High school basketball playoff tournaments taking shape

The postseason brackets are mostly set for Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association basketball league championship tournaments, but there are still a couple of seeds, and a conference championship, to be determined.

The South Tahoe boys are playing the next two days to determine if they will be a fourth or fifth seed while the Lady Vikings are fighting today to stay alive.

The Incline Highlanders and Whittell boys’ and girls’ teams each earned the No. 2 seed in their respective leagues, but the Lady Warriors play Tuesday at home for a chance to earn a co-league championship, the program’s first since 2006.

With snow burying Lake Tahoe, the Viking boys’ final two regular season games were postponed until Monday afternoon and Tuesday.

The Vikings (9-10, 9-7 Northern League) play at unbeaten Elko (17-0 Northern) tonight and at Spring Creek Tuesday. They will play Dayton in the first round of the 3A playoffs no matter what they do in the next two games, either as a No. 4 or 5 seed.

South Tahoe and Dayton have played twice this season with each game going into overtime with split results.

The Lady Vikings (7-15, 6-10 Northern) must beat Elko (6-10 Northern) tonight otherwise their season will end Tuesday in the regular season finale. If they beat Elko, they are looking at a play-in game, a rematch, at 6 p.m. Wednesday at North Valleys High School in Reno.

If they beat Spring Creek in the regular season finale, they are in without an out-bracket contest.

South Tahoe has nearly doubled its win total from a year ago when it missed the playoffs.

The class 3A playoffs will take place Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 21-23, at North Valleys.

The Lady Warriors (15-6, 8-1 1A West league) at 5 p.m. Tuesday will try to put the finishing touches on what has been a remarkable turnaround this season under head coach Phil Bryant.

With a win over Sage Ridge (1-13, 1-8 West), Whittell would claim a share of the league championship for the first time in well over a decade.

Over the last 11 seasons, the Lady Warriors have won just 66 games, or an average of just over six per year. The most wins during that stretch was 11 in 2008-09, the last time they reached the playoffs.

They will play the No. 3 seed from the east, Owyhee, in the first round of playoffs at 4:40 p.m. Thursday at Hug High School in Reno.

The Lady Warriors met Owyhee (11-8, 5-3 East League) early in the season in December and lost 51-44.

The Whittell boys grabbed control of the West League in early February only to give it back four days later with an upset loss.

The Warriors (18-2, 7-2 West) are still the No. 2 seed according to the NIAA website and will close the season with Sage Ridge (8-9, 6-3 West) at 6:30 Tuesday at home.

They will play Eureka (11-10, 6-4 East), the No. 3 seed from the East, at 3 p.m. Thursday at Hug.

Incline’s teams have earned the same seed, but the boys wrapped up a 2A Northern League co-championship and have an easier path to reach the state playoffs.

The class 1A playoffs take place Thursday through Saturday at Wooster High School in Reno.

The Highlander boys (21-6, 15-1 Northern) enter postseason on a 10-game winning streak and haven’t really been closely challenged, except for two close, intense games with co-league champ West Wendover (21-4, 15-1 Northern).

Each of those teams earned a first-round bye and it would be surprising if they didn’t meet for the tournament title.

The Lady Highlanders (19-4, 13-3 Northern) have a much tougher path to state, although earning a first-round bye makes that path a little easier.

Incline will likely face Battle Mountain (20-6, 12-4 Northern) in the semifinals with a state berth on the line.

League and defending state champ White Pine (23-2, 15-1 Northern) will likely face Yerington (19-8, 12-4 Northern) in the other semifinal.

The Lady Highlanders have beaten all three of the schools this season, but has also lost to all three teams, including a 48-19 loss to Battle Mountain Jan. 31 at home.

That result came nearly a month after the Highlanders edged the Longhorns by two points in their first meeting.

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