Note – All information in this story is based on the tiebreaker criteria sent to D9Sports.com. D9Sports.com, then used that criteria to figure out the scenarios. However, those scenarios aren’t confirmed by the AML and could be changed at the conference’s discretion. The following story should be used for information purposes only and should not be taken as the final decision on the matter.
By Chris Rossetti
ST. MARYS, Pa. – As we head down the stretch in District 9 basketball, two District 9 conferences hold postseason play prior to the District 9 champions, the AML and the KSAC.
We are still awaiting word on the KSAC tiebreaker, so we will hold off examining that league. But D9Sports.com received the AML tiebreakers from Elk County Catholic Athletics Director Aaron Straub this week, so we will take a look at how the races in that league shape out.
In the AML, the top two teams in each division (North and South) advance to the AML semifinals with the North No. 1 team playing the South No. 2 team and the South No. 1 playing the North No. 2 Friday Feb. 14 on the higher seeds home court. The winners then meet in Saturday’s championship game at St. Marys High School.
The criteria used for determining those seeds is as follows:
1. Overall league record (based on 10 league games)
If teams are still tied after that the following tiebreakers are used in order
1. Head-to-head results among tied teams
2. Division record (In other words, if you are an AML North team how did you fare against the other AML North teams)
3. Overall winning percentage
4. Coin toss
So now that we know how the seeds are determined, let’s take a look at how things are shaking out. Keep in mind, these are unconfirmed based on our understanding of the tiebreakers. The AML reserves the right to make all final decisions.
First in girls’ play, the two seeds from the AML North are easy. Elk County Catholic has won the league with a 10-0 record and Kane, which is currently 6-2, has looked up the second spot regardless of how the Lady Wolves fair in their final two games.
The seeds in the AML South are also set, but are a little more complicated. DuBois Central Catholic will be the top seed out of the AML South and Brockway will be the No. 2 seed. This despite the fact that there could be a three-way tie for first place.
DCC currently leads the division with a 6-2 record. The Lady Cardinals finish league play with Johnsonburg and Kane.
Brockway is in second place at 6-4. The Lady Rovers league schedule is complete, while Curwensville is 5-4 and faces Kane in its final league game.
But none of that matters, and here is why.
If a 3-way tie ensues between DCC, Brockway and Curwensville DCC would still come out on top with Brockway No. 2. Why? See the first tiebreaker which is head-to-head amount the tied teams. DCC and Brockway split the season series, while DCC swept Curwensville and Brockway and Curwensville split their series. That would give DCC first place and Brockway second place. Even if after determining that DCC was the champion, the AML reverted back to the first tiebreaker with Curwensville and Brockway, Brockway would still come out on top with a 4-2 divisional record vs. Curwensville’s 3-3 division record.
In 2-way tie for first between DCC and Brockway, DCC wins on the divisional record tiebreaker with the Lady Cardinals being 5-1 to Brockway’s 4-2.
A 2-way tie for second place between Brockway and Curwensville would go to Brockway based on the above mentioned divisional-record tiebreaker.
So, Friday Feb. 14 ECC should host Brockway and DCC should host Kane.
Now onto the boys.
The four teams are determined already with ECC and Johnsonburg representing the AML North and Ridgway and DCC the AML South.
We will start in the AML South, where Ridgway has clinched first place despite only being a game up on DCC with each team having one game to play.
Ridgway, which is 7-2 in the AML, faces Elk County Catholic, while DCC, which is 6-3, takes on Kane. Even if Ridgway loses to ECC and DCC beats Kane and the teams both finish at 7-3 Ridgway wins based on the divisional tiebreaker. The teams split their regular-season series, but Ridgway finished 5-1 in the AML South while DCC finished 4-2 having lost to Curwensville.
Now to the AML North, and it could end up being determined by the dreaded coin flip.
First the simple scenario: If ECC beats Ridgway, the Crusaders, who are 8-1 in league play currently, are the champions with Johnsonburg, which finished league play 8-2, in second place.
But if ECC loses to Ridgway, then things get complicated. The teams split their regular-season AML games so the head-to-head tiebreaker is out – in this case Johnsonburg’s win over ECC in the Elk County Holiday Tournament is not factored in. That would take it to the third criteria, divisional records. Both teams would be 5-1 in the AML North forcing the fourth criteria into use, overall winning percentage.
In this case, the best ECC could finish would be 19-3 – in addition to Ridgway the Crusaders play Bradford and DuBois. The best Johnsonburg could finish is also 19-3 – the Rams end with Brockway in a non-league game and DuBois. If the teams finish at 19-3, then a coin flip would determine the No. 1 seed and the No. 2 seed. If one team finishes with a better overall winning percentage than the other then that team would be the No. 1 seed.
So the boys’ AML playoff will feature Ridgway hosting either Johnsonburg or Elk County Catholic in one semifinal and DuBois Central Catholic traveling to either Johnsonburg or ECC in the other.
Remember, again, this is all unofficial but is based off the official AML tiebreaker provided to D9Sports.com.
Check back later for a look at the KSAC playoffs, which should be a little less complicated considering no semifinal games are played. The winners of the two divisions face each other in a single title game.
NOTES – Neither the AML nor KSAC playoff games count in a team’s District 9 playoff seeding.