Winslow girls, boys to battle Snowflake for regular-season title

By Quentin Jodie
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, Feb. 7, 2014

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In Arizona, some of the area teams will hit the basketball floor tonight in the regular-season finale.

Both the Winslow boys and girls basketball teams will be gunning for another regular-season league title, this time in Sectional IV of the Arizona Division III subdivision.

The Winslow boys enters tonight's game with Snowflake with identical 6-1 marks with the winner earning the top seed for next week's sectional tournament. The top four teams from each section will make the tournament with the overall winner earning an automatic bid to the Arizona Division III state basketball tournament.

The Lady Bulldogs are hoping to enter the sectional and state tournament on a high note as they will battle Snowflake for the regular-season title. Both teams come into this key matchup with 7-0 records with Winslow ranked No. 2 in the latest statewide rankings.

Show Low High will host both the girls and boys Sectional IV basketball tournament. The tournament is scheduled to start on Feb. 11 with girls first round action followed by the boys on Feb. 12. The winners from those matchups will advance into the finals on Feb. 15 with the girls championship take place at 5 p.m. followed by the boys game.

Also on Friday, the Holbrook girls will host Alchesay in what will determine the No. 3 seed for the same sectional tournament. The Lady Roadrunners are 5-2 in league play but they return to the hardwood after suffering two straight losses, including a 41-34 setback to Snowflake on Tuesday night.

With a 4-3 league record, the Alchesay Falcons needs to win tonight's matchup for a chance to play in the sectional tournament. Otherwise, the Payson Lady Longhorns (4-4) would earn the tournament's No. 4 seed since they would win the tie-breaker over Alchesay based on head-to-head matchups. Payson upended Alchesay by a 44-36 count.

Ironically, the same scenario will be played out in the boys portion of tonight's game. The Roadrunners (5-2) are currently holding down the No. 3 spot in sectional play but a loss to Alchesay would put them in a three-way tie for third place with Show Low and the Falcons.

As stated before, only the top four teams make the sectional tournament so to help improve their seeding for the state tournament the Falcons would need to get by Holbrook.

In Window Rock, the Scouts will host Many Farms with the girls' matchup determining the No. 2 seed for next week's sectional tournament.

Both teams enter tonight's contest with a 6-2 records in Section I play. Regardless of who wins tonight, they will be paired up in the opening round of the Section I girls basketball tournament, which starts on Feb. 11 in Chinle at the Wildcat Den. But the outcome of tonight's game does have bearing on seedings for the state playoffs as the Lady Scouts are currently ranked No. 6, two spots ahead of Many Farms.

Top-seed Page will close out the regular season with a home contest against Hopi tonight. The boys game will follow the girls contest.

The Lady Sand Devils will play No. 4 seed Chinle in the opening round of the sectional tournament.

As for the boys bracket, four teams have already earned their bids for the sectional tournament, which starts on Feb. 13 at the Wildcat Den in Chinle.

Entering tonight's finale, Tuba City and Page trails Chinle by a half-game for the top seed as the Wildcats finished out the regular season with a 67-31 win over Greyhills on Thursday night to improve their league record to 8-1.

If Page and Tuba City, which hosts Ganado, both win tonight they will force a three-way tie for first place. Nonetheless, the Wildcats would earned the top seed based on the tie-breaker criteria set by Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Since each team went 1-1 against each other, the first rule of the tie-breaker (head-to-head competition) would be negated so the win percentage in divisional play would be used.

Chinle has the highest percentage coming in at .944, followed by Tuba City (.882) and Page (.667).

Based on that, next week's sectional bracket will pit top-seeded Chinle playing No. 4 Monument Valley in the first round while Tuba City and Page will tangle in the other side of the bracket.

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