3A GSHL boys basketball playoff possibilities

EDITOR’S NOTE: Schedule change for district tournament.

The 3A Greater St. Helens League boys basketball season ends Friday, when Camas meets Mountain View.

On Thursday, Hudson’s Bay faces Fort Vancouver and Prairie meets Kelso.

Camas (8-3), Mountain View (7-4), Hudson’s Bay (7-4), Prairie (6-5) and Kelso (6-5) have clinched berths into next week’s district tournament. Four of the five teams will advance to the bi-district tournament the following week.

We’ve looked at the 3A GSHL tiebreaker formulas, and we THINK we’ve got everything figured out.

Here’s the district playoff format (all games are at Bay):

Tuesday, Feb. 8: No. 5 vs. No. 4 (loser out)

Thursday, Feb. 10: Tuesday winner vs. No. 3 (loser No. 4 to bi-district)

Friday, Feb. 11: Thursday winner vs. No. 2 (loser No. 3 to bi-district)

Saturday, Feb. 12: Friday winner vs. No. 1 (winner No. 1 to bi-district, loser No. 2)

Now, here’s a disclaimer: The following scenarios are based on the assumption that Bay will snap its three-game losing streak and beat Fort Vancouver (1-10) on Thursday. We’re not saying that Fort CAN’T beat Bay. We’re just saying a Fort win would be an upset. And also, a Fort win would REALLY complicate things, so we’ll just set that possibility aside for the purposes of this exercise.

So here’s what teams need to know.

CAMAS (8-3): It’s really simple for the Papermakers … if they win Friday. If Camas beats Mountain View Friday, the Papermakers will be league champions and claim the No. 1 seed into the district tournament and its free pass into the district title game. However, if Camas falls to Mountain View, the Papermakers will share the league title with Mountain View and Hudson’s Bay. Because of Mountain View’s head-to-head sweeps of Camas and Bay, the Thunder would claim the No. 1 seed to district. That would lead Camas and Bay tied for the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds. Those spots will be determined by the outcome of the Prairie-Kelso game. A Kelso win favors Camas, as the Papermakers swept the Hilanders, giving them two quality wins over the fourth-place team in the league and therefor the No. 2 seed. A Prairie win benefits Bay, as the Eagles swept the Falcons.

You follow? No? Too bad. We’re moving on.

MOUNTAIN VIEW (7-4): For Mountain View, it’s simple. If the Thunder beat Camas, they’ll share in the league title and claim the No. 1 seed to district. If they lose to Camas, they will take the No. 3 seed to district. Mountain View split with both Kelso and Prairie this season, but the Thunder’s head-to-head sweep of Hudson’s Bay gives them two quality wins over the second-place team, which is better than Kelso or Prairie.

HUDSON’S BAY (7-4): The Eagles’ three-game losing streak took them out of any hope of claiming the No. 1 seed to district. But Bay could still share in the league title if Mountain View beats Camas. Then their playoff seeding would depend on the outcome of the Kelso-Prairie (see Camas above). But if Camas beats Mountain View, Bay is alone in second place and claims the No. 2 seed to district.

PRAIRIE (6-5) and KELSO (6-5): Regardless of what happens Thursday, both of these teams are in the district tournament and both will meet again Tuesday to open district. The winner of the Thursday’s game will get to wear white on Tuesday. But don’t think this game doesn’t have much meaning. It could mean quite a bit to Camas and Bay.

So the bottom line is that it appears we’ll avoid any Monday tiebreaker games in the 3A GSHL boys … as long as Hudson’s Bay beats Fort Vancouver on Thursday.

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