Oregon's High School Sports Source
- Written by DRH
- Published on May 10, 2009
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North Eugene 8-5
Churchill moved into a tie for the third and final playoff spot, but they have work yet to do. Not only does Springfield own the tiebreaker with Churchill this year, but of their two remaining games Churchill visits North Eugene and hosts Thurston; Springfield hosts Willamette and travels to Marshfield.
Essentially, Springfield has a one-game lead with two to play, and finishes up with the 5th and 6th place teams. The fat lady hasn’t begun to sing yet, but she’s definitely clearing her throat.
Springfield beat Thurston 4-2 on Wednesday, Thurston’s first loss in 22 MWL games dating back to last year. The Milller’s Tommy Hubbard out-dueled Thurston ace Chris Reed for the well-deserved win. How many times are you able to say you beat the #1 team in the state? As thrilling as beating your #1 ranked archrival is, knowing that it in all likelihood punched your ticket to state has to feel even better.
But this is still Thurston’s league, and the Colts claiming their second straight MWL championship shows that. Thurston rebounded from their to loss to Springfield by finishing season sweeps of North Eugene and Willamette, winning 6-0 and 15-2, respectively.
Since we know Thurston has claimed the #1 seed, and if we take a leap of faith and give Springfield the #3, all that remains is the battle for the #2 seed. North is a game up, and owns the tiebreaker over Springfield. Essentially up two games with two to play, North will be able to trot out ace Tim Keller and ace-in-training Andrew Moore in season-ending games against Churchill and Willamette. While I remain entrenched in the theory that anything can happen in this game, Thurston-North Eugene-Springfield going 1-2-3 is about as good of a bet as you’ll find.
Which leads us to some initial postseason talk.
In the second round, Thurston will get a home game against the winner of a first round match-up between the NWOC #4 and the IMC #3. Right now, that’s looking like Sherwood (12-11) from the NWOC, and The Dalles-Wahtonka (12-10) from the IMC.
Also in the second round, North Eugene will be sent packing to the PIL #1, which is looking like Cleveland (12-6).
In the first round, Springfield will hit the road to meet up with the NWOC #3, which is currently St. Helens (13-6).
If North beats Churchill on Monday (5/11), the Highlanders clinch the #2 seed.
If North beats Churchill, and Springfield beats Marshfield, Springfield clinches the #3 seed.
Polls, and stuff
Thurston continues its wire-to-wire run as the #1 team in 5A, collecting all of the 1st place votes in the Coaches poll. North Eugene clocks in at #7, and Springfield gets a mention in the “others receiving votes” category.
1. Thurston (6)
T-2. West Albany
T-7. North Eugene
T-7. St. Helens
Others: Hillsboro, Crescent Valley, Springfield