So we’re down to the final week of the regular season and it’s time to who’s in, who’s out and who’s hanging on in our area for the playoffs.
So let’s look at the simple things first. We know that Muskogee, Poteau and Wagoner are in with Poteau and Wagoner having wrapped up district titles and a first-round home game and Muskogee facing Stillwater Friday for the district title with both teams having a a first round bye in hand in the unique Class 6A playoff system.
In some of the simpler remaining playoff situations, Eufaula and Idabel meet Friday for the district title in 2A-6 at Idabel. The winner gets a nice plaque for the trophy case, the loser is sad, but both play at home next week. Vian and Sequoyah Tahlequah meet this Friday to settle second and third place in District 2A-5. This is simple-the winner gets to stay home next week and play while the loser hits the road. Another simple scenario exists in District B-5 where Webbers Falls and Quinton play one another with not much at stake. The winner says “Yea I finished third” while the loser sadly ends up fourth and both have to play on the road next week.
From here on it gets messy. Let’s look at Gore’s situation in District A-8. While Central Sallisaw has wrapped up the title, Gore, Pocola and Panama are all at 4-2. Gore and Panama probably have the easier time this week facing Porter and Haskell respectively while Pocola has to take on Talihina which is 2-3 in district play. If all three win their games this week, then Panama would claim second place and a home playoff game while Gore would be third and Pocola fourth. If Gore loses and the other two win, Gore finishes fourth. The only way that Gore could advance as high as second place is if they win this week and Panama loses. So in short, Gore is an “in”-it’s just a matter of where.
An even bigger mess is looming in Distract 3A-3 with area teams Checotah and Stigler still in the hunt. Right now, Checotah sits alone in third place behind Lincoln Christian and Berryhill with a 3-2 district mark. Stigler is tied for fourth with Locust Grove and Seminole at 2-3. This week Stigler and the Wildcats meet at Checotah while Locust Grove has to face Lincoln Christian and Seminole has to play Berryhill. In a perfect world you’d see Locust Grove and Seminole both losing and dropping to 2-4. Stigler’s best chance to make the playoffs would be to beat Checotah and hope that Locust Grove and Seminole do, in fact, lose in which case Stigler would end up in third place and Checotah fourth. If Stigler, Seminole and Locust Grove all lose and end up at 2-4, then fourth place would come down to point differential and going into this week Stigler has the edge there with -2 points, while Locust Grove is -20 and Seminole is -23. Clear as mud, right?
Well if you think that’s bad, let’s look at District 4A-4 where area teams Hilldale, Fort Gibson and Sallisaw are all involved. Poteau and Ada have sewn up the top two spots, so our area heroes are battling for the final two spots. Sallisaw, Broken Bow, and Fort Gibson are tied at 3-3 while Hilldale and Madill are 2-4. Fort Gibson and Hilldale square off in the battle for “The Rock” this week while Sallisaw takes on Madill and Broken Bow has to play Ada. Let’s assume for the moment that Broken Bow loses to Ada which would put them down but not necessarily out. If Fort Gibson and Sallisaw both win, then the Tigers end up in third place while the black Diamonds would claim fourth. But wait, it gets even messier. If Sallisaw and Fort Gibson would both lose, then there could be a FIVE-WAY TIE for third and fourth with Fort Gibson, Hilldale, Sallisaw, Madill and again Broken Bow all at 3-4 and it would come down to points where Sallisaw and Broken Bow have a big edge. But there are obviously other scenarios that could play out but my brain is too fried to even contemplate them. At this point it appears that Hilldale is probably out even with a win, but Sallisaw and Fort Gibson are still battling on.