Three City Boys Leagues Offer Key Matchups Among the Contenders

Times Staff Writer

With slightly more than one week remaining in the regular season, three of the eight Boys City basketball leagues have matchups involving the top two teams.

Thursday afternoon Lincoln (7-1) is at Eagle Rock (7-1) in the Northern League. Thursday evening Dorsey (7-1) is at Crenshaw (7-1) in the Central League and North Hollywood (7-1) is at Grant (6-2) in the East Valley League.

In addition to the league championships at stake, a number of playoff berths in the two playoff divisions are yet to be decided.

In the 4-A Division, the first five teams from three leagues plus one at-large team qualify for the playoffs. In the 3-A Division, the first three teams from five leagues plus one at-large team qualify. The first round of the playoffs is Feb. 20.

In determining the 4-A at-large berth, a team that ties for fifth-place in one league takes precedence over a sixth-place finisher in another league. In the 3-A, third-place ties take precedence over a fourth-place finisher.

If there are two teams from different leagues that have tied for fifth-place in the 4-A or third-placed in the 3-A, than the team with the best league record will advance. If a tie still exists, the team with the best overall record gains the at-large berth.

Here's a look, by league, at the playoff picture in the 4-A and 3-A divisions.

4-A DIVISION: CENTRAL--Crenshaw and Dorsey are tied for first at 7-1 and play Thursday night at Crenshaw. Westchester (4-4) has also qualified for the playoffs and Palisades (3-5) needs just one win, either Tuesday at Dorsey or Thursday afternoon at Washington, to advance. Washington (1-7) plays at Westchester Tuesday and must have at least one win to have a chance to tie Fremont (2-6) for fifth. MARINE--San Pedro (7-1), Carson and Gardena, both 5-3, have all qualified. Manual Arts (4-4) which appeared to have made the playoffs until it had to forfeit three league games, now needs a win Tuesday at home against Carson or at Locke (1-7) Thursday afternoon to insure its playoff spot. Locke, which is at home Tuesday against San Pedro, must have at least one win in its last two games to have a chance to tie Banning (2-6) for fifth place. VALLEY--Fairfax (9-0), Cleveland (7-2), Kennedy (6-4), and Taft (6-4) are all playoff-bound. The fifth qualifier should be El Camino Real (3-7) which is at Taft Thursday night and plays host to Cleveland, Feb. 18. The winner of the Hamilton (1-9)-Reseda (1-8) game Feb. 18 should also qualify if both Locke and Washington fail to win another game.

3-A DIVISION: EAST VALLEY--North Hollywood (7-1) and Grant (6-2) meet for the title Thursday night at Grant. North Hollywood has qualified but if Grant loses at Poly (4-4) Tuesday and to North Hollywood, look for a three-way tie for second between Poly, Grant and Van Nuys (4-4). Poly's record is somewhat deceiving since it had to forfeit two league games. EASTERN--Bell (7-1) is in the playoffs and Roosevelt (6-2) should advance. South Gate (4-4) plays host to Huntington Park (5-3) Thursday afternoon and a win by South Gate should create a tie for third between the two. NORTHERN--Eagle Rock and Lincoln, both 7-1, play for the title Thursday afternoon at Eagle Rock. A win by Belmont (4-4) against visiting Marshall (2-6) Tuesday should sew up third for Belmont. Wilson (3-5) which is at Lincoln Tuesday and plays host to Belmont Thursday afternoon also has an outside chance to make the playoffs. NORTHWEST VALLEY--Birmingham (8-0) and Granada Hills (6-2) have already qualified and play Tuesday at Birmingham. San Fernando (5-3) needs just one win, either at Canoga Park Tuesday or at Chatsworth Thursday night, to be sure of third place. PAC-6--Only Hollywood (0-8) is out of playoff contention. The schedule: Tuesday, University (5-3) is at Venice (5-3); Los Angeles (6-2) is at Jefferson (4-4); and Hollywood is at Jordan (4-4). Thursday afternoon, Los Angeles is at University, Jordan is at Venice and Jefferson is at Hollywood.

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