In District One’s move to power point-ify everything, the boys lacrosse field this season will be determined by power rankings, the results of which have been kept behind closed doors until this week. You can read up about the process, and you can check out the first rankings release, which came late Friday afternoon.
Several coaches I’ve talked to have highlighted some noise in the numbers, which means they can vary over the next couple of weeks. Among the issues is how many games have been played, and with makeups aplenty thanks to the weather, there’s a lot of variance in the number of games that factor into the preliminary batch of rankings. Rankings will be finalized at the seeding meeting May 9.
Some important points:
– Here’s the bracket, which features 28 teams, all in one class. The top four teams earn first-round byes.
– If the postseason started today, seven teams from Delco would qualify. Garnet Valley would earn a bye as the No. 2 seed, awaiting the winner of No. 15 Strath Haven-No. 18 Downingtown East. Springfield would be the five and Penncrest the six, setting up a pair of all-Central League matchups with Lower Merion and Haverford, respectively. The former is particularly troubling, you’d think, given that the Aces just knocked off Garnet Valley. (‘On any given day,’ and what not…) Radnor sits 10th, which would align them with a first-round home date with Perkiomen Valley, while Ridley is 12th and could get Holy Ghost Prep.
– The power rankings factor in strength of schedule, which is a good thing for the Central League teams. Garnet Valley, for instance, has accumulated the fifth-highest strength of schedule in the district. Springfield is eighth, Ridley ninth and Radnor 13th (Conestoga is second in District One, for what it’s worth). So what’s the difference? While Conestoga, the No. 8 seed, has scored just short of 18 more points than No. 9 Spring-Ford based on SOS. Radnor, the No. 10 seed, is ahead of No. 11 Upper Dublin thanks to 23 more SOS points.
– The Central League, in a nod to those SOS figures, has nine of 12 teams in the top 28. Two others – No. 31 Marple Newtown and No. 34 Harriton – are knocking on the door.
– The gap between Haverford in 28 and No. 29 Methacton is wide. No. 26 Central Bucks West, Lower Merion and Haverford are clustered within .04 points in the 112.4 range; Methacton is over five points back, roughly the same spread between Haverford at 28 and Holy Ghost at 21. (For perspective, top seed Central Bucks South has 151.00 points.) That’s a lot of points for Haverford to surrender.
– A lot can change. Garnet Valley and Conestoga tangle Tuesday, the same day that Penncrest meets Radnor, then Penncrest hosts Conestoga Thursday. Springfield still has to cope with Lower Merion before closing with Upper Dublin (in a tantalizing postseason preview), and Ridley has to arrest its recent slide with district contenders Lower Merion, Haverford and Wissahickon, the 13 seed in the current rankings.
– A reminder that five teams advance to the PIAA tournament, which means that getting to the quarterfinals guarantees teams places in the playback bracket. As you’ll recall, that’s how this turned into this last season.