NOTES: Liberty eyes playoff berth — with a little help from Del Sol

The Liberty boys basketball team already received some help this week from Del Sol.

Now the Patriots are hoping for a little more.

Liberty hosts Eldorado at 6:30 p.m. today in a regular-season finale that will go a long way toward deciding the No. 4 seed from the Southeast League for the Division I Sunrise Region tournament.

The Patriots (7-16, 2-7 Southeast) will clinch a playoff berth with a victory and a Del Sol win over third-place Basic, based on the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association’s universal tiebreaker.

“This is a big game for our program,” Liberty coach Quintin Lester said. “Our goal the whole year was to make the playoffs and see what we can do from there.”

Eldorado (6-15, 3-6), which has lost four straight, would have clinched a playoff berth with a win over Del Sol (9-16, 2-7) on Monday. Instead, the Sundevils were outscored 17-7 in overtime and lost 79-69, opening the door for Liberty.

Should Del Sol, Eldorado and Liberty finish in a three-way deadlock for fourth place, the Patriots would win the tiebreaker based on a 3-1 record in league play among the tied teams. (Eldorado would be 2-2; Del Sol 1-3.)

“An opportunity presented itself,” Lester said. “Now, we have to make sure we capitalize on it.”

The Sundevils still control their own postseason destiny, however. Eldorado will lock up a playoff spot by beating Liberty tonight, and it would advance to the postseason even with a loss, provided Del Sol also loses.

A Liberty win means the teams would have split their season series. The second step in the NIAA’s two-team tiebreaker states “each tied team shall receive one point for each game won in league play by their defeated opponents. The team with the most points will receive the highest seed.” Eldorado’s 68-59 victory over Basic on Jan. 9 gives it the advantage over Liberty in that scenario.

Del Sol, meanwhile, is eliminated from postseason contention regardless of what happens tonight.

“We’ve got to go out, play our best and see what happens,” Eldorado coach Phil Olsen said. “Our thing is not to worry about tiebreakers and any scenarios. We need to go out and win and go into the playoffs on a high note.”

The only other Division I boys playoff berth still up for grabs is in the Northwest League. Sierra Vista (14-10, 3-6) hosts last-place Spring Valley tonight, while Shadow Ridge (14-10, 3-6) plays league champion Arbor View.

■ LOCAL NETTERS RECOGNIZED — Coronado’s Berkeley Oblad and Cali Thompson and Green Valley’s Nikki Drost were named high honorable mention All-Americans by

Calvary Chapel’s Deja Harris, Palo Verde’s Stephanie Herman, Faith Lutheran’s Cayla Nikodemus and Bishop Gorman’s Gianna Ruggeroli were named special mention All-Americans.

■ SLADEK HONORED — Pahrump Valley senior midfielder Sydney Sladek was selected the Gatorade Nevada Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

Sladek, who signed with Southern California, posted 75 goals and 27 assists this past season and is the state’s all-time leading scorer. Sladek is eligible for the national award to be announced in May.

■ RECENT COMMITMENTS — Coronado senior Taylor Jackson to Westmont College (Calif.) for women’s volleyball. … Shadow Ridge senior Alexa Murrietta to Wittenberg University (Ohio) for women’s soccer. … Shadow Ridge senior J Henderson to Colorado Mesa for football.

Contact reporter David Schoen at or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.

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