We’re heading into the home stretch of the winter sports season so it’s time to look at the playoff picture and see where the local teams stand. There is a lot yet to be decided with several local teams right in the hunt for the Berks League playoffs as of Sunday, Jan. 27.
In order for any team to make the playoffs, they will have to finish in the top two spots in their division, or get one of the two wild card spots which are determined by the two teams with the highest power ranking among the teams remaining.
To assure a spot in the playoffs, the best way to get there is to finish first or second in the division. Things are looking bleak for the local teams in girls’ basketball. Hamburg and Tulpehocken are still mathmatically in it, but a lot will have to happen for either team to even finish second.
Hamburg is 3-3 in the league and sits in fourth place in Division 2. Berks Catholic and Conrad Weiser are tied for first place with identical records of 6-1 with three league games remaining on the schedule. We can safely say Hamburg needs to rely on the power rankings to make the playoffs. With four games left on their schedule (Twin Valley, Berks Catholic, Conrad Weiser and Schuylkill Valley), a lot can still happen.
It looks like their main competition for the last two spots will be Governor Mifflin, Fleetwood, Kutztown and Tulpehocken.
Tulpehocken is 3-4 with three games left on its schedule (Kutztown, Oley Valley and Wyomissing). Sitting in fourth place in Division 4, with Oley Valley undefeated and Brandywine Heights sitting at 6-1, the Trojans will also have to rely on the power rankings to make the playoffs.
Schuylkill Valley is out of the hunt with an 0-7 record in Division 2.
Things are even bleaker in on the boys’ side of things. Schuylkill Valley sits are 2-5 in Division 2 with three games remaining. Assuming that finishing first or second in the division is out of the questions (and it is with Conrad Weiser in second place with a 6-1 record), the Panthers are going to have to win all three of their remaining games (Twin Valley, Fleetwood and Hamburg) to have even a shot at the playoffs. All three teams have a losing record so they could win all three. But Oley Valley (4-2) would have to lose at least three of their last four games. With Kutztown and Antietam on the schedule, that is doubtful to happen.
Tulpehocken is in the same boat. The Trojans are 2-5 and sit in fifth place in Division 3 with three gmaes remaining (Kutztown, Oley Valley and Wyomissing). A lot will have to go right for Tulepehocken to make the playoffs. But beating teams like Oley and Wyomissing would certainly improve the Trojans’ power rankings.
The Berks County Team Tournament already took place on Saturday, Jan. 26 at Wyomissing. Schuylkill Valley got a bye to the quarterfinal round where they defeated Governor Mifflin, 36-31. But in the championship match, Wilson downed the Panthers, 51-18.
Hamburg also participated in the tournament, but lost in the first round to Exeter, 46-28.
Both Schuylkill Valley and Hamburg have qualified for the District 3-AA Team Tournament that gets underway on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Schuylkill Valley is the number five seed will play Northern Lebanon in the quarterfinals on Wednesday and Hamburg, seeded seventh, will take on Biglerville.
In the Berks Boys’ Bowling League, the top three teams in each of the two divisions make the playoffs. The division winners get a quarterfinal round bye, while the second and third place finishers in each division battle in the quarterfinals for a chance to beat the division champs in the semifinals.
Both Hamburg and Schuylkill Valley are fighting with Oley Valley for the second and third spots in Division 2. With Wyomissing a distant fourth, there is little doubt that two these teams will make the playoffs.
Currently (as of Jan. 27), Oley Valley is in second place with a record of 21-9 with two matches remaining (Conrad Weiser and Schuylkill Valley) – meaning, they could add six more wins to their record. Schuylkill Valley is right behind them in third place at 19-8, with three matches remaining (Antietam, Berks Catholic and Oley Valley). With three more games than Oley, Schuylkill Valley could jump ahead of Oley for second place with two matches remaining.
Berks Catholic and Antietam have combined total of just three wins so far this season which means the Panthers could very easily get six wins in those two matches. Oley must face Conrad Weiser, the top team in the division. It looks very good for Schuylkill Valley, but it could possibly come down to the match-up between the two teams on Feb. 4, the final day of the season.
Hamburg is in fourth place but not far behind at 18-12 with two matches remaing (Wyomissing and Conrad Weiser). The Scouts are alone in first place with an impressive record of 25-2. They have first place wrapped up and will be tough for Hamburg to beat in order to have good chance at catching Schuylkill Valley or Wyomising.
Tulpehocken has no bowling teams
On the girls’ side of things, Schuylkill Valley, Hamburg and Oley Valley have all officially clinched a playoff spot, it’s now just a matter of which spot.
The Panthers sit alone at the top with a record of 25-2, with three matches remaining. Hamburg is right behind them at 24-6 with two matches remaining. Oley Valley is in third place at 22-8 with two matches remaining. Berks Catholic is a distant fourth with a record of 12-15. Even is the Saints win all of their remaining three matches by scores of 3-0, they still cannot catch third place Oley.
Schuylkill Valley will be tough to catch up to in the top spot. With with three matches remaining, they will meet, Antietam, Berks Catholic and Oley Valley. Assuming the Panthers defeat Antietam, 3-0, and that’s a pretty safe assumption, just splitting the last six games in the final two matches will be enough for the Lady Panthers to clinch a division title and a bye into the semifinals.
Hamburg has a two game lead on Oley Valley with six games (two matches) left. To help matters even more, the Lady Hawks have Wyomissing (8-22) and Conrad Weiser (2-25) remaining on their schedule, which means they have a very good chance of getting at least five of the remaining six decisions which will clinch second place
Oley has Weiser as one opponent, and Schuylkill Valley as the other. The Panthers will be a tough opponent for the Lynx who will most likely have to settle for third place.