Today is the final day of the regular season for UIL basketball teams and most already know their fate. However, a handful of local schools battle tonight with hopes of extending their season.
Not many gave Aledo a shot of claiming one of the four playoff spots against the talented Fort Worth schools in District 7-4A, but the Bearcats (17-15, 6-7) are still alive heading into their home finale against South Hills (5-20, 1-12).
"When alignment came out a year ago, there were a lot of people in Aledo and around this area that thought it was the kiss of death," Aledo coach Steve Smith said. "The truth is, I thought it was a great opportunity to play against the best; to not only to see where we're at as a program, but to showcase some of our kids' skills who have an opportunity to go on and play at the next level."
Aledo must win tonight and hope Fort Worth Wyatt (18-11, 11-2) beats Granbury (16-14, 7-6) on the road in order to force a play-in game against the Pirates. Granbury punches its ticket with a win or an Aledo loss.
"The kids understand the situation, they know they have to win on Tuesday night and it's the most important game of the year," Smith said.
Southlake Carroll (18-13, 7-6) is in fourth place, a game ahead of Keller Fossil Ridge.
"We're so positive. Our guys are in such a good place after two good wins last week," Carroll coach Eric McDade said about blowouts against Haltom and Keller Central. "We want to put on a good showing and just go out and play Dragon basketball."
A win would guarantee Carroll a spot in the playoffs. A win coupled with a Justin Northwest (17-13, 8-5) loss would result in a coin flip for the third seed, because the teams split their regular-season matchups.
Fossil Ridge (16-16, 6-7) needs to beat Northwest and have Carroll lose to Keller Timber Creek (15-16, 5-8). In that scenario, Northwest is third while Fossil Ridge and Carroll would duke it out in a play-in game.
"We know that we're playing well and playing with a lot of confidence right now," Fossil Ridge coach Zack Myers said.
Birdville (14-15) and Saginaw (19-9) are each 9-6 and tied for fourth and split their regular-season matchups. Birdville hosts Fort Worth Carter-Riverside (8-17, 6-9) tonight, while Saginaw hosts Fort Worth Eastern Hills (7-17, 6-10).
If they remain tied after tonight's games, they will settle it Friday with a play-in game at a site to be determined.
"However it turns out, it's been a lot of fun. I hope we get to play each other in a playoff because I think both teams deserve it and it would be a good game," Saginaw coach Brent Craft said.
Mansfield Lake Ridge (16-13, 7-6) can clinch a playoff spot in its first season with a win over Mansfield Legacy (25-8, 11-2) and a loss by Lancaster (12-17, 7-6) to Mansfield Summit (19-13, 9-4). Lake Ridge and Lancaster are tied for fourth place and would play another game for the final postseason spot if they finish tied.
Jarret Johnson, 817390-7760
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