[aesop_image imgwidth=”720″ img=”http://www.gametimect.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/2016-Playoff-Graphic-1123.jpg” credit=”Sean Patrick Bowley” align=”left” lightbox=”on” caption=”The state playoff qualifiers heading into Thanksgiving Day 2016.” captionposition=”left”]
The Class S and Class M playoff situation had potential to be simple or incredibly complicated on Thanksgiving Eve.
The front-running teams made it simple.
In CLASS S, Rocky Hill defeated Cromwell/Portland in the Shunpike Showdown and clinched a spot in the Class S playoffs. Bullard-Havens and Seymour both won to join them.
Finally, Stafford/Somers/East Windsor officially sealed the eighth and final spot with its victory over Windsor Locks. All that’s left is seeding.
In CLASS M, New Fairfield wasted no time in clinching the final spot in Class M. The Rebels crushed New Milford, 57-8, to make a second-consecutive trip to the post season.
In CLASS LL, Ridgefield rolled past Danbury to take the fifth berth. Three spots remain.
Finally, in CLASS L, idle Platt clinched a spot when Masuk lost a 35-28 heartbreaker to Newtown.
HOWEVER, all is not lost for Masuk. What once looked like a desperate cause, took a bright turn. They’re a lock if Naugatuck loses. More on that in a second…
All told, seven teams clinched playoff spots, leaving just six up for grabs on Thanksgiving Morning.
HERE’S WHERE WE STAND:
Notre Dame-WH is in with a victory over Hamden.
Naugatuck must beat Ansonia to get in. Maloney will clinch with a victory over Platt, but it can also get in with a loss.
If Naugatuck loses, the Greyhounds would be out and Masuk will clinch its first playoff berth since 2012. Harding can’t catch them, just tie, and Masuk overwhelmingly wins on tiebreak points with both Harding and Maloney.
Harding‘s path to the playoffs is now dire. Barring a Notre Dame-WH loss to Hamden, the Presidents’ only chance is if it beats Central and if Maloney loses. The Presidents would then need either Platt Tech to beat O’Brien Tech (getting them to 970), and have Hartford Public, Farmington or East Catholic lose.
If Platt Tech doesn’t beat O’Brien, then Maloney would just need two of those games to tie Harding at 960 and would win overwhelmingly on tiebreak points. And Maloney would be in.
Wilton is basically a lost cause. They need to beat Trinity and have ND, Naugatuck and Harding to lose.
As for seeding, New Canaan is No. 1 with win over Darien. New London will be No. 2 with a win over Xavier. Windsor will be third behind those two unless one or both lose, then the Warriors could climb to the top spot.
Middletown has just about clinched the No. 4. The Platt/Maloney winner will be the No. 5. Notre Dame will be the No. 6 with a win over Hamden. Naugatuck would be the No. 6 if it beats Ansonia, bumping ND to No .7.
In the event of a Naugatuck loss, Masuk will claim the No. 7 seed if Platt wins. If Maloney wins, Masuk will be the No. 8.
Three spots remain.
Shelton, NFA and Fairfield Prep can claim them all with victories.
Cheshire can get in with a win over Southington and a loss by either NFA or Fairfield Prep.
Greenwich can get in with a win over Staples and losses by Fairfield Prep and Cheshire.
Greenwich can still get in if Prep wins, but only if both NFA and Cheshire lose and they get wins from their six bonus teams (Norwalk, Ludlowe, Trinity, Westhill, Central and Trumbull) to stay ahead of NFA.
With a loss, NFA would start at 930 and is counting on these four bonus teams: East Lyme, Bacon Academy, Stamford, Stonington. NFA’s max in this scenario is 970. It’ll more likely get 950
If Greenwich gets three of them, they’ll get in with 980 over NFA. Two might do the trick, too.
Trumbull can sneak in with Greenwich’s scenario, but only if Greenwich also loses. Trumbull is counting on wins by Ludlowe, Trinity, Westhill and Central for a max of 970. They might get two to reach 950.
Xavier’s only hope is if everybody they can catch loses: Prep, Cheshire, Greenwich and Trumbull. Same with Glastonbury. Xavier has the edge in this wild and crazy scenario.
As for the seeds, Darien is No. 1 if it beats New Canaan, West Haven can get the No. 2 if it beats Prep then Shelton and Cheshire win. If not, it’ll be Newtown. Southington will be the No. 4 with a win over Cheshire.
NFA (with a win), Shelton (with a win) and Ridgefield are in line to finish Nos. 5, 6 and 7. But it’ll come down to bonuses. A Fairfield Prep win could earn it the No. 7 seed over Ridgefield.
St. Joseph, Valley Regional, Killingly, Hillhouse, Bunnell, Wolcott and New Fairfield are your 2016 Class M contestants.
St. Joseph will capture the No. 1 seed if it defeats Trumbull.
If St. Joseph loses, it can potentiall fall as far as No. 7, but most likely would be the No. 6 or, if enough bonuses come through, the No. 5.
If Hillhouse beats Wilbur Cross and Foran, Amity or Hamden win, it will be the No. 2 seed. If Hillhouse loses, it could fall as far as the No. 7 seed.
Valley/Old Lyme will be the No. 3 seed unless Hillhouse misses out on all of its bonus games, or if the Academics lose. They can jump as high as No. 1 if St. Joseph loses.
Killingly will get the No. 4 if it beats Quinebaug. It can get as high as No. 2 if if Hillhouse or St. Joseph lose.
Wolcott will be the No. 5 seed if it beats Holy Cross, otherwise it’s the No. 8. If St. Joseph loses it has a good chance at a home quarterfinal if enough bonuses are denied to St. Joseph. They’d clinch a home quarterfinal if both St. Joseph and Hillhouse lost.
Bunnell will be the No. 6 seed if Wolcott wins, the no. 5 if Wolcott loses. If St. Joseph, Hillhouse or even Killingly lose, the Dawgs could get a home quarterfinal.
New Fairfield will be the No. 7 seed, unless one of the teams playing above lose.
Berlin will be the No. 8 seed unless Wolcott loses. Then it’s No. 7.
Capital Prep/AF will get the No. 1 seed if Ansonia loses. If Ansonia beats Naugatuck, they’ll be neck-and-neck with Capital having four bonus teams (Quinebaug, ATI, Harding, Thames River) and Ansonia three (Derby, Waterbury Career, Kennedy).
Ansonia essentially must best Capital by two bonus games to reach No. 1 and that’s a stretch. (If Capital gets one, Ansonia must get two, etc.).
Ansonia can only drop as low as No. 3 with a loss.
Bloomfield is the No. 3 seed unless Ansonia loses to Naugatuck. Then its the No. 2.
Rocky Hill will be the No. 4 seed if RHAM or Plainville win; or if Harding or Quinebaug lose.
Bullard-Havens will be the No. 5 seed unless Harding or Quinebaug wins and RHAM or Plainville lose.
Cromwell/Portland will be the No. 6 seed unless Stafford can outpoint them with most of its bonus games. Not likely.
Stafford/Somers/East Windsor will likely be the No. 7.
Seymour will likely be the no. 8.