Hardcourt heats up as playoffs begin
It's time to tie those high-tops in double knots because the action is bound to get hard and heavy as the Northern Section basketball playoffs have begun.
A total of nine boys and nine girls teams earned a postseason nod, with play tipping off Tuesday for a number of the teams.
Boys Division IV
The Division IV bracket provides arguably the most intriguing possibly matchup for tri-county fans, as Corning earned the top seed while Orland is the second seed. Both teams are on opposite sides of the bracket so could potentially meet fort the championship.
First, the Cardinals (24-2, 7-1 NAL champions) have a first-round bye to prepare for Friday's home game against either No. 8 West Valley or No. 9 Anderson. Corning beat Anderson twice during the regular season, and stopped West Valley in their season finale.
Orland (22-4, 8-0 BVL champions) also gets a pass on the first round, and waits the winner of the matchup between No. 7 Sutter and No. 10 Yreka. The Trojans handled Sutter twice and Yreka once during the season.
Colusa (12-13, 6-4 is the 12th seed MVL) and plays at fifth-seeded Live Oak (16-5, 10-2 SVL co-champions) tonight. The two teams did not meet during the season.
Boys Division V
Two tri-county teams meet tonight when No. 5 Pierce (17-6, 10-2 SVL co-champions) hosts No. 12 Los Molinos (9-16, 4-8 Five Star). Pierce collared the Bulldogs 64-34 on Dec. 6.
Sixth-seeded Hamilton (16-10, 8-4 SVL) got a home game tonight with No. 11 Trinity (12-14, 6-6 Shasta Cascade), and the two teams are meeting for the first time.
Williams went 6-15 and was 0-10 in the MVL. As the 15th seed, they will have their hands full at Modoc (20-4, 11-1 Shasta Cascade champions). It will also be a first meeting between the two.
Boys Division VI
Maxwell (16-6, 9-1 MVL champions) had the opportunity to defend the home court on Tuesday, when the fifth-seeded Panthers hosted No. 12 Redding Adventist (15-11, 7-3 PVL). It was Maxwell's first meeting with the Lumberjacks.
Princeton (11-11, 7-3 PVL) welcomed Dunsmuir (12-6, 7-3 Evergreen) to town on Tuesday, seeing the Tigers for the first time.
Girls Division IV
Corning went 14-10 overall and was 5-3 in the NAL, but it was good enough to secure the No. 3 seed and a first-round bye. They begin play Friday by hosting the winner between No. 6 Willows and No. 11 Central Valley.
The Lady Honkers (18-7, 10-2 SVL) hosted the Falcons (8-18, 2-6 NAL) on Tuesday, having not made their acquaintance during the regular season.
Colusa (14-11, 6-4 MVL) made the long road trip to play Lassen (13-10, 4-4 NAL) on Tuesday. It was the first time the two teams tipped off this year.
Girls Division V
Seventh-seeded Hamilton (12-13, 7-5 SVL) had a home game with No. 10 Etna (11-10, 4-8 Shasta Cascade) on Tuesday, without having seen the Lions at all during the season.
Williams was 6-12 and 1-9 in the MVL, and trekked to play at No. 4 Fall River (14-9, 7-5 Shasta Cascade) on Tuesday in the first meeting of the season between the two squads.
Los Molinos (5-19, 2-10 Five Star) made it in as the No. 15 seed, but played No. 2 Weed (18-8, 10-2 Shasta Cascade co-champions) on the road Tuesday.
Girls Division VI
Maxwell (15-5, 9-1 MVL champions) gets to savor its league championship a bit longer with a first-round bye. Their Round 2 opponent will be either No. 8 Redding Adventist or No. 9 Paradise Adventist.
Princeton (18-6, 10-1 PVL champions) entered play Tuesday as the No. 7 seed, and hosted No. 10 Chester (13-13, 6-6 Five Star). The Eagles did not see the Volcanoes this season.
Mercy (12-12, 6-6 Five Star) is the No. 12 seed, and plays tonight up at fifth-seeded Westwood (23-2, 10-0 PML champions). The Lady Warriors lost 53-34 on Dec. 13 in Westwood.