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.