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Eight teams for four spots makes Sunset football too tough to call

With only one week left in the regular season, the Class 4A Sunset Region football playoff picture isn’t exactly crystal clear.

Or even partly cloudy.

Four teams have locked up spots. Eight more remain alive for the other four spots, and the possibilities seem endless. Thankfully, we have an in with the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association’s tiebreaker guy, who tried to simplify everything for us.

Tried. Really hard.

You’ll need to be sitting down for this, and before your head spins, let’s get the givens out of the way.

Arbor View and Faith Lutheran, in that order, have locked up the top two spots in the Northwest League.

Bishop Gorman and Sierra Vista play Friday with the winner taking the top seed and the loser the No. 2 seed in the Southwest League.

The rest has all the clarity of mud. This is the simplified version, kind of. A full breakdown from the tiebreaker guy is here.

And for those looking for something far more simple, every other region either has started or will start its playoffs this week. Playoff glances are here to help you keep track.

Southwest League

As mentioned, the Gorman-Vista winner is the No. 1 seed, the loser the No. 2.

Durango (3-2), Bonanza (2-3), Spring Valley (2-3) and Desert Oasis (1-4) still are alive with Desert Oasis hosting Bonanza and Durango hosting Spring Valley in the final games.

The Durango-Spring Valley winner is in\. Durango isn’t necessarily out with a loss.

Durango is the No. 3 seed with a win. If that happens, Bonanza is the No. 4 seed with a win OR with a loss by three or fewer points to Desert Oasis. Desert Oasis gets the No. 4 seed if it wins by four or more points and Durango wins.

If Spring Valley and Desert Oasis win, Spring Valley would be the No. 3 and Durango the No. 4.

It gets more confusing if Spring Valley and Bonanza win because points get involved. If Spring Valley wins by 11 or fewer points, Bonanza is the No. 3, Spring Valley is the No. 4; but if Spring Valley wins by 12 or more points, Spring Valley is the No. 3, Durango is the No. 4.

Durango: In with a win OR a Desert Oasis win OR if Spring Valley wins by 12 or more.

Spring Valley: In with a win.

Bonanza: In with a Durango win AND with a win or by losing by no more than three; OR in with a win and if Spring Valley wins by no more than 11.

Desert Oasis: In only with a win by at least four points, coupled with a Durango win.

Take a breath. OK, now let’s continue.

Northwest League

Arbor View is the top seed here, and Faith Lutheran, which has completed its season, is the No. 2 seed.

Legacy (3-2), Centennial (2-3), Palo Verde (2-3) and Shadow Ridge (2-3) all are in the hunt. Legacy hosts Shadow Ridge, and Palo Verde hosts Centennial on Friday.

Legacy would make things very simple with a win. Legacy would be the No. 3 seed, and the Palo-Centennial winner would be the No. 4.

Confusion sets in if Shadow Ridge beats Legacy, as there would be a three-way tie for third between Legacy, Shadow Ridge and the Palo-Centennial winner. The common themes here are the Palo-Centennial loser is out and Centennial still would be out with a Shadow Ridge win, so the Bulldogs are big Legacy fans this week. Everything else is up for grabs.

If Shadow Ridge and Centennial win, Shadow Ridge would be the No. 3 seed, as it would have beaten both Legacy and Centennial. Legacy would grab the final spot because it beat Centennial.

If Shadow Ridge and Palo Verde win, we’re dealing with point differentials between Legacy, Shadow Ridge and Palo, and this one with a twist:

Shadow Ridge winning by 12 or fewer points makes Legacy the No. 3 seed and Palo the No. 4 seed. But if Shadow Ridge wins by 13 or more points, all three are even in point differential, and we would continue down the NIAA flow chart to points allowed head-to-head (with a maximum of 13 per game):

Scenario 1: If Shadow Ridge wins by 13 or more points AND allows no more than eight points, Shadow Ridge is the No. 3, Legacy is the No. 4 because of its win over Palo Verde.

Scenario 2: If Shadow Ridge wins by 13 or more points AND allows nine or more points, Palo Verde is the No. 3 seed. Shadow Ridge is the No. 4.

Legacy: In under any of the following: a win; a Centennial win; a loss by 12 or fewer; a loss in which it scores fewer than nine points. (Yes, Legacy could take a knee on every play and still get in.)

Shadow Ridge: In with a win, coupled with a Centennial win; OR with a win by 13 or more points.

Palo Verde: In with a win, coupled either with a Legacy win or a Shadow Ridge win by 12 or fewer points; OR in with a win and if Legacy scores at least nine points.

Centennial: In only with a win, coupled with a Legacy win.

Now that you’ve copied everything on to your white board, follow along with us on Friday.

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