The playoff picture in focus

By: Jim Linsdau/News Messenger/Placer Herald Sports Editor
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The 2010-12 basketball season is winding down and in the Rocklin/Lincoln area we have one team firmly ensconced in the Sac-Joaquin Section Playoffs, one team on the bubble, and another lurking in the shadows. The Rocklin High girls basketball team appears to have found their stride and sit at No. 12 in the SJS Power Ratings. As members of the Sierra Foothill League each win the rest of the way could move them even higher. “A win over Roseville is just as valuable as a win over Nevada Union,” said Rocklin girls basketball head coach Rob Ferraro after the Thunder rocked NU 63-39 last week. The Miners were No. 1 in the SFL before the loss. “I think we’re peaking at the right time.” The SFL has a league rating of 6.6 in Division II. The top league rating among the 16 teams now in a position to make the playoffs is 7.2 and the lowest 4.8. The strength of one’s league is a big factor on where a team is seeded. The two teams ranked 10th and 11th (Inderkum and River Valley, respectively) are in the Tri-Counties Conference. The TCC is rated 4.8. A loss by either of those two teams could move up the Thunder another seed or two. One is bound to lose at least one more game since they played each other Tuesday. Inderkum (8-0, 18-5 overall) closes out their season at Natomas (5-3, 9-10), and River Valley (7-1, 20-5) at Yuba City (3-5, 9-16). If the seeding remains as it were Monday, Rocklin would have to travel to River City (10-0, 24-1). If by chance they move up to 11th seed they would be on the road to Grace Davis (10-0, 20-3). The Lincoln High boys basketball team has to defeat Colfax in their final game of the Pioneer Valley League campaign. After four league losses in a row, the Fighting Zebras slipped to 18th in the Division III power ratings. Lincoln’s advantage is the PVL has a 7.0 rating; the three teams ahead of them are in leagues rated 6.2-5.2. The other advantage is Colfax is last in the PVL with a 1-8 record. However, the Falcons did defeat Bear River in their last game, 58-50. The Zebras topped Colfax in their first meeting by 17. Seeded 17th are the Dixon Rams (4-4, 16-9). Dixon has to play Lindhurst (7-1, 19-6) to have a chance of breaking into the top 16. The Blazers are seeded No.6, but only beat the Rams by four in their first meeting. Sitting at No. 16 is Patterson (6-4, 17-7). The Tigers close at Central Catholic (10-1, 22-4) and seeded No. 2 in Division V. The Raiders topped the Tigers 56-48 in the first round of Western League play. Whitney High’s boys are the shadow club seeded 19th. Although the Wildcats are 2-6, 13-11, they have two games remaining in the 6.8 rated Capital Athletic League. On the negative side, their last game is against Antelope (8-0, 23-1) seeded No. 1 in Division II. On the positive side, the game is at Whitney Friday. They also traveled to Cordova (3-5, 12-10), Wednesday; the ‘Cats lost to the Lancers by five the first time around.