• December 18, 2014

Girls’ playoff race comes down to final two games in District 8-5A

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Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014 4:30 am

In two games, it all will be over, and someone will be left out.

As the figurative music of the 2014 regular season winds down, four teams in District 8-5A are still looking for a chair, and in the end, only three seats remain.

While Ellison attempts to make history under coach Sherry McKinnon — as the Lady Eagles pursue the first undefeated district season in her tenure — a battle royal for second place, and the rest of the remaining playoff spots for that matter, ensues behind it.

Front and center in this ever-tightening race is Harker Heights, the team that has spent nearly the entire season right behind Ellison in the district standings since its exhilarating 67-66 win against Killeen in the second game of league play.

Heights lost just two games in the first half of the district season, losing at home to unbeaten Ellison and falling a second time to Copperas Cove after losing a non-district matchup to it a week earlier.

Even with the Cove loss closing out the first half of district play, the Lady Knights had plenty of reason for optimism.

Heights had surpassed its district win total from last season before the start of the new year.

The second half of the 8-5A schedule, however, has not been as kind to the Lady Knights.

Killeen avenged its disappointing loss with a 16-point win at home, and Ellison edged Heights at home a game later.

After falling to Temple on Wednesday, the Lady Knights are no longer alone in second place and now find themselves tied with two teams they split with in the regular season in Killeen and Temple.

Nipping at the heels of that bunch is Cove, a team that beat Heights in the teams’ lone district meeting.

The Lady Knights end the regular season at Cove in a game that may very well be for a playoff spot when all is said and done.

The race may be a bit closer than the Lady Knights had hoped, but the good news is they still control their destiny as far as a playoff berth is concerned and can wrap up a spot with two wins.

It also helps that Temple and Killeen, the two teams tied with Heights, face each other to end the regular season.

But as recently as December, Heights had higher aspirations than just reaching the playoffs, and understandably so. The Lady Knights came within a possession of beating district-champion Ellison on its home floor.

In fact, both of the Lady Knights’ games against the two-time champion Lady Eagles show that the team is playoff material.

But being playoff material doesn’t get you into the playoffs — being one of the top four teams in the district gets you into the playoffs.

So, now the only opponents that matter for the Lady Knights are Waco Midway, who they host on Senior Night tonight, and Cove.

Because the Lady Knights don’t want them to be their last two opponents of the season.

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