There is without a doubt that the most exciting battle going into the final 3 weeks of the season will be the battle for the #1 Seed in the Silver Tier South Division as Midlothian, Southlake Carroll & Keller ISD who are separated by just 2 points for the South Division Title. Last week, Midlothian won a convincing 4-1 victory where Midlothian Forward Joseph Dancy scored twice in the 3rd period to break open a 1-1 game at the 2nd intermission into a 4-1 victory. In addition to Dancy's 2 goals, Brent Jones took his scoring total 70 points with a goal and two assists in last weeks victory.
Also thanks to a 4-2 win for the Carroll Dragons over Flower Mound which has allowed the 2 point gap to persists. Midlothian will go back into the 1st Place Battle as they will take on the Dragons on Thursday Night at 9:15 PM at the Euless Stars Center. The Midlothian/Southlake Carroll Winner paired with a possible Keller ISD Loss to Flower Mound would have a 1st Place Tie with 2 games left in the season. Expect this race to go to the Final Night of the season on March 1st when Keller ISD takes on Denton County, Southlake Carroll takes on Mansfield ISD & Midlothian takes on FM Marcus.
Elsewhere in the South Division, they will be an important game for the 4th & Final Playoff spot as Mansfield ISD take on FM Marcus as it will be a huge result regardless of the outcome this week. If Mansfield ISD Wins paired with a Grapevine/Colleyville ISD victory over Denton County will officially knock out the Marauders from Playoff Contention. However, if FM Marcus can pull off a critical win would put them just a point back of Mansfield.
Realistically though, to keep FM Marcus' Playoff hopes alive, they would need a victory plus a Denton County Victory over GCISD where if that scenario happens, FM Marcus would be just 1 point back of both teams for the 4th & Final Playoff Spot in the South Division with 2 games left. Also FM Marcus could be viewed as a possible Spoiler as they have won 6 of their last 8 including important wins over both McKinney & Grapevine/Colleyville who are in the midst of the playoff race in the Silver Tier.
Finally, even though Flower Mound & Denton County are technically not out of the playoff race. Both teams face daunting challenges this week as Flower Mound take on Division Leading Keller ISD, while Denton County takes on a motivated and desperate GCISD Team where a loss from either team will basically take them out of the playoff hunt. Not only that, even just one point from either Mansfield ISD or GCISD would also knock them out of the race, so they need not only to take care of business but need a lot of help to hang on to their slim playoff hopes.
Up North were getting ready to possibly crown a Division Champion as the Plano East Panthers can clinch the North Division Title this week if they can beat Richardson/Rockwall along with a desperate Frisco Team which currently sits in 5th if they can beat the Highland Park Scots in McKinney. That Frisco ISD VS. Highland Park Game will be important in both the North Division Title Race and for 3rd & 4th as both McKinney (Currently in 3rd) & Prosper (Currently in 4th) could be in position to clinch playoff spots this week.
For both teams, a win for either side paired with a Highland Park Win would clinch a playoff spot for either McKinney or Prosper. However, if both team win paired with a Highland Park Victory over Frisco; both McKinney & Prosper would clinch the last two playoff spots and knocking Frisco ISD Out of contention in the process.
That could put the spotlight on a possible 3 way battle between Highland Park, Prosper & McKinney for the 2nd Spot in the North Division. Garland ISD has been out of playoff contention in the last three weeks. Fellow Division Bottom Feeders Richardson/Rockwall & Bishop Lynch were eliminated from playoff contention last week with both teams losing to Highland Park & Garland last week in a 9-8 thriller last week just after the League All Star Game.
Even though no one can officially clinch a QF Round Bye in the Gold Tier this week, Thursday's games will tell us a lot going forward. Both Arlington ISD & Plano West can put themselves in great shape if both teams win their games this week as Arlington ISD faces Plano Senior & Plano West plays Dallas Jesuit.
If both Arlington ISD & Plano West win, they would be on the cusp of clinching the QF Round Byes as 3rd Place Dallas Jesuit could only hope to be in a 3 way tie for 1st with by winning their final two games with Arlington ISD & Plano West would have to lose their remaining games for that scenario to happen. Jesuit's best hope of setting themselves up for a Quarterfinal Round Bye would be beating Plano West & Arlington ISD losing to Plano Senior in McKinney this week which would set up a 3 way tie for first, especially if Coppell pulls off an upset of Allen this week where neither Allen or Plano Senior would be able to earn enough points to even catchup with the top 3 in the final 2 weeks of the regular season.
If they is a 3 way tie for first place in the Gold Tier, it more then likely lock Allen & Plano Senior into the #4 VS. #5 Quarterfinal Matchup when the Gold Tier Playoffs starts on March 5. assuming who ever finishes in the #3 Seed and a favorable QF Matchup against Coppell, could set up a very tough Semifinal Matchup against who ever finishes on top of the Gold Tier. So it's going to be important to at least finish in the top 3 when the regular season ends on March 1.
As for Coppell who sits way back in 6th Place, last week's win against Plano Senior wasn't enough for them to get them back in the battle for the 2 1st Round Byes. With a maximum of 19 points along with Plano Senior & Allen tied for 4th with 20 points each, Coppell is locked into the 6th & Final Seed for the start of the Gold Tier Playoffs which begin on March 5.
If the playoffs would begin today, these would be the 1st Round Matchups in both Tiers.
#1 Arlington ISD & #2 Plano West would have QF Round Byes
#3 Dallas Jesuit VS. #6 Coppell
#4 Allen VS. #5 Plano Senior
#1N Plano East VS. #4S GCISD
#2N Highland Park VS. #3S Southlake Carroll
#1S Keller ISD VS. #4N Prosper
#2S Midlothian VS. #3N McKinney ISD
Here's this weeks Schedule
Arlington ISD VS. Plano Senior 7:00 PM @ McKinney Stars Center
Allen VS. Coppell 8:15 PM @ Farmers Branch Stars Center
Dallas Jesuit VS. Plano West 8:45 PM @ McKinney Stars Center
Garland ISD VS. McKinney ISD 6:30 PM @ Farmers Branch Stars Center
FM Marcus VS. Mansfield ISD 7:00 PM @ Euless Stars Center
Highland Park VS. Frisco ISD 7:15 PM @ McKinney Stars Center
Denton County VS. GCISD 7:30 PM @ Euless Stars Center
Flower Mound VS. Keller ISD 8:45 PM @ Euless Stars Center
Bishop Lynch VS. Prosper 9:00 PM @ McKinney Stars Center
Richardson/Rockwall VS. Plano East 9:00 PM @ Farmers Branch Stars Center
Southlake Carroll VS. Midlothian 9:15 PM @ Euless Stars Center