COMMENTARY – The Region 9 championship is going to come down to the last game and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
The boys close things out Tuesday night and for the second straight game, Snow Canyon can clinch the region with a win. But it sure as heck won’t be easy, as the Warriors found out last Friday.
With a huge crowd at The Jungle, Snow Canyon played hard, but couldn’t knock off an inspired Desert Hills team. The 58-52 Thunder win kept their hopes alive of tying for the region title and also kept Cedar’s hopes alive.
The big question has been how the region handles tiebreakers. Simply put, the ties are broken by head-to-head records against opponents starting from the highest seed on down. Quoting the region handbook: “In case of a tie in region standing where a seeding is in question: A. Head to Head. B. Common region opponent same site played beginning with the top place in the region standings regardless of classification. C. Coin Flip.”
That could be bad news for Snow Canyon if they lose to Dixie tomorrow night. But I’m getting ahead of myself. With one game left, at least we can narrow it down to just a couple of scenarios.
Here’s the lowdown:
Snow Canyon (9-2 in region; final game: Tuesday at Dixie) – A win clinches the outright Region 9 championship and will have the Warriors hosting Park City (Region 10’s fourth seed) Friday night. A loss could drop the Warriors all the way to the third seed (if Cedar and Desert Hills win Tuesday night), which would mean an opening round playoff game at Wasatch (R10 No. 2). Bottom line: SC needs to win as a loss means they would lose any tiebreakers.
Desert Hills (8-3 in region; final game: Tuesday vs. Canyon View) – That huge win at Snow Canyon means a lot for DH. Sort of. If the Thunder beat the sixth-place Falcons, they are guaranteed nothing because they lose the tiebreaker with Cedar. Desert Hills needs Snow Canyon to lose at Dixie or Cedar to lose at Pine View so they can get a home playoff game. Bottom line: DH will likely beat CV, but they need help from Dixie or Pine View to rise above a third seed.
Cedar (8-3 in region; final game: at Pine View) – Cedar is primed for a home playoff game if it can beat Pine View. With a win over the Panthers, the Redmen would have the tiebreaker over Snow Canyon and Desert Hills. PV is out of the playoffs and thus has nothing to play for except pride. However, that can be a huge motivator. Bottom line: Beat PV and Cedar gets a home playoff game against Park City (if SC loses) or Union (if SC wins). Lose to PV and a third seed (and a trip to Wasatch) is likely.
Dixie (6-5 in region; final game: Tuesday vs. Snow Canyon) – Dixie is locked into the fourth seed will travel to Judge Memorial (R10 top seed) Friday night. The Flyers should be loosey goosey against the Warriors. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Bottom line: With playoff spot locked, Dixie is now a spoiler.
For Pine View (5-6) and Canyon View (3-8), the playoffs are no longer available. But boy could they spoil some things for their region rivals.
Our prediction for Friday’s playoff games (assuming favored teams win Tuesday night):
Delta (R12-3) at Ben Lomond (R11-2) – Scots win easily against Rabbits.
Park City (R10-4) at Snow Canyon (R9-1) – SC wins big.
Dixie (R9-4) at Judge Memorial (R10-1) – Flyers play tight, but fall at Judge
Bear River (R11-3) at Payson (R12-2) – Lions will roll Bears.
Desert Hills (R9-3) at Wasatch (R10-2) – Thunder drop Wasps.
Ogden (R11-4) at Spanish Fork (R12-1) – Easy peezy for Dons.
Carbon (R12-4) at Morgan (R11-1) – Trojans roll.
Union (R10-3) at Cedar (R9-2) – Cedar blows Cougars out.
On the girls side, things are eerily similar. Tiebreakers could again be a huge factor as Snow Canyon, Desert Hills and Cedar are tied at 9-2. Dixie is the fourth seed and will play at Region 10 winner Juan Diego Saturday.
Snow Canyon (9-2; final game: Wednesday at Cedar) – Beating the Lady Reds will earn the Warriors the No. 1-seed in Region 9 and a home playoff game against Uintah or Park City. Bottom line: A sweep of Cedar will deservedly give SC the top seed. A loss Wednesday and SC will likely be third seed.
Cedar (9-2; final game: vs. Snow Canyon) – Beating Snow Canyon would force a coin toss for the top seed with Desert Hills. A loss to SC means a first-round road trip to Judge Memorial.
Desert Hills (9-2; final game: vs. Pine View) – The Lady Thunder will win easily vs. Pine View, so a co-region championship is almost a lock. But the top seed? If Cedar beats SC, it will be a coin toss as Cedar and DH would be in a dead-even tie. If SC wins, DH gets the No. 2-seed.
No matter what happens Wednesday night, I like the chances of all three top teams from Region 9 in the first round of the girls 3A playoffs.
Andy Griffin is a sports commentator. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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