Oregon's High School Sports Source
- Written by DRH
- Published on February 16, 2009
- Hits: 521
Churchill (15-5, 9-2) were our big winners last week, beating Thurston 59-53 at the Lancer Dome to move ahead of the Colts in the MWL standings, and securing the head-to-head tiebreaker with Thurston. Essentially, Churchill’s got a two game lead over THS for the #1 seed, as a tie atop the league at season’s end would do the Colts no good.
Thurston (15-5, 8-3) drops to second place, a game ahead of North Eugene (9-11, 7-4). The final meeting between THS and NE takes place Tuesday, and it will be a big one: both have beaten the other at home, and this game will decide the tiebreaker. A Thurston win gives the Colts a two game cushion over NE for the #2 seed, with 3 games to play; a NE win moves the Highlanders into a tie with Thurston for second place, but with the tiebreaker, they’d have the #2 seed with three games to play (although they’d still have to play Churchill, whereas Thurston does not).
Phew. Got all that?
Marshfield needs a minor miracle to get back into the playoff picture; for all intents and purposes, until said miracle takes place, we’re going to stop including them in the postseason picture. It’ll be more efficient this way, trust me.
With four games left:
1. Churchill 9-2
2. Thurston 8-3
3. North Eugene 7-4
4. Marshfield 4-7
4. Willamette 4-7
6. Springfield 1-10
Churchill travels to Willamette, and hosts Marshfield this week. Will-Hi played them tough in Bethel in the first meeting, and Marshfield has beaten them once this season (although that was in Coos Bay, and Churchill returned the favor by thumping them in Eugene). They can’t take either game lightly, but Churchill’s in prime position to sweep this week and continue their march towards the MWL title.
Thurston hosts North Eugene, and travels to Springfield. Thurston beat North Eugene by 12 in Springfield in the first meeting, and beat Springfield on the road by 21 earlier this year. They’ve done it before; they need to do it again to stay ahead of North, and to keep within arm’s reach of Churchill.
North Eugene travels to Thurston, and travels to Willamette. Tough week for NE: as said, they lost big to the Colts in Springfield the last time they played there, and Willamette beat North at North two weeks ago.
South Eugene’s ownership over South Medford continues, as the Axemen swept the three game season series with the Panthers earlier this week. I don’t think anyone saw that coming.
Sheldon rebounded this week by beating up on Grants Pass and SE, and extended their SWC lead by two games in the process.
1. Sheldon 10-2
2. South Medford 8-4
2. North Medford 8-4
4. South Eugene 7-5
5. Roseburg 2-10
6. Grants Pass 1-11
All hope isn’t lost for South Eugene and their quest for a higher seed: the only postseason-bound team left on their schedule is North Medford, whereas the rest of the SWC elite all have to play each other. If SE takes care of the teams they should beat, they’ll wind up in pretty good shape. They also beat North Medford in Eugene in the first meeting, and will have another crack at the Black Tornado at home.
Sheldon hosts North Medford, and travels to South Medford. Can the Irish hang on, and win their second SWC title in three years?
What Did We Learn?
We learned that Churchill and Sheldon are sitting pretty, but neither can afford to take a game light. Sheldon, in particular, will have to earn their #1 seed, but with a two game cushion with three to play, they’d obviously rather be in the position their in than on the outside looking in. Thurston and a pair of Medford schools are ready and waiting to pounce all over our league leaders should they falter.
The MWL’s three playoff seeds and the SWC’s four are all but decided, but which order will they fall? Stay tuned.