St. Helens will make the playoffs, but at first, second or third?
Early last week, it seemed like the St. Helens Lions were going to finish third in the Northwest Oregon Conference playoff race. Three days later the team was thinking about a league title.
The Lions bounced back from a loss to No. 2-ranked Glencoe to win the last two games of the series and earn a tie with the Crimson Tide. The two teams along with Sherwood are battling for the top three spots. Century needs one win to clinch the fourth playoff spot.
It stood this way going into the week: Sherwood 15-3; St. Helens and Glencoe, 14-4; Century 9-9 Liberty 7-11.
As it just so happens in the schedule, St. Helens is playing Sherwood, and Century is playing Glencoe in three-game series.
Scenario 1: The Lions take first if they win all three games. That makes them 17-4. If the Lions sweep and even if Glencoe sweeps Century to tie, the Lions would have the tiebreaker since they won two of three from Glencoe.
Scenario 2: The Lions win two of three from Sherwood. That makes the team 16-5, and tied with Sherwood. The concern would be that Glencoe sweeps Century and snatches the league title. If St. Helens and Glencoe win two, all three teams are tied, and the Lions take the top seed by virtue of the tiebreaker against both teams. They are co-champions.
Scenario 3: St. Helens loses two games. The Lions would likely finish third. Sherwood would either win the title outright, be tied with Glencoe if they lose one, or be second if Glencoe sweeps Century.
Does your head hurt yet?
Scenario 4: St. Helens loses all three games. They finish third, unless Glencoe also loses all three.
What do I think the most likely? Considering the way St. Helens has been playing, I think they'll win at least two, Glencoe will lose at least one, and the Lions take the top seed. I like their chances. Tuesday's game was at PGE Park. Thursday, the team travels to Sherwood, and the final game of the series is in St. Helens on Friday. I think Century has motivation to win at least one of the games.
SCAPPOOSE ALSO IN BATTLE
The Indians of Scappoose aren't likely to have a shot at the league title, but they are still very much in the running for a playoff berth-either second or third.
Scappoose is the only league team to beat Astoria this season and they are on a three-game win streak, having beaten Seaside twice and Banks once last week.
They were tied with Tillamook going into Monday's game with Yamhill-Carlton in Scappoose. They host Astoria on Wednesday, and Tillamook on Friday in a re-sited game. They finish up with Seaside on Monday-possibly in Scappoose.
All of the teams within range of second place-Scappoose, Tillamook, and Yamhill-Carlton--must all play Astoria within the next week.
Yamhill-Carlton and Seaside are the longest shots going into the week. Scappoose and Tillamook tied, three games ahead. The winner of that game should finish second. The Indians have been playing as well as anyone, including Astoria over the last two weeks. They seem to have found themselves. Now they need to close the deal. To our mind, Scappoose needs to win three of the four. If they can do that, they should earn the No. 2 seed.
It should be an exciting week for the local teams.