And down the stretch they come.
Keller and Timber Creek are headed to the playoffs, but the seeding and momentum they take into the postseason are still to be determined.
Keller has Northwest on Tuesday and will be at Denton Guyer on Friday, with Timber Creek having Central on Tuesday and Byron Nelson on Friday, with much to be settled according to the results.
Both teams enter the week at 8-3 in District 5-6A and tied for second place. But Keller had won a big game against Timber Creek last Friday, as the Indians won the tiebreaker game, 49-37, sweeping the Falcons in the season series.
On each side of the Indians and Falcons sit Guyer – in the driver’s seat at 10-1 – and Byron Nelson, in third at 7-4.
The games take on even more significance after the Indians dropped a 50-49 OT barn-burner to Denton Ryan last week.
Interestingly, all three of the Indians’ district losses have come at home, and they will conclude their regular season for a senior-night game with Central on Feb. 17.
Timber Creek’s game at Byron Nelson on Friday is another key district match up.
“They’re all big for us,” Timber Creek head coach Brad Mouser said. “We’ve clinched (a playoff spot) but we need to beat Central to stay ahead of (Nelson), or they could tie us. Crazy things could happen with the last three games determining which spots we take. I don’t know where everyone will be.”
Although Timber Creek lost to Denton Guyer last week, the Falcons didn’t take much of a measuring stick approach in the game.
“No, everyone can beat everyone in this district,” Mouser said. “We’re tough top to bottom and with us beating them at Guyer, Ryan beating Keller is an example of that. You just can’t have an off night.”
Keller and Timber Creek will match up with the other 5-6A teams against District 6-6A, including Plano West, Allen, Plano East, Flower Mound and Marcus. Those district teams are still in a state of flux as to their final order as well.
Mouser said the Falcons could finish as high as second and as low as fourth.
Timber Creek will wind up the regular season by hosting Fossil Ridge.
The game with Nelson obviously looms large if the Falcons want to keep from taunting a fourth-place finish for the playoffs. The Falcons own a win over the Bobcats earlier in the season, though.
“It’s a grind,” Mouser added in respect to the regular season. “You’ve got to come to play every game.”
Timber Creek kept their current standing intact with an impressive 68-57 win over Northwest last Tuesday.
The Falcons started slow, but came alive in the second quarter, as they erased a three-point, first-quarter deficit and cruised to a 37-24 lead at the half.
De’Vante Waldon poured in 29 points in the win over Northwest.
Mouser said he’s pleased with the way his team has been playing lately and they hope to keep the scoring ability intact.
“We’ve already won 20 games with three to go,” Mouser said. “We play as a team and get after everybody. We have to shoot the ball every night.”
Saturday, Mouser said, he would be able to assess all the scenarios for the playoff positioning.
Fossil Ridge was patient, finally picking up their first district win last week over Central.
The Panthers knocked off the Chargers, 51-38, after owning just a point lead at the half.
Braylyn Lovelace led the Panthers with 11 points while Jack Ray added 10.
Nelson, Northwest and Timber Creek will finish out the Fossil Ridge season.
For Central, Timber Creek, Ryan and Keller will be the final three games.
After the loss to Fossil Ridge, Central pushed Nelson in a 57-48 loss. Savon Myers scored 13 points to lead the Chargers, while teammate Carl Dorsey had 11.