Tuesday , 19 June 2018

Mike Albanese: Playoff Positions on the Line in Volleyball, Football

St. Louis can have its little attraction called the World Series.

And that thing called Monday Night Football? Keep it.

mike albanese column mugThat’s because the sports scene in McKinney this week will be, in a word, intense. All three MISD schools – McKinney North, McKinney High and McKinney Boyd – can all solidify postseason spots in either volleyball or football.

So, yes Jim Mora, I will talk about the playoffs.

Volleyball: Playoffs Likely For All 3 MISD Teams

The action starts Tuesday night at McKinney Boyd when the Lady Broncos host crosstown rival MHS in a volleyball game filled with postseason implications. Boyd (25-10, 5-4) sits third in the District 10-5A standings, just one-half game ahead of the Lionettes, who are 4-4 in the district and 21-10 overall. Boyd won the first meeting with ease Oct. 11, sweeping MHS in three sets.

Trailing MHS in the standings is Plano West, who also has a 4-4 district record. But MHS owns the tiebreaker against West, having won the season series 2-0 over the Wolves.

To say the Boyd-MHS game is big is understatement. It is huge. While Boyd may have the pedigree – most recently 2012 5A state semifinalists – MHS has showed glimpses of being able to compete with the best the state has to offer. Earlier this season MHS pushed defending 5A state champion Coppell to five sets, losing the fourth set 17-15.

Both Boyd and MHS will likely make the postseason, and now it’s not just matter of where they will be seeded, but how far they will go.

Across town, McKinney North has put together an impressive run in District 13-4A, playing its way to an 18-13 record and 9-5 in district play. The Bulldogs are sitting pretty in third place, comfortably awaiting their postseason opponent.

North will finish the season with a home game against Royse City (6-14, 4-6) Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Football: Boyd, North Playing for Postseason

Forget the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, I’ll take the drama at Ron Poe Stadium this week, with both Boyd and North playing for postseason spots.

The Broncos (4-4 overall, 2-1 in District 10-5A) are fresh off their 49-26 loss to Allen, a game in which Boyd trailed only 28-20 in the third quarter. This week, the Broncos host Plano East (5-3, 1-2) Thursday night at 7 p.m.

Long forgotten is the Boyd team that started the season 1-3. Instead, the Broncos have gone 3-1 since, including wins against Plano West at John Clark Stadium and against Plano Senior two weeks ago at Ron Poe Stadium.

The Broncos currently sit in third place in 10-5A, one spot ahead of East. Thursday’s matchup precedes the final regular season game next week when the MHS-Boyd game will fill the stands at Ron Poe Stadium. Meanwhile, East will finish its 2013 season next week with a matchup against West.

The task for Boyd is simple – take care of business. Boyd has its postseason future in its hands, and all it has to do is win —which is exactly what I think they will do Thursday night, defeating East and solidifying the third seed in 10-5A.

And on a side note, although MHS is winless in 10-5A, the Lions have been in no way a pushover for 10-5A schools this season. The Lions competed with Plano West last week, trailing by five in the fourth quarter with a chance to take the lead late.

Much has been speculated about the Lions’ future, whether it be in 5A or or 6A next year after reclassification. But despite how it plays out, head coach Jeff Smith has MHS moving in the right direction and is a team that will contend in 2014.

Moving North on I-75, McKinney North finds themselves in the logjam that is District 13-4A. Coming into Friday’s action, three teams are tied at 3-2 – Lovejoy, North and Wylie – with two games left.

North finds themselves in a virtual must-win scenario Friday night when it hosts Wylie East at Ron Poe Stadium. The Bulldogs hold a 48-45 victory over Lovejoy, but also have a 38-24 loss against Wylie.

And the road to the postseason doesn’t get any easier for North, as it ends the season at first-place Denison next week.

With what is hanging in the balance, and with a constantly-improving defense and stout running game with Ronald Jones, watch for McKinney North to defeat Wylie East Friday, moving a step closer to a postseason spot in 13-4A.

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