Sports

Girls Playoff Shuffle

DIVISION I

Going to the playoffs: No. 3 Turlock (21-4) and No. 6 Merced (16-8). ... Both CCC teams are in good spots to host first-round games, and the Bears look good even if they drop a game. Turlock is unlikely to go to No. 2 regardless of what it does, but there's little difference between the two spots.

Playing for a berth: No. 20 Davis (14-10), No. 22 Modesto (13-12) and No. 23 Beyer (10-15). ... One of the three is going on, because all league champs are guaranteed a playoff berth. The MMC champ likely will be forced to go on the road to face the No. 16 seed in an out-bracket game, then the winner will face the No. 1 seed. The MMC's strength rating of 5.3 — the next-lowest D-I league is 6.4 — and poor non-league records are reasons for the low seeds.

DIVISION II

Going to the playoffs: No. 7 Sierra (14-4) and No. 10 Pitman (11-12). ... Sierra is favored to win its final games, which would secure a home opener. Interesting, since VOL champ East Union likely will open on the road in Division III. ... It's difficult for Pitman to climb two spots for a home game, since there's a wide gap to overcome and it faces Turlock on Thursday night.

Playing for a berth: No. 17 Buhach Colony (10-14). ... The Thunder needs a lot of help to get in, even if it finishes the season with a win over Atwater.

DIVISION III

Going to the playoffs: No. 7 Sonora (19-5), No. 10 East Union (17-8) and No. 11 Livingston (18-4). ... Sonora is the district's hottest team in this division, having beaten Sierra and East Union in the last two weeks. A 2-0 week guarantees a home opener, but it's unlikely the 'Cats will move up. ... EU could jump to No. 8, and the home game that comes with it, if it goes 2-0 this week and the two teams above it take a loss.

Playing for a berth: No. 14 Patterson (15-10) and No. 16 Manteca (13-12). ... Patterson needs a win Thursday to solidify its spot, since the WAC has a low rating and the Tigers lost Monday. ... A split might be enough to get Manteca in, because the teams chasing it are from leagues with a rating well below the VOL.

DIVISION IV

Going to the playoffs: No. 4 Modesto Christian (22-2), No. 5 Linden (20-5), No. 7 Bret Harte (18-5), No. 10 Hilmar (17-5), No. 12 Hughson (14-7) and No. 13 Le Grand (17-4). ... MC is the No. 4 seed no one wants to play, relegated to that spot because the TVL has a rating of 4.4 — the three teams ahead of MC have league ratings of 5.8 or better. ... There will be a number of intra-district games in the first round with Linden and Bret Harte likely the only ones earning home games.

Playing for a berth: No. 14 Calaveras (14-11), No. 16 Argonaut (13-12) and No. 18 Mariposa (11-12). ... Calaveras needs a win to get in, though an 0-2 week still might net the berth if enough teams lose behind it. ... Mariposa, which has lost this week, needs a miracle.

DIVISION V

Going to the playoffs: No. 8 Ripon Christian (14-10) and No. 11 Turlock Christian (14-10).

Playing for a berth: No. 14 Big Valley (10-11).

— RICHARD T. ESTRADA
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