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Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

Area playoff picture getting clearer

By Bruce Monnin
The weather this past weekend caused delays, postponements and cancellations across much of the southern part of the state this week. This not only inconveniences the teams themselves, but makes finding all the results to calculate the computer points somewhat difficult.
Now that the season is about half over, we can roughly estimate that half the teams across the state are out of realistic playoff contention. For those still in the hunt, most can probably still control their own fate by winning their games. But it only takes a loss or two and these same teams will be staring at the scoreboard with their fingers crossed.
Below is a listing of how all the WBL and MAC teams should stand in the computer rankings after the fifth week, as well as a few other teams they are competing against for playoff berths.

Team - Ranking (Computer Points)
Region 6:
Wapakoneta - fourth (10.45)
Piqua - eighth (6.40)
Avon Lake - ninth (5.90)
Celina - 23rd (1.50)
Wapakoneta keeps looking strong as one of the five 5-0 teams in this region. Good news for the Redskins is there are only eight teams with a 4-1 or better record and they increased their cushion over the ninth place team. There are probably only 10 teams in serious playoff contention in this region, which is more good news for Wapakoneta. Celina would need to win out and even then might not qualify for the playoffs.

Region 10:
Lima Shawnee - seventh (6.50)
Kenton - eighth (6.40)
Bellevue - eighth (6.40)
St. Marys - 15th (4.60)
Defiance - 16th (4.05)
Van Wert - 24th (1.00)
Elida - 25th (0.00)
All 13 teams that had a 4-1 or better record won last week, so St. Marys has to keep winning just to stay on the edge of playoff contention. Looking at the Roughrider's remaining schedule they will probably have to win out to make the playoffs, with their two big games against Number seven Lima Shawnee and Number eight Kenton. Shawnee and Kenton can probably both afford one more loss, but they both play 5-0 Wapakoneta as well as each other.

Region 14:
Coldwater - first (10.00)
Sparta Highland - fifth (6.40)
Elyria Catholic - eighth (5.15)
Lorain Clearview - ninth (4.95)
Ottawa-Glandorf - 15th (3.00)
Lima Bath - 16th (2.50)

With only seven teams in this region with 4-1 or better re-cords, Coldwater is not only far ahead of the teams currently not among the top eight, but they also have a large cushion when it comes to staying in the top four to host a first round playoff game. With only 13 teams 3-2 or better, 2-3 Ottawa-Glandorf and Lima Bath could still contend for the playoffs with a winning streak.

Region 20:
St. Henry - fourth (7.90)
West Liberty-Salem - eighth (5.50)
Lima Central Catholic - eighth (5.50)
Versailles - 12th (4.80)
Anna - 13th (4.45)
Parkway - 21st (2.15)
This region can be summed up by the fact that Tri-County North is only ranked 16th despite a 4-1 record. St. Henry is still one of four teams that seem to have pulled away from the rest. Versailles and Anna are both just a few points behind the eighth place teams, so either team is probably still looking good if they win four of their last five. Parkway's win keeps them alive, but they need five more to make the playoffs.

Region 24:
Delphos St. John's - fourth (6.60)
Ansonia - seventh (5.45)
Fort Loramie - seventh (5.45)
Ada - ninth (4.57)
Marion Local - 10th (4.40)
Minster - 13th (3.30)
New Bremen - 18th (1.90)
Fort Recovery - 19th (1.80)
There are only seven teams 4-1 or better in this region and I expect all of them (with the possible exception of Fort Loramie) to make the playoffs. Ansonia's unlikely win over 4-0 Bethel makes them the sole 3-2 team in the top eight. Marion Local looks to have the best chance of area teams to grab another playoff spot, with three big point games against Versailles, Anna and Delphos St. John's remaining. Minster probably needs to win four of its last five, while New Bremen and Fort Recovery probably need to win all five.
Additional online stories on this date
ST. MARYS - AAP St. Marys Corporation has released plans for a $23 million expansion project that will create 20 new jobs.
City Mayor Greg Freewalt informed council during a Monday night meeting that the aluminum wheel manufacturing company plans a two-phase expansion over three years. [More]
FORT RECOVERY - If the children in K-12 meet their goal in the next two weeks, the boys and girls of Fort Recovery Local Schools will virtually walk to Tokyo and back. [More]
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