Friday, January 19, 2018

Midseason report: Current playoff seedings for Tampa Bay teams

The Florida High School Athletic Association adopted a new playoff system that uses points to determine postseason berths and seedings. This week, the state's governing body for sports released a midseason projection of what the points-based system would look like if the playoffs started now. It is still early to make solid predictions. Some teams front-loaded their schedule with tough games, picking up a lot of points right away. Others have challenging matchups toward the end of the season.

Classes 8A-5A

In the larger classes, districts will remain with the champion automatically making the playoffs and seeded among the top four teams in each region. The rest of the playoff field in each region will be determined by a points system where strength of schedule and wins are key. Here's a look at the seedings so far:

Class 8A, Region 2

1. Vero Beach 47.25*

2. Kissimmee Osceola 44.67*

3. Orlando Dr. Phillips 42.25*

4. Newsome 38.75*

5. Centennial 42.25

6. Kissimmee Gateway 38.4

7. Sarasota Riverview 37.67

8. Ridge Community 35.8

Scott Purks | Special to the Times

Breakdown: Newsome has played only one District 6 game, but the Wolves are points leaders in the district thanks to a competitive early-season schedule. They play defending district champion Sarasota Riverview on Friday and defending runnerup Bradenton Manatee on Oct. 30. PHU and Steinbrenner would need wins against Manatee, Newsome and Riverview to vault into the top eight.

Class 7A, Region 2

1. Lakeland 43.5*

2. Plant 42.25*

3. Viera 41.5*

4. East River 36.2*

5. Wiregrass Ranch 41.8

6. Harmony 36

7. Lakeland Kathleen 35.5

8. St. Cloud 34.4

Scott Purks | Special to the Times

Breakdown: Defending 7A state finalist Plant is undefeated and expected to pick up even more points with a second-half schedule that includes games against rival Armwood (Oct. 16) and Wiregrass Ranch (Oct. 27); the latter should determine the District 8 champion.

Class 7A, Region 3

1. Venice 46.33*

2. Pinellas Park 42.25*

3. Gulf Coast 39.33*

4. Tampa Bay Tech 37.75*

5. Braden River 43

6. Palmetto 41

7. Lakewood Ranch 41

8. St. Petersburg 40.2

Dirk Shadd | Times

Breakdown: From top to bottom, this is one of the toughest regions in the state. Pinellas Park is on top in District 10 thanks to a win over previously undefeated St. Petersburg. The Patriots' schedule was front loaded. The big game still to come is between the Green Devils and East Lake on Oct. 20. Thanks to a combination of a tough schedule and district wins, Tampa Bay Tech gets the 7A-9 nod. Durant, which suffered its first loss Monday, would be out of the playoffs for now, but that likely will change with a second-half schedule filled with district contests

Class 6A, Region 2

1. Armwood 46.5*

2. Mitchell 44.2*

3. Ocala Vanguard 42.4*

4. Sebring 40.33*

5. Chamberlain 39.5

6. Hillsborough 38.4

7. Gainesville 38

8. Lake Wales 37.4

Douglas R. Clifford | Times

Breakdown: Armwood (4-0) has handed each of its first four opponents their first loss of the season. The strong schedule has benefitted the Hawks, who have accumulated the most points in 6A. The Mustangs, who have wins against Anclote, Clearwater and River Ridge, are not far behind. Upstart Chamberlain is in position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Springstead (3-1) is on the outside looking in but would vault into the top eight — and into sole possession of first place — with a win vs. Mitchell on Friday.

Class 6A, Region 3

1. North Fort Myers 41.2*

2. Largo 39.4*

3. Fort Myers 38.5*

4. Naples 36.33*

5. Estero 36

6. Port Charlotte 35.75

7. Clearwater 35.25

8. Naples Barron Collier 34.75

Dirk Shadd | Times

Breakdown: If the playoffs were held this week, Largo would host Clearwater in a first-round game. The rivals meet Oct. 27 for what should decide the District 9 title. If the Tornadoes lose, their final two games against East Lake (Nov. 3) and Braden River (Nov. 4) will mean even more as far as points. The Braden River game was postponed at the half last month with the Pirates leading 21-7.

Class 5A, Region 2

1. Baker County 39.8*

2. Hernando 39.5*

3. Zephyrhills 35.2*

4. Belleview 34.8*

5. Anclote 38.2*

6. Wesley Chapel 38.2

7. Menendez 37.17

8. Nature Coast 35.33


Breakdown: Right now, Zephyrhills would be the District 8 champion thanks to a 3-0 district mark. There is a lot to still be resolved in that district, however, as Wesley Chapel, Anclote, Zephyrhills and River Ridge have games against each other coming up. The Royal Knights, the three-time defending 5A-8 champions, are currently out but that could easily change depending how they fare the next three weeks. Hernando has only played one team with a winning record yet has still racked up enough points to place second. The Leopards play rival Nature Coast on Oct. 26 in a game that should determine the District 7 champion.

Class 5A, Region 3

1. Jefferson 42.25*

2. Fort Myers Dunbar 38.67*

3. Bradenton Southeast 36.67*

4. Lakewood 35.75*

5. Jesuit 40.5

6. Immokalee 38.25

7. Hardee 35.4

8. Cape Coral Mariner 35.33

Alessandra Da Pra | Times

Breakdown: Jefferson and Jesuit meet Oct. 16 in a game that likely will decide the District 10 title. Tarpon Springs and Lakewood square off Oct. 27 to likely determine the 5A-9 champ. If the Spongers lose that game, they likely will need to beat Mitchell in the season finale on Nov. 3 to accumulate enough points for a playoff berth.

Classes 4A-A

For the smaller schools, there are no district champions. The top four teams in each region qualify for the playoffs. There are no local teams in Class A or Class 4A.

Class 3A, Region 3

1. Calvary Christian 39.25

2. Clearwater Central Catholic 39.2

3. Tampa Catholic 38.67

4. Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 37.75

Douglas R. Clifford | Times

Breakdown: Berkeley Prep is on the outside looking in with 32.25 points and a six seed. That could change with games against Mitchell, IMG White, Sickles and Lake Highland Prep still ahead. CCC and Calvary Christian play each other next week.

Class 2A, Region 3

1. Cambridge Christian 35.4

2. Southwest Florida Christian 35

3. Indian Rocks Christian 33.67

4. Admiral Farragut 32.67

Eve Edelheit | Times

Breakdown: Cambridge Christian looks to be in good shape. Both Indian Rocks and Farragut have difficult games ahead, which will help with their point standings. Northside Christian is the fifth seed with 31 points. Seffner Christian is sixth (30.75) and Carrollwood Day seventh (30.33). Those three could make a move with wins in coming weeks.

Class 2A, Region 2

1. Lakeland Victory Christian 43.67

2. Gainesville St. Francis Catholic 37

3. Zephyrhills Christian 36.83

4. Seven Rivers Christian 35.5

Breakdown: Zephyrhills Christian has a difficult schedule to end the season. Friday night the Warriors host Victory Christian. Carrollwood Day, Indian Rocks Christian and Admiral Farragut round out the schedule. The last two games are against 2A teams that are currently projected to be in the playoffs.

*Teams currently in first place in their respective district plus points.

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