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Last day chaos: Foothill League showdowns abound

Champions to be decided today in three Foothill League sports

Posted: February 12, 2009 2:05 a.m.
Updated: February 12, 2009 4:56 a.m.
 
We used a headline for our Foothill League girls soccer preview that read: “Last team standing.”

It was a headline we could have used for all four winter sports.

With the final day of league play set for today, girls and boys soccer and girls and boys basketball all have playoff spots to be determined.

The most intriguing would be the battle for a league championship.

After Canyon defeated Saugus 1-0 on Tuesday, it set up a battle for all the marbles today between the Cowboys and Valencia.

Both teams are 7-1-1 and a tie would give each team a share of the crown.

As far as playoff positioning, the first determining factor is head-to-head battles.

Round one went to Canyon on Jan. 27, a 3-1 Cowboys win.

Saugus has secured third place and will hit the road for the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs.

The Centurions, though, might be the most dangerous third-place team in the bracket.

We got it wrong in a story that ran Tuesday, saying Saugus had lost to Division No. 1 Flintridge Sacred Heart.

The Centurions actually beat that team 3-1 on Dec. 6.

In girls basketball, Saugus hosts Hart and Valencia plays at Canyon.

Both Saugus and Valencia are 7-2.

In basketball, there are at-large bids for playoff spots and some teams play in different divisions, so a fourth-place finish doesn’t necessarily preclude a team from making the postseason.

But third place is guaranteed a spot.

That’s interesting for Canyon and West Ranch, which are both 5-4 headed into the final game.

West Ranch has the more favorable matchup as it hosts league-winless Golden Valley.

If we have learned anything from the past, more than three teams in boys basketball should make the postseason.

Following that logic, Golden Valley, Hart, Valencia and West Ranch would make it, and Canyon and Saugus are on the bubble.

But, again, only the top three teams are guaranteed.

If Golden Valley beats West Ranch, it’s the outright league champ.

Hart needs to beat Saugus and hope the Grizzlies lose. That would give the Indians a share of the league crown.

Valencia and West Ranch, both 4-5 in league, are in must-win situations.

Valencia is at Canyon, West Ranch is at home.

We saved the most confusing for last.

In boys soccer, we know this: Canyon is the Foothill champ.

Then the chaos ensues.

Saugus has 14 points and is in the postseason.

But the Centurions could fall from second to third place if they lose Hart and either West Ranch or Golden Valley wins.

The main matchup we’re looking at is West Ranch at Golden Valley.

Both teams have 12 points.

Basically, win and you’re in.

Tie, and it’s a mess.

That’s because if Valencia beats Canyon and the Wildcats and Grizzlies tie each other, all three teams have 13 points.

Then the tiebreaker would head-to-head competition. If that doesn’t work, a point system based on quality wins in league will determine the third-place team.

cosborne@the-signal.com

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