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Path to the playoffs: How Russellville can punch its ticket

Russellville (3-6 overall), East Limestone (4-5 overall) and Lawrence County (4-5 overall) each finished 3-4 in Class 5A, Region 8, tying for fourth place. The team whose defeated non-region opponents (in Class 3A and above) have the most combined wins will earn the fourth and final playoff seed.

  • Russellville does not have a non-region win thus far. Russellville closes the regular season Friday with a non-region game at home against Class 3A Colbert County, which has five wins this season.
  • East Limestone’s only non-region win thus far was against Class 4A West Limestone, which has four wins. [West Limestone has one game remaining, at Ardmore on Friday.] East Limestone closes the regular season Thursday at home against Tanner. A win over Tanner would NOT help East Limestone, because Tanner is in Class 2A, and only wins over opponents at class, above class or within two classes below count toward the tiebreaker.
  • Lawrence County’s only non-region win thus far was against Class 4A East Lawrence, which has zero wins. Lawrence County closes the regular season Friday night with a non-region game at Class 5A West Point, which has six wins.
  • Of the three teams tied for fourth, only Lawrence County controls its own destiny. Lawrence County would clinch the final playoff spot with a win at West Point on Friday night (no matter what happens in any other game). In that scenario, Lawrence County’s defeated non-region opponents would have a combined total of AT LEAST six wins [East Lawrence could pick up a win at Hatton on Friday night, but the outcome of that game is irrelevant]. The maximum number of combined wins for the defeated non-region opponents of both Russellville and East Limestone is five each—one short of Lawrence County’s number should Lawrence County beat West Point.
  • Since a win by Lawrence County at West Point on Friday would eliminate both Russellville and East Limestone from playoff contention, the following scenarios all assume a Lawrence County LOSS to West Point.

If Lawrence County loses to West Point AND…

  • Russellville defeats Colbert County, then Russellville clinches the fourth and final playoff seed. Russellville’s defeated non-region opponents (i.e. Colbert County) would have five wins. Lawrence County’s defeated non-region opponents (i.e. East Lawrence) would have, at most, one win. East Limestone’s defeated non-region opponents (in Class 3A and above) would have, at most, five wins [assuming West Limestone beats Ardmore on Friday]. In that scenario, the defeated non-region opponents (in Class 3A and above) of both Russellville and East Limestone would have five wins each, and Russellville would earn the fourth and final playoff seed by virtue of its head-to-head win over East Limestone.

If Lawrence County loses to West Point AND…

  • Russellville loses to Colbert County, then East Limestone clinches the fourth and final playoff seed. In that scenario, Russellville would finish with zero defeated non-region opponents. Lawrence County’s defeated non-region opponents would have, at most, one win. East Limestone’s defeated non-region opponents would have, at a minimum, four wins.

In the final analysis, here’s what each team needs to make the playoffs:

  • Lawrence County needs a win over West Point.
  • Russellville needs a win over Colbert County AND a Lawrence County loss to West Point.
  • East Limestone needs losses by BOTH Lawrence County and Russellville.
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