By DAN GOLDMAN
In a game fraught with playoff implications and fought in a playoff atmosphere, the Summerville and Bret Harte high schools boys' basketball teams each put up playoff-worthy performances at the Summerville gym in Tuolumne last night.
Now the question is: Will both teams get a chance to test their mettle when the real Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs start one week from today?
Summerville (19-7, 7-2 Mother Lode League), currently Division IV's No. 4 team in the power ratings, did nothing to hurt its status as a legitimate postseason contender with a 70-68 overtime win last night.
With one game remaining on the regular-season schedule, the Bears are a lock to host a first-round playoff game, and if the seeding held true, would face MLL rival Argonaut.
But because the section will do everything in its power to adjust the seedings and avoid having league rivals play each other in the first round, the Bears will likely face a team from the Trans-Valley League, Southern League or Golden Empire League next Wednesday.
"There are so many good teams out there like Encina, which is sitting in the middle of the pack," Summerville coach Marlen Ronten said. "But we could get two home games out of this, which would be a big advantage."
The Bullfrogs (11-16, 3-6), on the other hand, are just hoping that yet another narrow defeat in a season full of them won't burst their postseason bubble.
Last night's loss was their fifth by five points or less in the MLL and their eighth by six points or less overall.
"It's hard, but the kids are keeping their heads up," Bret Harte coach Jerry Rucker said. "We knew it would be tough in league this year, and we're the unfortunate team that's not winning the close ones."
As it stands, Bret Harte is the No. 15 seed and would be lined up to play No. 2 seed Amador. But, again because intraleague games are frowned upon in the first round, the Frogs could end up playing No. 1 Colfax, No. 3 Hilmar or even No. 5 Escalon.