North Coast Section Basketball Seedings Set Sunday

Posted By Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit:

ByMICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

After a wakeup call in losing to Ukiah, the Montgomery boys’ basketball team will learn on Sunday whether the Vikings held onto a North Coast Section playoff top seed when the postseason tournament brackets are drawn.

Also learning their fate for the NCS tournament will be 20 boys and girls teams across the Empire in six divisions based on school enrollment.

After going undefeated in the regular season to capture the North Bay League championship, Montgomery should top the Div. 2 bracket despite losing to Ukiah, 65-63, in a NBL tournament semifinal matchup at Montgomery on Wednesday night.

The postseason league affair is primarily held to provide more games and generate revenue.

More important to deciding teams that make the NCS playoffs and seeding — No. 1 through No. 16 — are a combination of factors tied to a team’s record. Those factors include the team’s record overall and in league play, wins and losses in a team’s division, results against common opponents in that division, record against the top six opponents on a team’s schedule and head-to-head results.

“It (Montgomery’s loss to Ukiah) could affect their seeding if it was a bad loss. Everything else being equal, it shouldn’t make a difference,” said NCS associate commissioner Karen Smith.

The Vikings had posted a relatively easy 71-48 win over the Wildcats during the regular season at Montgomery. But in the tournament semi, the Vikings let a 15-point second half lead evaporate and then a Montgomery turnover with less than 20 seconds left in the game led to Ukiah’s Nate Henry hitting a successful 15-foot jumper at the buzzer.

Alec Kobre led all Vikings’ scorers in the game with 21 points as the Montgomery offense went flat in the final period as it hit only one field goal in the forth quarter and scored just a point over the final 4:50 of the contest.

Montgomery likes its bid for the top seed going into the Sunday’s meeting. The Vikings are 24-3 after playing a very strong non-league schedule and going 14-0 in the NBL regular season.

“We have the most wins. We were undefeated in our league. I don’t know how we couldn’t be No. 1,” said Montgomery coach Tom Fitchie. “I think it (NBL tournament title game) should maybe help Ukiah, but it shouldn’t hurt us.”

Teams that might challenge for the top seed include Casa Grande, after the Gauchos went undefeated in league play to win the Sonoma County League championship.
Taking the league tournament in tonight’s title game against Windsor at Santa Rosa JC could boost Casa Grande, though the Vikings defeated the Gauchos in an early season contest.

Also near the top of Div. 2 are Las Lomas and Northgate, both Walnut Creek schools.