For the first time in several weeks, Mid-Willamette frontrunner Silverton has a bit of pressure on it.
The first-place Foxes (17-3, 11-1) suffered their first loss in nearly two months last Friday when they fell at Lebanon. Now, with four games to go in the regular season, the second-place Warriors (13-5, 9-2) will hope to chase down the Foxes.
Lebanon, which came in at No. 5 in Monday’s OSAA 5A coaches poll, has the luxury of playing three of its final four games at home and will play two pivotal games this week. The Warriors will host Dallas on Tuesday and No. 7-ranked Corvallis (15-5, 8-4) on Friday.
That Friday matchup will also be a crucial one for Corvallis, which currently sits in third place in the league standings and will begin the week by hosting fourth-place West Albany on Tuesday. West (13-7, 7-5) has plenty at stake as well as it tries to hold off fifth-place Central and sixth-place Crescent Valley for the final automatic playoff bid from the conference.
CV (10-10, 6-6) will play South Albany on Thursday before hosting Scappoose in a non-league game on Saturday.
In the 4A rankings, undefeated Philomath (21-0, 10-0) held steady at No. 1 once again this week. The Warriors will have a chance to close out the regular season with a perfect record over the next week and are set to travel to Newport on Friday before hosting Woodburn next Tuesday.
The race for the Oregon West Conference title has come down to the wire, and the ball is in Philomath’s court with two games to go.
The Warriors (17-4, 8-2) hold a half-game lead over second-place Woodburn (15-5, 7-2) and they will play a regular-season finale that could decide the title next Tuesday. First, though, Philomath has to navigate its way through Friday’s game at Newport.
The Cubs are just 3-6 in league play, but they gave the Warriors a tough game in Philomath when the two teams met earlier this season, and Newport scored a massive win over third-place Cascade last week. Elsewhere in the league, fifth-place Sweet Home will aim to sustain its two-game winning streak as it battles for an automatic playoff spot.
The Huskies (13-7, 4-5) will host Cascade on Tuesday and Sisters on Friday, and a pair of wins could catapult them into fourth place.
In the Mid-Willamette Conference, Crescent Valley will fight to keep its hopes of an automatic bid alive on Thursday when the Raiders face South Albany on the road. Silverton, West Albany and Corvallis have strong holds on the top three spots in the league.
If the fifth-place Raiders (10-10, 6-6) score an upset win over the RedHawks (14-5, 7-4) it could create an interesting race for fourth place as the season winds down. At the top of the league standings, Silverton can lock up the MWC title with wins at Dallas and at Corvallis this week.
Second-place West Albany will travel to third-place Corvallis on Tuesday, and a win for the Bulldogs would essentially secure them second place.
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