

North Sanpete Hawks (6-15)

Coach: Randi Griffith (4th year)

How qualified: Finished fourth in Region 12 with a 2-6 record

Playoff opener: at Grantsville, Saturday, 5 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 40-36 win vs. Kanab on Dec. 16

Most important region victory: A 41-37 win at Canyon View on Feb. 7

Top contributors

Catherine Lund, Sr. (7.3 ppg)

Lexie Olson, Jr. (5.7 ppg)

Angela Clayton, Sr. (4.7 ppg)

Ryann Tapia, Sr. (4.5 ppg)

Aubree Ison, So. (3.8 ppg)

Scoring offense: 34.6 ppg (20th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 43.2 ppg (11th in 3A)

Last state championship: None

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Grantsville in 3A first round

Edward’s Evaluation: Swept Canyon View to qualify as a No. 4 seed, but the Hawks appear overmatched in the playoffs. Grantsville already beat North Sanpete by 40 points this season, and it’s expected to win big again.

Pine View Panthers (7-10)

Coach: Chris Brinagh

How qualified: Tied for third in Region 9, and has a play-in game on Wednesday.

Playoff opener: Has Region 9 play-in game on Wednesday vs. Hurricane.

Best preseason victory: A 60-59 win vs. Kanab on Dec. 1

Most important region victory: A 46-44 win vs. Cedar on Jan. 17

Top contributors

#10 Claire Newby, Jr. Guard (10.3 ppg)

#3 Saraven Allen, Jr., Guard (8.8 ppg)

#13 Maycee Hayes, So., Guard (5.1 ppg)

#2 Dawn Mead, Jr., Guard (4.9 ppg)

#24 Baila Milne, So., Guard (4.8 ppg)

Scoring offense: 42.0 ppg (14th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 46.4 ppg (19th in 3A)

Last state championship: 2001

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Morgan in 3A first round

Edward’s Evaluation: Lost three straight games to end the regular season, and now must win a play-in game Wednesday just to qualify for the playoffs. Pine View swept Hurricane in the regular season, and is a slight favorite to win again to clinch that playoff berth.

Richfield Wildcats (18-3)

Coach: Marc Peterson (17th year)

How qualified: Tied for first in Region 12 with a 7-1 record, and won coin flip to earn No. 1 seed.

Playoff opener: vs. Tooele, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 50-49 win vs. Pleasant Grove on Dec. 2

Most important region victory: A 61-44 win vs. Carbon on Jan. 17

Top contributors

#4 Shandi Bastian, Sr. (11.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.1 spg)

#33 Emma Jones, Jr. (10.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.0 spg)

#14 Madisyn Daniels, Jr (8.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.1 apg, 2.0 spg)

#11 Caitlyn Nabity, Jr. (5.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 5.9 apg, 1.1 spg)

#32 Madison Roberts, Jr. (4.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.3 spg)

Scoring offense: 45.7 ppg (7th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 34.4 ppg (2nd in 3A)

Last state championship: 2013 (2A)

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Win over Carbon in 3A championship

Edward’s Evaluation: Richfield owns the second-best scoring defense in 3A, and that makes the Wildcats a very dangerous team in February. Richfield split with Carbon in region play, and then also beat 3A contender Juan Diego and lost to 3A contender Cedar. Four of its leading scorers are juniors, and how the underclassmen handle that pressure will determine if Richfield cuts down the nets in Logan.

Ridgeline Riverhawks (13-6)

Coach: Ainsli Jenkins (1st year)

How qualified: Tied for third in Region 11 with a 6-4 record

Playoff opener: at Desert Hills, Saturday, 4 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 50-38 win vs. Syracuse on Dec. 20

Most important region victory: A 59-41 win vs. Morgan on Feb. 2

Top contributors

#3 Bailie Crosbie, Sr., Guard (10.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.3 apg)

#1 Sophia Wright, Sr., Guard (9.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 2.2 spg)

#14 Emma Anderson, So., Forward (7.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg)

#2 Ashley Nielsen, Jr., Guard (5.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.3 spg)

#4 Kenedi Christiansen, Jr., Guard (5.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.2 apg)

Scoring offense: 39.3 ppg (16th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 31.7 ppg (1st in 3A)

Last state championship: None

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Desert Hills in 3A first round

Edward’s Evaluation: First-year Ridgeline did very well to qualify for the playoffs in its inaugural season, but traveling five hours to St. George and then upsetting No. 1 Desert Hills seems like an impossible task. With the top scoring defense in 3A, the Riverhawks can’t be entirely discounted, but an upset seems unlikely.

