UPDATED: with Adirondack League tiebreakers, see below.
The Adirondack League girls basketball playoff race is coming down to a fast and furious finish in Division III. All four teams are still vying for the title: Defending champ North Warren and Hartford are both 8-5, while Fort Ann and Fort Edward are both 7-6. The season comes down to Friday night at 7 p.m., when North Warren plays at Fort Ann, and Fort Edward is at Hartford. I'm not certain of the tiebreakers in the event of a tie, but it's conceivable that all four teams could finish 8-6 — not sure I want to untie that Gordian knot.
Three of the four Adirondack League playoff spots have already been determined. Lake George (13-0 league) and Argyle (11-2) have won Divisions I and II, respectively, and Division I runner-up Warrensburg (10-3) are in the semifinals, set for Tuesday at 6 and 7:30 p.m. at SUNY Adirondack. They will be seeded 1 through 4 based on league record.
So what we have so far for the Adirondack League girls basketball semis on Tuesday are No. 3 Warrensburg vs. No. 2 Argyle at 6 p.m., and No. 1 Lake George vs. whoever wins Division III at 7:30 p.m.
The semifinal winners play in the Adirondack League girls championship game on Friday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. at SUNY Adirondack. The boys championship game is set for 8 p.m., also at the college — the boys are scheduled to play their semifinals on Wednesday night at Queensbury High School.
UPDATE: I got the tiebreaker criteria from Adirondack League rep Scott Smith, the Warrensburg head coach. Here's what he has:
"Division winners are based on overall league record. If a tie within the division occurs, the following criteria will be used until the tie is broken: A. Head to head, B. Divisional record, C. Point differential among teams tied (max. differential is 20 points per contest), D. Point differential within division, E. Coin flip (two teams), draw straws (three or more teams).
He went on to say in his email, "If Hartford wins on Friday, the are the D3 champion. If North Warren wins, and Hartford loses, North Warren is the D3 champion. If NW and Hartford both lose, all four teams would finish with an 8-6 record in the league. Head-to-head doesn't come into play because it would be more than two teams tied. Hartford would be the D3 winner because they have a better divisional record than NW, FA and FE."
In other topics:
— I finally got the chance to check out Cambridge and see why the Indians are 17-0 this season. A team made up primarily of seniors and freshmen, Cambridge bought into a team-first concept early and are on a roll. They have a nice quick-passing fast-break offense and a hard-pressing defense that makes up for times their shots don't fall — like Wednesday night against Stillwater. Cambridge only scored 46 points, but the Indians allowed just 21, and 13 of those came in the first 13 minutes of the game. Cambridge used a 19-0 run bracketing the second and third quarters to seize control and never looked back.
— Speaking of playoffs, it looks like Cambridge — which has already wrapped up the Division 2 title — will play Tamarac (14-2) in the first Wasaren League girls championship game, set for 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, at Skidmore College. I'm not 100 percent sure that Tamarac has clinched the Division 1 title, but the Bengals did defeat Mechanicville — one of its closer competitors — on Wednesday night.
— If they continue to win, Amsterdam and Scotia will meet Monday to all but determine the Foothills Council title. Nothing is guaranteed of course: Queensbury can still have an effect on the race — the Spartans host Broadalbin-Perth tonight (Thursday) and Amsterdam in a makeup game Friday night. Queensbury and Gloversville are both still in the tangle near the top of the Foothills standings.
— It's too bad the Foothills scrapped its North-South division format this season, because Queensbury would have won the North Division by now, and would play either Scotia, Amsterdam or Gloversville for the league championship.
A look at the state rankings -- click here for the complete New York State Sportswriters Association rankings:
— Argyle is still being undervalued in the Class D rankings, as the Scots remain No. 18. Bolton is ranked 10th, but took its first loss of the season the other night against Westport.
— In Class C, Cambridge is the only undefeated team in the rankings, but is No. 2 behind Bainbridge-Guilford of Section IV, right off of I-88 between Oneonta and Binghamton. Mekeel Christian, the defending Section II champion, is ranked fourth behind Millbrook of Section IX — Cambridge defeated the Millbrook football team in the Class D state semifinals last fall. Hoosic Valley, which lost to Cambridge by 20 last Saturday, is ranked 14th, followed by Berne-Knox in 16th and Lake George at No. 18.
— Tamarac is ranked seventh in Class B, with No. 22 Mechanicville the only other Section II team in the rankings.
-- Averill Park is No. 3 in Class A, with unbeaten Holy Names at No. 9, followed by Scotia (15th) and Amsterdam (19th).
-- Shenendehowa is the top Section II team in Class AA, ranked No. 8. Colonie is ranked 23rd, while Saratoga Springs and Shaker are honorable mentions. Saratoga beat Shen earlier this season, but the rematch is Feb. 9.