Nick Stevens

Big implications on Tuesday

Posted February 4, 2013

Tuesday night will bring a number of big games for area high school basketball teams.

With just two weeks left in the regular season, every game means a lot from this point forward, particularly for conference championship races and for teams who are on the playoff bubble.

PAC 6 hat trick this week

Things could get rather interesting in the PAC 6 this week.

After dropping six straight games in December and January, Person has put together a five-game winning streak. Jordan has won all nine of its conference games, and Hillside, like Person, has just two conference losses.

So what happens this week? The top three teams in the PAC 6 play each other.

Hillside will travel to Jordan on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. while Person enjoys the night off.

On Jan. 8, Hillside hosted Jordan and the Falcons came away with a 67-56 win. Darien Ortiz led the way 14 points and K.J. Alston added 13. Nine Jordan players scored in the game after the Falcons built a first half lead.

If Hillside wants to stay in the race for the conference championship, the Hornets have to get this win.

Jordan will travel to Person on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. You can bet the Rockets have a vested interest in Tuesday's game because of that.

If Jordan loses to Hillside on Tuesday and Person can knock off the Falcons on Friday, we're potentially looking at a messy three-way tie for first place in the PAC 6 going into the final week of the regular season.

Tri-9 log-jam

Things got real interesting in the Tri-9 last week. Two of the bottom three teams in the conference – Cary and Athens Drive – beat two of the top three teams in the conference last Friday.

Cary defeated Lee County, dropping the Yellow Jackets into a dangerous fourth place spot, while Athens Drive knocked off Apex, putting the Cougars two games behind Middle Creek for the conference title.

Unlike the PAC 6, the log-jam for the Tri-9 comes in the middle where three teams are fighting for the last two playoff spots.

Middle Creek and Apex have clinched playoff berths, and I think it's safe to say Green Hope has too, but Lee County, Panther Creek and Holly Springs will be in a battle until the end.

Lee County has a one game advantage over the other two at 7-5. Panther Creek is 7-6, and Holly Springs is 6-6.

Tuesday night Lee County will host Panther Creek in a game that is pivotal for both teams. The Jackets beat Panther Creek on the road in December – part of a three-game losing streak for the Catamounts. Panther Creek comes into this game with Lee County on a two-game losing streak again, but in a much different situation.

With just two games left after Tuesday – a home game on Friday with Cary and a road game the following Friday at Green Hope – it is possible that Panther Creek must win against Lee County to make the playoffs. Of course that all depends on what happens the final week and a half of the regular season.

There is a lot at stake for Holly Springs on Tuesday too. The Golden Hawks play Apex – a team that beat them at home by nearly 20 points in December.

A win over Apex will not only help in the race for the last two spots, but it could help Holly Springs with potential tie-breakers for the conference tournament.

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