Snow Canyon Warriors (11-10)

Coach: Daniel Roden (4th year)

How qualified: Tied for third in Region 9 with a 4-6 record, and earned No. 4 seed after coin flip

Playoff opener: at Juan Diego, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 40-34 win vs. Salem Hills on Dec. 3

Most important region victory: A 49-45 win vs. Hurricane on Feb. 9

Top contributors

#4 Jasmine Lealao, Jr., Guard (9.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.1 apg, 2.4 spg)

#35 Melenaite Kata, Jr., Center (6.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg)

#1 Tylei Jensen, So., Guard (6.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.6 apg, 2.1 spg)

#22 Allie Parr, Jr., Forward (4.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg)

#3 Brielle Hoskins, Jr., Guard (3.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg)

Scoring offense: 43.1 ppg (13th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 45.0 ppg (18th in 3A)

Last state championship: 2016

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Juan Diego in 3A first round

Edward’s Evaluation: The defending champs won two of their last three games, and then a coin flip, to clinch the No. 4 seed in the playoffs. Snow Canyon ranks in the bottom half of 3A in both offense and defense, and in the first round faces a Juan Diego team it lost to by 21 points back in early December. All of that makes the Warriors a big underdog in the playoffs.

Stansbury Stallions (10-12)

Coach: Kenzie Newton

How qualified: Finished third in Region 10 with a 4-4 record

Playoff opener: at Carbon, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 36-27 win vs. Skyridge on Dec. 13

Most important region victory: A 47-44 win vs. Union on Jan. 24

Top contributors

#15 Taylor Hinds (7.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.1 spg)

#11 Deanna Castillo (6.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.0 spg)

#10 Sienna Riggle (6.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg)

#21 Josie Warner (6.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.7 spg)

#4 Mia Thurber (5.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.1 apg)

Scoring offense: 44.0 ppg (11th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 44.4 ppg (15th in 3A)

Last state championship: None

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Carbon in 3A first round

Edward’s Evaluation: Stansbury lost to Carbon by 30 points in the 3A quarterfinals last year, and Carbon once again stands in its path one round earlier this year. Stansbury’s offense just isn’t consistent enough to expect it to pull off the upset at Carbon.

Tooele Buffaloes (7-13)

Coach: Randy Gross (1st year)

How qualified: Finished fourth in Region 10 with a 2-6 record

Playoff opener: at Richfield, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Best preseason victory: A 43-39 win vs. Summit Academy on Dec. 16

Most important region victory: A 48-27 win at Park City on Jan. 31

Top contributors

#23 Emily Webber, Jr., C/F (10.5 ppg)

#10 Abby Webber, Jr., C/F (6.9 ppg)

#3 Blake Hervat, Jr., G/F (4.4 ppg)

#5 Mackenzie Sharkey, Sr., G/F (4.1 ppg)

#21 MaKenna Baker, Jr., G/F (2.3 ppg)

Scoring offense: 36.2 ppg (18th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 44.6 ppg (16th in 3A)

Last state championship: 1992

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Richfield in 3A first round

Edward’s Evaluation: Tooele is a big underdog in the first round at Richfield, but four of its top five scorers are juniors and the experience gained by making the playoffs could be a confidence booster heading into next season.

Union Cougars (11-9)

Coach: Sam Hoopes (3rd year)

How qualified: Finished second in Region 10 with a 5-3 record

Playoff opener: vs. Juab, Saturday, 5 p.m.

Best preseason victory: 50-44 win vs. Summit Academy on Dec. 7

Most important region victory: A 59-43 win vs. Stansbury on Feb. 10

Top contributors

#15 Carly Blake, So., Forward (9.5 ppg)

#5 Tori Ross, So., Guard (9.4 ppg)

#14 Regan Anderson, So., Center (8.3 ppg)

#10 Kennedy Ross, Jr., Forward (7.0 ppg)

#13 Marleigh Horrocks, So., Guard (4.8 ppg)

Scoring offense: 43.5 ppg (12th in 3A)

Scoring defense: 45.0 ppg (17th in 3A)

Last state championship: 1999

Deseret News prep editor James Edward’s bracket: Loss to Juab in 3A first round

Edward’s Evaluation: The Cougars beat Stansbury on the last day of the regular season to clinch a first-round home playoff game. It was a massive victory, because a loss would’ve meant a road game at Carbon. Defense hasn’t been Union’s strength this season, but it’s been good the past couple games, and if the trend continues, the Cougars should be able to march into the quarterfinals.