Lady Tigers play ‘waiting game’

Kevin Wilson

Safe at home
While the rest of District 3-1A battles it out, Elida is playing the waiting game. But that doesn’t mean the Lady Tigers are relaxing.
“We’re working harder this week than we’ve worked in a long time,” Elida coach Darrell Chenault said. “We’re doing a lot of conditioning and going back to the basics.”
Elida (14-4, 9-1) won a regular-season tiebreaker with Fort Sumner, which hosts a playoff match tonight. Elida has played five matches at its renovated home gym, and Chenault likes the boost the court provides.
“We feel very good when we’re playing at home with the short ceiling and the home crowd is a big advantage.”

Chavez: AA is A-OK
The Lady Ram volleyball team is looking for its seventh-straight District 4-3A title on Saturday night, but it will do so without one of its six seniors.
Portales coach Ruth Chavez said that the MRI on senior Amy Archibeque’s MRI says her posterior cruciate ligament is stretched out.
The practice routine for Archibeque didn’t go much farther than serving in an effort to rest her PCL. Chavez said that Archibeque will wear a brace that will aid her, but the setter/defensive specialist likely won’t play until regional tournaments next week.
“I doubt if we’ll play her,” Chavez said Monday. “We’ll take it easy, but she’d like to (play).”
Portales will be hosting either Ruidoso or Lovington, depending on who wins tonight’s match in Lovington. No passes will be accepted for the 7 p.m. Saturday match, which is designated as a playoff match.

If if’s and but’s were candy and nuts: The 4-3A playoff picture
The loser in Friday night’s Portales-Lovington football game won’t be quite out of the District 4-3A playoff race yet. But that team’s fate will need a nudge from the rest of the district.
Five different scenarios exist that would put the Rams (2-6, 0-1) in the playoffs for the fourth-straight season. There are two possibilities that could give Portales its second-straight district title, but both would require the Rams to win their final two games and both would require a tiebreaker of some sort.
The first scenario (A) would require the Rams to beat NMMI and Lovington and have both the Colts and Wildcats beat the Warriors. That would put Lovington and Ruidoso at 1-2 in district, with Portales and NMMI at 2-1. In this scenario, the Rams win the district by virtue of the head-to-head win over the Colts.
The second scenario (B) would require Lovington to go 0-3 in the district season and for NMMI to beat Ruidoso. The Rams, Colts and Warriors would all be 2-1 — with Portales beating NMMI, NMMI beating Ruidoso and Ruidoso beating Portales.
This would create a three-way tie in the district, like the 2002 season did between Lovington, Portales and Ruidoso. In this case, the point differential in each game between those three teams would be factored in. The spread is set for a maximum of 13 points to prevent teams from running up the score in a victory, so Ruidoso’s 31-14 win over Portales would count as a plus-13.
Portales could also enter the playoffs as the district runner-up, even with a 1-2 record. One possibility (C) would require Ruidoso to go 3-0, with Lovington, Portales and NMMI splitting their remaining games with each other. Ruidoso would be the outright district champion, with a three-way tiebreaker to decide the runner-up.
A similar scenario could happen, except (D) with NMMI going 3-0 and the Warriors in the tiebreaker instead. Portales could also take the district runner-up spot (E) by finishing second in the three-way tiebreaker described in Scenario B.
The easiest scenario of all, of course, is to just wait until Friday night is over and the mathematics are a little more simple.