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Tim Stevens, J. Mike Blake, Clay Best, Aaron Moody, and Elliott Warnock follow all the news for high school athletes from Wake, Orange, Durham, Chatham and Johnston Counties. 

E-mail: Tim | J. Mike | Clay | Aaron | Elliott

What's on the line Friday night in the Tri-9

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With one game to go, there are still many scenarios left to play out in Tri-9 Conference battles in boys' and girls' basketball.

The boys' race is a lot simpler after Tuesday, but the girls' is still wide-open with five teams battling for three spots. We laid out every possible scenario and broke it down with who needs what, and who's in if certain teams win.

*updated after Cary's forfeits to Athens Drive*

Enjoy...

Seeds we know in the girls' bracket:
1-Green Hope
2-Holly Springs
8-Fuquay-Varina
9-Lee County (does not advance to conference tournament)

Still up for grabs:
3-playoff spot
4-playoff spot
5-playoff spot (but will be ousted from autobid if 6, 7 or 8 win Tri-9 tourney)
6-not playoff spot, likely wild-card
7-not playoff spot, not a wild-card (the 4A East only gets one)

Friday's games of note (Tri-9 record):
MID (8-7) vs APX (8-7)
PC (7-8) vs GHO (15-0)
*game forfeited to Athens Drive* ADR (9-7) vs CRY (7-9)
no seeding implications: LEE (0-15) vs HLY (13-2)

4 permutations of each girls' seed with *footnotes:
if MID, ADR, PAN win = 3-MID, 4-ADR, 5-APX, 6-PAN, 7-CRY
if MID, ADR, GHO win = 3-MID, 4-ADR, 5-APX, 6-CRY/PAN*
if APX, ADR, PAN win = 3-APX/ADR**, 5-PAN, 6-MID, 7-CRY
if APX, ADR, GHO win = 3-APX/ADR**, 5-MID, 6-CRY/PAN*

*: Cary would be seeded 6th, PC 7th, but PC would have the wild-card edge.
**: Apex gets 3-seed for "best win," would still need to play tiebreaker for state tournament seeding

Assessing the playoff chances (updated):
Apex: definitely in - 4; definitely out - 0
Athens: definitely in - 4; definitely out - 0
Cary: definitely in - 0; definitely out - 4
MC: definitely in - 3; definitely out - 1
PC: definitely in - 1; definitely out - 2

What we learned (updated):
Apex is in.
Athens Drive is in.
Cary is out.
Middle Creek has one scenario left where it's out.
Panther Creek has one scenario left where they're in.

Whew.

Thank goodness it's not that complicated in the boys' bracket.

Seeds we know in the boys' bracket (updated)
1-Middle Creek or Apex
2-Middle Creek or Apex
3-Green Hope
4-Lee County
5-Panther Creek (but not for playoffs necessarily)
6-Holly Springs (but not for playoffs necessarily)
7-Athens Drive
8-Cary
9-Fuquay-Varina (does not advance to conference tournament)

Still up for grabs:
5-playoff spot (but would be ousted from its autobid if 6, 7 or 8 win Tri-9 tourney)
6-not playoff spot, wild-card consideration

Friday's games of note (Tri-9 record):
MID (13-2) vs APX (12-3) -- winner takes 1st seed, only MC can get outright title
*Athens wins forfeit* ADR (4-12) vs CRY (4-12)
LEE (9-6) vs HLY (7-8) -- if HLY wins, could force tie for 5th
PAN (8-7) vs GHO (11-4) -- PC is in with the win

Four permutations with the boys' brackets
if PAN, LEE win = 5-PAN, 6-HLY
if PAN, HLY win = 5-PAN, 6-HLY
if GHO, LEE win = 5-PAN, 6-HLY
if GHO, HLY win = 5-PAN/HLY (higher seed to PAN for "best win," but one would either have to make it to the title game to avoid a tiebreaker game for the final playoff spot)

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About the blogger

J. Mike Blake has been the Sports Editor for The Cary News and Southwest Wake News since October 2008. He holds two "unofficial" NCHSAA records in two different sports - highest career free throw percentage (2-of-2) in basketball and fewest career singles victories (zero. sigh.) for tennis.
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