Playoff intensity begins tonight
Although the Northern 4A Zone playoffs don’t officially begin until Feb. 15, tonight’s 4A schedule of games promises to include some playoff-type intensity.
All of tonight’s games will halp determine which teams will reach the playoffs; some, including both the Reno at Carson girls and boys games, are likely to decide the division championships.
The match-ups, which feature the girls varsity at 5:15 p.m. and the boys varsity at 7 p.m., include:
– Reno at Carson girls – The Senators (4-1 in division, 20-4 overall) can essentially take over first place with a win over the Huskies (6-1, 14-7) tonight in Morse Burley. Reno defeated Carson by 14 points, 50-36, in the teams’ division meeting on Jan. 7, but the point differential doesn’t mean a thing thanks to Wooster’s win over the Huskies on Jan. 15 – a one point win by the Senators is as good as a 20-point win.
Barring any future upsets in the remainder of the league season, this contest could be renamed the “Division II Championship Game.”
– Reno at Carson boys – After the Huskies (7-0, 18-4) held off the Senators (4-1, 13-7) by two points, 60-58, on Jan. 7, this game became the most highly anticipated boys rematch of the Northern 4A season.
With Reno’s 65-54 win over South Tahoe last week, the Huskies appear to be the class of Division II. But the Senators can move right back into contention for the division’s No. 1 seed into the zone playoffs with a win tonight.
The Carson players should be confident entering tonight’s game. After falling behind 40-14 at halftime at Reno on Jan. 7, the Senators outscored Reno 44-20 in the second half.
Carson must contain Alex Gamboa if it is going to have any chance of winning tonight. He scored 19 points against the Senators on Jan. 7 and recently errupted for 27 points in the Huskies win over South Tahoe.
Even if Carson wins tonight, first place is no guarentee, as the Senators have two meetings with South Tahoe (Jan. 29 and Feb. 4) remaining on the schedule.
– South Tahoe at Douglas girls – Once the doormat of Division II, the Vikings (3-3, 6-13) are one of the teams battling the Tigers (3-3, 14-6) for a playoff berth. Douglas spanked the Vikings in the teams’ first meeting at Lake Tahoe, 47-29, but will be playing without Jessica Granat (injured knee, out for season) and Stephanie Combes (injured knee, out until at least Friday). With Reno and Carson already in control of two of Division II’s four playoff berths, Douglas can’t afford a loss tonight.
– South Tahoe at Douglas boys – It’s getting to be do-or-die time for the Tigers (1-5, 7-11), who need to upset the Vikings tonight (5-1, 17-4) in order to stay in contention for a playoff berth.
It’s not impossible – Douglas has already upset Elko on the road this season.
– Galena at Reed girls – The Grizzlies (4-0, 19-3) will look to remain perfect in Division I against Reed (2-2, 10-10).
– Galena at Reed boys – When these teams met in late February of ’99, it was for the Northern 4A Zone championship. Tonight, it’s a playoff berth at state when the Grizzlies (1-3, 12-10) take the floor against the Raiders (2-2, 11-10).
Galena, which had an outstanding preseason, has faltered in the Division I season and currently has a four game losing streak.
Reed had been improving, but the Raiders lost their best player, Teddy Stolpman, for the season when he broke his arm against McQueen in a Raider win.