A couple of weeks left in the regular season, and it’s time to make myself look stupid with some analysis and predictions about the playoffs. Today we look at Division 1 as it’s a little easier to wrap our brains around.
First, I’m gonna declare that the top seeds are now set in both conferences. Because of the tiebreakers, Issaquah would have to lose three of their last five to not be the #1 seed in the Northeast Conference, and that’s just not going to happen. In the Southwest, King’s Way won’t go undefeated in their last six games so Mercer Island would have to lose two to be leap-frogged. If the MI game against Lake Tapps on May 11th ends up being for the top seed, I’ll buy pre-game at the Roanoke.
That leaves five playoff berths up for grabs in each conference, and it looks like there’s seven teams vying for each set of five spots. If we start with the Southwest, it looks like King’s Way, Lake Tapps and Bainbridge will wrestle for seeds 2 through 4. I think Bainbridge has the inside track as they own the tiebreaker over Lake Tapps. And King’s Way has to end the season traveling to Bainbridge for the second day of back-to-back away games. My prediction is Bainbridge gets the #2, KW the #3 and Lake Tapps the #4.
The Southwest #5 & #6 seeds are being chased by Curtis, Bellarmine Prep, Lakeside and Tahoma. Curtis and Bellarmine seem to have the upper hand on tiebreakers against the remaining two , although Friday night’s game between Prep and Tahoma will have a lot to say about that. Bellarmine then moves on to end the regular season drinking out of the Bellevue-Issaquah-Bainbridge-Eastlake fire hose, so their work is cut out for them. If Tahoma can go 4-1 in their last five, I think they’re a shoo-in for the sixth spot. Lakeside, losers of seven straight, needs to stop the bleeding if the boys are going to make the playoffs. Look for Keaton Santi’s return from a thumb-injury to spark the Lions in their last four games. It’s going to come down to the tiebreakers, but I’m going with…Curtis as the #5 and the winner of Friday’s Bellarmine/Tahoma game as the #6.
Whew, my brain hurts and we still have the Northeast to talk about.
Let’s start in the middle with the #4 seed. I think Mukilteo (5-3) is on the fast track for this spot. I think Captain Alex Okemah’s boys go no worse than 3-3 in their last six. They’ve got games against Eastlake (tonight) and Skyline, but I’m not sure those games will enter into a tiebreaker scenario. Their wins over Lake Washington and Sammamish have helped to put them in a commanding position.
Speaking of LW, Coach Hush’s Purple Kangaroos (5-4) look destined for the #5, although they only own the tiebreaker over Eastlake. They ride the Bernstein train hard, but Cody’s just off of a 7-goals-4-assists-are-you-kidding-me-that’s-11-points-in-one-game night against Bellarmine Prep, so perhaps he’s ready to shoulder the load to the playoffs. With three games against top three teams in the next five days, (EC, KW & MI) we’ll know the answer to the Kang’s question very soon.
Assuming the previous paragraph is correct, that leaves the #6 seed for Eastlake (4-4) Skyline(4-4) and Sammamish (5-6) to fight over. Both the Wolves and the we’re-Sammamish-but-we’re-not-the-Totems have the tiebreaker over Skyline by virtue of their head-to-head wins. Eastlake squeaked by Sammamish last week, so it would appear they are in the groove for #6. However they’re staring at Bainbridge, King’s Way and Issaquah in the next ten days, while the not-Totems are done eating from that particular trough. Skyline faces two teams out of contention, Stadium and Puyallup, and they’re my bet for the #6 spot. Time for Senior Captain Jack Pruitt to throw the Spartans on his back and end his high school career with a playoff berth. But if Lake Washington stumbles hard, look for another one of these teams to displace the Kangaroos for that last spot.
Northeast #2 and #3 comes down to Eastside Catholic and Bellevue. EC has the tiebreaker, owing to their thrilling 12-11 of the Wolverines, but they’ve got LW, Bainbridge and Mercer Island in their last four games. If they lose one of those, it opens the door for the Wolverines to get the two seed and the playoff bye that comes with it. Bellevue faces King’s Way Saturday and MI Saturday next. If they win both of those, look for them to leapfrog the Crusaders the last week of the season and grab the #2.
So to recap, here’s what McNuttydamus predicts:
|Southwest Conference||Northeast Conference|
|King’s Way||Eastside Catholic|
|Winner of Bellarmine/Tahoma||Skyline|
If it plays out like that, Mercer Island, Bainbridge, Issaquah and Bellevue end up with first round byes. Eastside Catholic would host Bellarmine/Tahoma, Mukilteo would host Curtis, Skyline would travel to King’s Way, and Washington would visit Tapps for a Battle of the Lakes.
But there’s still a few faceoffs to go before we get to that point. There’s a whole lot of lacrosse left to be played. If I’ve upset you by leaving out your favorite team, please don’t hurl things at me the next time you see me. Leave a comment below, it’s all in the name of good discussion. We’d love to hear you tell me why I’m wrong, because frankly, I’m sure I’m wrong about some things. Afterall, my name’s not McGenius.