Playoff berths taking shape

Anchorage Daily News
sports@adn.com
September 8, 2012 

When it comes to the Cook Inlet Conference's four berths to the state large-school playoffs, Service, South and West are basically in -- all three teams are 4-0 in a league where four wins delivers the postseason.

Meanwhile, Chugiak, Bartlett and Eagle River are out -- all three are 0-4 in a league where four losses means postseason dreams go unrealized.

And that means the CIC's fourth and final playoff spot -- barring forfeits or some other crazy scenario -- will go to either Dimond or East.

Considering Dimond is 3-1 in league and East is 1-3, the spot seems at face value to be all but Dimond's.

But with the final three weeks of the regular season approaching, Dimond, on paper -- that's where the games are not played -- faces a schedule that looks like Murderer's Row and East faces a much tamer schedule.

Dimond still must play West, Service and South, which are a combined 12-0.

Meanwhile, East's last three league games come against Chugiak, Bartlett and Eagle River, which are a combined 0-12.

Basically, Dimond needs one more win and East cannot afford one more loss.

But -- there's always a but, eh? -- East does wield another advantage over Dimond.

The Thunderbirds own the first tie-breaker over the Lynx -- head-to-head -- courtesy of their 21-0 win over Dimond on Aug. 30.

Still, upsets occur, which is one reason we play the games.

And the seeding order of the CIC's fourth berths is a long way from being decided, especially considering Service, South and West have not played one another. That changes Saturday night, when Service entertains South at Anchorage Football Stadium in a rematch of last year's state championship game, which Service won.

Stay tuned.

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