So today, the madness officially begins.
By Tuesday night, every spot in the preliminary — don’t call it “first” — round of the WIAA football playoffs will be decided. But starting tonight, some of the ties for the final spots will begin to work themselves out in the regular season’s last weekend.
Or they could get more complicated. We have the potential for a few three-way ties. In the SPSL leagues and the Seamount, they use a point-differential tie-breaker, so no playoff. That’s not the case in the WesCo 4A North or KingCo 3A, where we could have tie-breakers on Tuesday night to decide it all.
I’ll be back tomorrow and Saturday morning to update each scenario.
Playoff spots: five.
In: No. 2 Bothell (7-0), No. 5 Eastlake (6-1), Inglemoor (5-2), Woodinville (5-2), Ballard (5-3).
Key games this week: Redmond at Inglemoor, Garfield at Woodinville, Eastlake at Franklin.
The skinny: The only thing left to fight for in KingCo 4A is seeding. Bothell owns the top seed, but Eastlake needs to win to assure itself the second seed. Neither Inglemoor nor Woodinville would likely want to fall into a tie with Ballard, because neither would want to end up as the fifth seed, which faces third-ranked Edmonds-Woodway in the round of 32. Ballard becomes the first city school in four years to go to the postseason.
SPSL 4A North
Playoff spots: three.
In: No. 10 Federal Way (6-0).
In the mix: Kentridge (4-2), Kentwood (4-2), Kent-Meridian (3-3), Kentlake (3-3), Tahoma (3-3).
Key games this week: Kent-Meridian at Kentridge (Thursday), Tahoma at Decatur (Thursday), Kentwood at Kentlake (Friday).
The skinny: This could get pretty messy. Kentwood and Kentridge are in with victories. Otherwise, a point differential tie-breaker could determine who gets in. We’ll burn that bridge when we get there. Federal Way has already clinched the division, and it will face the third seed from the WesCo 4A North in the qualifying round.
SPSL 4A South
Playoff spots: four
In: Rogers (5-1), Puyallup (5-1), Bethel (4-2),
In the mix: Graham-Kapowsin (4-2), Emerald Ridge (3-3).
Key games this week: Graham-Kapowsin at Emerald Ridge (Thursday), Rogers at Puyallup (Friday), Bethel at Spanaway Lake (Friday).
The skinny: The scenarios say Bethel is in regardless. So Graham-Kapowsin plays tonight for its playoff life. If it loses, Emerald Ridge takes its spot. Heck of a game in Puyallup, with the winner taking the division title and the top seed.
WesCo 4A North
Playoff spots: three.
In: No. 4 Oak Harbor (7-0), Snohomish (6-1)
In the mix: Cascade (5-2), Lake Stevens (4-3), Marysville-Pilchuck (4-3).
Key games this week: Cascade at Oak Harbor, Marysville-Pilchuck at Arlington, Lake Stevens at Everett.
The skinny: If Cascade wins, it’s in. If it loses, one of three scenarios take place: 1) Lake Stevens wins, Marysville-Pilchuck loses and Lake Stevens is in. 2) Marysville-Pilchuck wins, Lake Stevens loses, and Cascade is in. 3) Lake Stevens and Marysville-Pilchuck win, creating a three-way tie decided by a three-way playoff next Tuesday at Marysville-Pilchuck High School at 5pm.
WesCo 4A South
Playoff spots: three.
In: No. 3 Edmonds-Woodway (7-0), Kamiak (6-1), Mariner (6-1.)
Key games this week: Kamiak at Mariner (Friday).
The skinny: Edmonds-Woodway, by beating both Kamiak and Mariner this season, has clinched the top seed. Kamiak and Mariner will play to determine the second seed.
Playoff spots: four.
In: No. 3 Skyline (7-0), No. 7 Bellevue (7-1), Newport (5-2)
In the mix: Issaquah (4-3), Liberty (3-4), Mount Si (3-4).
