You might recall we said earlier that the dismal strength of schedule rating the Sac-Joaquin Section gave to the Tri-County Conference would make things difficult for River Valley to qualify for the playoffs in Division II.
Difficult, but as the latest power rankings from the section revealed, not impossible.
Along with the second round of Sac-Joaquin rankings, the Northern Section also provided their first preliminary playoff outlook, which shows a couple local girls teams could get home games on the road to Chico State for the finals.
To quote the great Tony Perkis (portrayed by Ben Stiller) from the legendary film Heavyweights, “Do it to it, Lars!”
SAC-JOAQUIN BOYS: River Valley would just be in the Division II postseason right now, as the 16th and final seed. The Falcons have three games left on their schedule (Natomas, Inderkum, Yuba City) to try and defend their spot, and a particularly crucial one will come up on Feb. 16 at home on the west side against Inderkum. The Tigers are the only other D-II team in the TCC, and they currently sit just ahead of RV in the playoff rankings at #15.
Down in D-III, things are looking even better for both Yuba City and Lindhurst. The Honkers moved up one spot to the 6th seed, while the Blazers jumped two spots to #8, which means both would currently host first-round home games. Two of YC’s remaining three games are against Woodland and Pioneer, who are a combined 3-44 this season, leaving the Mayor’s Cup rematch with RV on the 18th the only remotely challenging game left on the schedule. Lindhurst’s road is a little tougher, as three of the teams they have left (West Campus, Dixon and Capital Christian) all played them to within 3 points in the first round of league, while the fourth team is Marysville, who beat them. As for Marysville? Two losses last week leaves them a tough trail, sitting in 27th.
Down in D-V, Faith Christian continues to hold onto a first-round game at the #8 seed. A revenge win over Sacramento Adventist tomorrow would help, since the Capitals are just behind them at #9. Meanwhile, two road losses last week has pushed New Life Christian just out of the playoffs into #17. Good news for Crusaders fans: They’ve already beaten all three teams remaining on the schedule.
SAC-JOAQUIN GIRLS: In short, no local teams are in playoff position right now. River Valley is 22nd in D-II. In D-III, Lindhurst (19th) is the highest, followed by Marysville (26th) and Yuba City (27th). In Division V, Faith Christian and New Life Christian are 20th and 21st, respectively.
NORTHERN BOYS: No real high seeds on the boys side of things up north. The best on the boys’ side can currently be found up at Farmers Hall, where the Gridley Bulldogs are holding a 5th seed in Division IV, just ahead of BVL opposition Wheatland, who is tied for 7th with Anderson. Sutter, meanwhile, is tied for 11th with Yreka – which puts the defending champs just ahead of last-place Live Oak.
Down in D-V, no local team is higher than 11th in the 21-team list. That honor belongs to Williams, who are just ahead of 12th-place East Nicolaus. Following the Yellowjackets and Spartans are Pierce (15th), Biggs (16th) and Colusa (18th).
NORTHERN GIRLS: As sparse as things are the boys side, the girls side is fairing much better, especially in a 20-mile stretch of Highway 20 between I-5 and Highway 99. In Division IV, Sutter is rocking, as the Lady Huskies are sitting solidly in the #2 spot. While it looks as though it will be tough to shake Anderson from the #1 spot, if Sutter can keep their current spot they would home games all the way to the championship matchup in Chico. The way to do that is to make sure not to let Winters get past them again in tomorrow’s rematch of the Warrior’s 49-47 win on Jan. 20. In the rest of the division, Live Oak is 8th, Gridley is in a tie for 10th and Wheatland is in 12th.
And down in Division V, hail to the Redskins. Colusa and their 19-2 record is tops in the division. So long as they don’t have any stumbles in the remaining three games, they’ll get home court advantage all the way to Chico. Also looking solid is Biggs, as the 13-9 Wolverines are at #7. They still have a rematch with Quincy on the 15th, and the Trojans currently sit just ahead of them in the standings. Right behind Biggs is East Nicolaus, who also have four games left to try and make a move up the bracket. Rounding out the locals are Williams; the Yellowjackets sit 19th of 20 teams.