, Muskogee, OK

November 1, 2013

It’s down to the wire

Plenty still at stake as regular season dwindles

Phoenix Staff Reports

— Six teams (Hilldale, Wagoner, Vian, Checotah, Stigler and Warner) have playoff plans in place with business to take care of in terms of where they fall in the bracket. Fort Gibson is a win away from sewing up a postseason berth but is looking to improve positioning, as is Webbers Falls.

Muskogee, Sequoyah, Haskell and Eufaula have hopes, but with a lot of work ahead.

Tahlequah in 5A, Keys in 3A, Hulbert in 2A, Porter and Gore in A, Porum in B and Midway in C are playing the string out.

Here’s the scenario going into week nine:

• Muskogee: With home games against Putnam City (2-6, 0-5) and Bixby (6-2, 3-2) left to play, the Roughers (1-7, 1-4) could climb into a tie for fourth. First, a win by the maximum points allowed on the tiebreaker is required tonight against Putnam City on Creek Nation Field.

Bixby plays unbeaten Jenks and a loss of 15 points or more would put the Spartans within 21 tiebreaker points of the Muskogee. That could be made up with a win by 11 in the finale.

But then there’s Sapulpa (5-3, 2-3) which takes on Broken Arrow (6-2, 4-1). A 15-point BA win puts the Chieftains at minus-16.  A victory by anything under 13 by Muskogee would seal their elimination fate on a tiebreaker. Then the only way for Muskogee to get in is for Edison (4-5, 1-5 after losing Thursday to Westmoore) to beat Sapulpa.

• Wagoner: Wins in either of its final two clinch the 4A-3 title for the Bulldogs (8-0, 5-0), who own the tiebreaker edge against other playoff hopefuls.

• Fort Gibson: It’s district title and home playoff game hopes all but gone, the likely scenario for the Tigers (5-3, 3-2 4A-4) will be a third or fourth-place finish depending on their outcome with Sallisaw (6-3, 4-1), which currently shares first with Cascia Hall and Poteau, both of which have already beaten Fort Gibson. Fourth place would mean a trip to Wagoner in the first round, which the Tigers would clinch with a win against Stilwell (3-5, 2-3) this week.

• 3A-7 (Hilldale, Sequoyah): Hilldale (6-2, 3-1) can lose out and still make the playoffs because of its hold on the tiebreaker points is insurmountable. A possible district title can be won by winning out and seeing Lincoln Christian (6-3, 3-1) beat Locust Grove (8-0, 4-0) this week to create a three-way tie atop the league. Hilldale currently leads in tiebreaker points. Sequoyah (4-4, 2-2) could clinch a postseason berth with a win tonight and a Keys victory over Jay. If Jay wins, it wraps up district at 3-3 with  a non-league game next week, and Sequoyah would be out with a loss if Lincoln Christian defeats Locust Grove. If Lincoln loses, a three-loss Sequoyah would have to beat Lincoln in its finale and hope to get in on a three-way tiebreaker for third.

• 3A-8 (Checotah, Stigler, Eufaula): The key game here is Checotah-Spiro in Week 10. If Spiro (7-1, 5-0)  wins, it takes first and would give Stigler (6-2, 4-1) the opportunity to claim the runner-up spot with wins against Valliant and Idabel. Given the Panthers should be significant favorites in both matchups, a Checotah (7-1, 4-1)  loss to Eufaula (3-5, 2-3) this week would end the Wildcats’ hopes of anything higher than third place. The Ironheads need wins against Checotah and Heavener to sneak in as the fourth-place team, or a split and help.

Haskell: The picture in 2A-5 plays out this way for the Haymakers (3-5, 1-3) where all that’s left is fourth place and a first-round trip to the 2A-6 champ, either Vian or Hartshorne or possibly Panama. The Haymakers need to win out against winless Wellston and the key game being Mounds (5-3, 1-3) in the season finale. Holdenville (2-6, 1-3), with a loss already against Haskell, has Mounds this week and could send it to a tiebreaker with a win followed by a Mounds win against Haskell.

• Vian: At 8-0, 4-0, the Wolverines can clinch the 2A-6 title with a victory at Hartshorne (7-1, 4-0) and even with a loss in week 10 against Panama (6-2, 3-1), will have clinched the tiebreaker points edge unless Hartshorne went on to lose out, leaving it to a head-to-head issue between Vian and Panama.

• Warner: The Eagles (5-3, 3-1) figure to finish anywhere from first to third. Summit Christian (8-0, 5-0) and Afton (7-1, 4-0) are also in the picture. Afton hosts Warner this week and gets Summit Christian next week, so a Warner victory in week 9 with Afton winning in week 10 could send the district race to tiebreaker points.

• Webbers Falls: The Warriors (4-3, 3-2) all but ended their shot at a title with a loss against Sasakwa (6-2, 4-1) last week. Would clinch a playoff spot with a win against SW Covenant (4-4, 3-3) this week and could finish as high as second with two wins, including Arkoma (5-3, 4-2) in week 10 and a Sasakwa loss.