Key games this week: Issaquah at Newport (Thursday), Mount Si at Interlake (Friday), Liberty at Mercer Island (Friday).
The skinny: Issaquah’s in with a win. Otherwise, these scenarios take place: 1) Mount Si and Liberty win: the three teams play a tie-breaker on Tuesday night at Newport High School. 2) Mount Si wins and Liberty loses: Issaquah is in. 3) Liberty wins and Mount Si loses: Liberty is in.
Playoff spots: four.
In: No. 4 O’Dea (5-0), Nathan Hale (5-0).
In the mix: No. 10 Eastside Catholic (4-1), West Seattle (4-1), Rainier Beach (3-2), Bishop Blanchet (3-2).
Key games: O’Dea vs. Nathan Hale (Friday), Eastside Catholic vs. Rainier Beach (Saturday), West Seattle vs. Bishop Blanchet (Saturday).
The skinny: The winners of these two games noted above are in. The losers are out.
Playoff spots: two.
In: Meadowdale (4-3)
In the mix: Arlington (3-4), Shorecrest (2-5), Everett (2-5).
Key games: Meadowdale at Shorewood (Friday), Marysville-Pilchuck at Arlington (Friday), Mountlake Terrace at Shorecrest (Friday).
The skinny: Let me amend my earlier interpretation. If Arlington wins, it’s in. If Arlington loses, these are the scenarios: 1) Shorecrest wins, Everett loses: Arlington and Shorecrest play a full playoff game to decide who moves on. 2) Everett wins, Shorecrest loses: Arlington’s in. 3) Everett wins, Shorecrest wins: Arlington, Everett and Shorecrest play a three-way playoff, hosted by Everett, with Arlington receiving first-round bye. Meadowdale, which almost upset Kamiak last week, can clinch top 3A seed with a win Friday night.
Playoff spots: three, plus pigtail with SPSL 3A.
In: No. 8 Renton (6-0)
In the mix: No. 9 Evergreen (5-1), Kennedy (5-1), Lindbergh (3-3), Highline (2-4).
Key games this week: Kennedy at Renton (Thursday), Lindbergh at Highline (Friday).
The skinny: The winner of Friday’s Lindbergh-Highline game gets the pigtail spot and a date early next week with the fourth-place SPSL 3A team. Renton wins the league with a victory against Kennedy. If Kennedy and Evergreen win, Evergreen gets top seed based on point differential, then Kennedy gets second seed based on head-to-head. Renton would be the third seed, so it has more than the league championship on the line.
Playoff spots: three plus pigtail with Seamount.
In: No. 6 Franklin Pierce (6-0), Auburn (5-1), Auburn Riverside (4-2),
In the mix: Bonney Lake (3-3), Enumclaw (3-3).
Key games this week: Auburn Riverside at Auburn (Friday); Sumner at Bonney Lake (Thursday); White River at Enuclaw (Friday).
The skinny: Auburn is definitely in, and Auburn Riverside is, too; according to the tie-breaker scenarios I’ve seen, Riverside qualifies in all of them. But who is the final team and who gets what seed is far from certain.
1. Mackenzie Garrett, Eastlake, girls soccer. Scored two goals in 5-2 victory against second-place Lake Washington to secure an undefeated season for the Wolves.
2. Jenna Samora, Eatonville, girls soccer. Scored a hat trick in 5-0 victory against Foster.
3. Jocelyn Levig, Sumner, volleyball. Had 30 kills, but Sumner lost 3-2 to Enumclaw.
Today’s top games
1. Kennedy at Renton, football, 7 p.m. The Seamount title is on the line tonight. Renton can take it with a win. It’s a three-way tie, with Evergreen also included, if Kennedy wins it.
2. Class 3A Sea-King district tournament, cross-country, 2:30 (girls), 3:15 (boys) at Lake Sammamish Park. The top four teams and 20 individuals advance to the state tournament.
3. Issaquah at Newport, football, 7 p.m. Issaquah eliminated Newport last year; can the Knights return the favor this time around?