As I mentioned earlier in the week, Friday and Saturday’s games don’t feature the luster of weeks past in the Fox Valley area, but there are key games of note that will prove greater importance come playoff time.
Crystal Lake Central and surprise Woodstock North will be looking to go 3-1 on the season with the loser claiming an even record not just in the Fox Division, but overall. Going 3-1 for both teams makes it much easier to earn a playoff spot.
Playoff spots are looking dim for teams like Dundee-Crown (0-3), Hampshire (0-3), Huntley (0-3), Larkin (1-2) and Woodstock (0-3) while South Elgin (1-2) needs a big first home win over 3-0 Metea Valley to keep its hopes alive.
Crystal Lake South, Prairie Ridge, Jacobs, St. Edward and Streamwood all possess 3-0 records. They are in solid shape for playoff actions. The 2-1 squads – Bartlett, Burlington Central, Cary-Grove, Crystal Lake Central, McHenry and Woodstock North are in decent shape but can’t afford to hover around the .500 mark all season.
McHenry is the one team that needs a win desperately against Jacobs. At 2-1 and in decent shape for now, the Warriors schedule only gets tougher. Tonight it’s Jacobs. They still have the likes of Cary-Grove, Crystal Lake South and Prairie Ridge ahead of them. Losses to those three teams and a loss to the Golden Eagles tonight will disqualify them from postseason action.
You need five to qualify for the IHSA playoffs, six to confirm a bid. Five wins can still get a team in, but then it comes down to playoff points.
So if Warrior knocks down Golden Eagle and takes care of business against everyone else but the D-155 Valley teams, they should have enough playoff points to make it in. Having those teams on the schedule plus Marian Central, who plays Montini tonight up in Woodstock, never hurts. But McHenry has a tough road ahead.
I’ll be in Woodstock tonight out to cover Montini and Marian Central. Should be a good Suburban Christian matchup. Marian Central is No. 3 in the AP Class 5A poll whereas Montini is right behind them in the four spot. Montini has knocked out the Hurricanes out of the playoffs the past two seasons.
Bartlett and Batavia in the Upstate Eight should be an awesome game to attend if you can’t make up to any Fox Valley or Big Northern game tonight. I’m expecting big things from Bartlett’s defense, who will try to stop the spread of Batavia.
The Five Cents Week 4 Picks
Last week: 7-3
Crystal Lake Central (2-1, 1-0) at Woodstock North (2-1, 1-0) – 7:15 p.m. – Winner: Tiger
Dundee-Crown (0-3, 0-1) at (3) Prairie Ridge (3-0, 1-0) – 7:15 p.m. – Winner: Wolf
Huntley (0-3, 0-1) at (5) Crystal Lake South (3-0, 1-0) – 7:15 p.m. – Winner: Gator
McHenry (2-1, 1-0) vs. Jacobs (3-0, 0-0) – 7:15 p.m. – Winner: Golden Eagle
St. Edward (3-0, 1-0) at Marmion Academy (1-2, 0-1) – 7:30 p.m. – Winner: Green Wave
Elgin (1-2, 0-1) at Geneva (3-0, 1-0) – 7:30 p.m. – Winner – Viking
St. Charles North (0-3, 0-0) at Streamwood (3-0, 1-0) – 1:00 p.m. – Winner: Sabre
Metea Valley (3-0, 1-0) at South Elgin* (1-2, 1-0) – 1:30 p.m. – Winner: Storm
*Inaugural home game for South Elgin
Woodstock (0-3, 0-1) at Grayslake Central (3-0, 1-0) – 7:15 p.m. tonight
Winner – Ram
THE FIVE CENTS GAME OF THE WEEK
Bartlett (2-1) at Batavia (3-0) – 7:30 p.m. tonight
( ) – denotes AP ranking
6A – Prairie Ridge
7A – Crystal Lake South