The teams that make the playoffs are almost all but set in the Class 3A and 2As barring any major twists. The 1As, however, are a completely different story.
Going into the final game of the regular season, three teams are tied at 5-6 in conference. Lynden Christian is already a lock but Meridian, Mount Baker and Nooksack Valley are even with one game to play. One of those teams isn’t going to make the playoffs.
Here’s a look at who’s in and who’s out with just one or two games left for most teams.
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Ferndale (17-2, 9-2 NWC) -- Games left: vs. Burlington-Edison
Burlington-Edison (15-3, 8-2) -- Games left: at Squalicum; at Ferndale
Lynden (11-7, 7-3) -- Games left: at Bellingham; at Squalicum
Blaine (8-11, 7-4) -- Games left: at Nooksack Valley
Anacortes (10-8, 4-6) -- Games left: vs. Sehome; at Sedro-Woolley
Squalicum (9-9, 4-6) -- Games left: vs. Burlington-Edison; vs. Lynden
Sehome (5-13, 2-8) -- Games left: at Anacortes; vs. Bellingham
Bellingham (4-14, 1-9) -- Games left: vs. Lynden; at Sehome
Sedro-Woolley (1-17, 0-10) -- Games left: vs. Meridian; vs. Anacortes
Lynden Christian (16-3, 11-0) -- Games left: vs. Mount Baker
Up for grabs:
Nooksack Valley (12-7, 5-6) -- Games left: vs. Blaine
Meridian (10-9, 5-6) -- Games left: at Sedro-Woolley
Mount Baker (11-8, 5-6) -- Games left: at Lynden Christian
What’s left to play for?
The top three 2A teams are battling for seeding at this point. Burlington-Edison currently holds the NWC No. 1 seed and will probably split its last two games although a sweep could happen. One win and the Tigers snag the top spot, as they hold the head-to-head advantage over Lynden. The Lions would need to win both games and get a pair of Burlington-Edison losses to move into No. 1. Blaine is most likely locked into No. 3 unless Lynden loses twice and Blaine wins its final game over Nooksack Valley.
As far as the 1As, if all the favorites won the games from here on out, it would be Meridian and Mount Baker getting in and Nooksack Valley on the outside. Meridian is almost a sure win over Sedro-Woolley and Mount Baker is almost a sure loss against LC. The Pioneers are the underdog against Blaine but if they stole a win, they would get in. But if Nooksack Valley loses, the Mountaineers’ 18-point victory over the Pioneers a couple weeks ago holds advantage.
Most likely Meridian and Mount Baker get in but the Pioneers have their fate in their own hands and all they need to do is beat Blaine.
On the outset, that matchup favors the Borderites. Breanna Chau, Taylor V’Dovec and Mandy Hayes are all studs for Blaine. Nooksack’s Arlissa Oettel, Mariah Perry and Brianna Turner all need to have big games defensively against those three. Perry likely matches up with Hayes, Oettel with Chau and Turner or Emelia Gimmaka plays against V’Dovec. The Pioneers may have the speed to win if those matchups are as I predicted.
Nooksack Valley has a lot more to play for than Blaine does in that final game and Nooksack’s Shane Wichers will have his squad ready to go but Blaine coach Ryan Pike isn’t going to make it easy for the Pioneers.