PLAYOFF PICTURE: Sizing up undefeated Tonganoxie’s potential postseason scenarios
If Tonganoxie High makes a big playoff run this season, THS fans won’t have far to go to watch their Chieftains.
Though some seeds aren’t set in stone with one more Friday of regular season left, it appears that Tonganoxie will be one of the top two seeds, which means home-field advantage for much of the playoffs.
Tonganoxie (7-0 overall and 6-0 in Frontier League play) currently is the No. 2 seed in the Class 4A East Region bracket. Fellow Frontier League member Paola (7-0 and 6-0) is the top seed. The only thing separating the two teams is the tiebreaker point system based on margin of victory. Paola is at 91 points and Tonganoxie at 87. The difference in a season in which both teams have dominated opponents is that Week 5 clash for Tonganoxie at Piper. THS was in a low-scoring dog fight before pulling ahead for a 21-12 victory. For the top two seeds to change next week, aside from a Paola loss coupled with a Tonganoxie victory, would be for THS to defeat Ottawa by more 13 or more and Paola to defeat Louisburg by 3 points or less.
Tonganoxie likely will play Ottawa in back-to-back weeks. THS plays Ottawa (1-6 and 1-5) on Friday at Beatty Field in the regular-seaon finale.
With Tonganoxie being the No. 2 seed and Ottawa No. 15, that is the likely matchup in the first Friday of playoffs Nov. 1.
Though Tonganoxie has held the No. 2 spot for much of the season, Week 7 caused some seeding moves Friday.
St. Thomas Aquinas, ranked No. 1 in Kansas high school sports website polls for 5A, knocked off Bishop Miege on Friday, 45-32. Miege is ranked No. 1 in Class 4A in those same polls. That dropped Miege down to the No. 4 spot, allowing Chanute (6-1) to move up to the No. 3 seed.
Louisburg (5-2) is No. 5, Bonner Springs (No. 6) and Pittsburg No. 7 (4-3). The Purple Dragons have dropped a few seeds with back-to-back losses. PHS could drop down to No. 8 when the final seeds are determined next week. Pittsburg is at undefeated De Soto, while current No. 9 seed Basehor-Linwood (4-3) is at Schlagle. The Stallions are 4-2, but just got past Shawnee Heights, 25-23 in Week 3. SHHS then lost to BLHS, 57-19, the next week. If those teams swapped spots, THS could have a rematch of its Week 1 clash with archrival Basehor-Linwood. Tonganoxie won that game, 49-28.
If the regular season were to end today, Tonganoxie would take on Ottawa on Nov. 1 at THS.
Regionals would be Nov. 8 against No. 7 Pittsburg (4-3) or No. 10 Labette County (3-4). Sectionals Nov. 15 would be against the winner of No. 3 Chanute (6-1) and No. 14 Fort Scott (1-6) or No. 6 Bonner Springs (5-2) and No. 11 Spring Hill (3-4).
Substate is Nov. 22 and State Nov. 30.
The Top 4 teams in the West Bracket are No. 1 McPherson (7-0), No. 2 Anodver Central (6-1), No. 3 Buhler (5-2) and No. 4 Winfield (5-2).
The winners of the east and west brackets will meet at 1 p.m. Nov. 30 at Hummer Sports Complex in Topeka.