AURORA | A potential logjam atop the East Metro Athletic Conference girls basketball standings got some relief when Gateway knocked off Westminster last week.
The Olys — who have made a charge themselves lately in league play — prevented a three-way tie for first place between Rangeview, Brighton and Westminster with their victory, which would have required the league to invoke a coin-flip tie-breaker since all three of the teams had beaten each other.
But Gateway’s 52-42 home win vs. Westminster on Friday night left the Raiders and Bulldogs tied in the top spot after both won their final games on Feb. 18. While Rangeview (15-8, 8-1) and Brighton (17-6, 8-1) share the EMAC title, Brighton will get the league’s top spot for seeding purposes by virtue of a 47-44 overtime road win at Rangeview on Feb. 11.
The top league position guarantees the Bulldogs a top 16 seed in the 48-team Class 5A girls state basketball playoffs when seedings are announced at CHSAA’s annual selection show on Sunday afternoon at the Red Lion In Aurora. A top 16 seed give Brighton an automatic first-round bye and a home game in the second round.
Meanwhile, coach Chris Dolan’s Rangeview team is now at the mercy of the 5A seeding committee as to its playoff fate. The Raiders helped their cause by winning eight of their final 10 games, but the overall weakness of the EMAC in comparison to other leagues could hurt them. Rangeview would need to get a No. 8 seed or higher to get a home game in the 5A first round on Feb. 25, otherwise it would have to play on the road as it did last year in a loss at Loveland.
Coach Tammi Traylor-Statewright’s Gateway team, meanwhile, also won eight of its last 10 games to get to 12-11 overall and 7-2 in league play.
The Olys — who had a chance to beat Rangeview before losing 47-46 in the closing seconds on Feb. 7 — have caught fire since sophomore Carmen Ramey entered the lineup. In nine games, during which Gateway is 7-2, Ramey has averaged a team-best 12.2 points and poured in 20 or more on two occasions.
Aurora Central lost to Gateway 45-42 on Feb. 18, but coach Matt Vigil’s team finished the season 11-11 — after a 4-19 mark last season — and also has a chance to play in the postseason.
The EMAC is expected to change its bylaws regarding three-way ties and eliminate the coin-flip as a tiebreaker when league athletic directors meet this weekend.
“I’m looking at points allowed rather than points scored,” said Brighton AD Todd Postestio, the EMAC league rep. “That speaks to running up the score on people.”
“People in the conference are, ‘We need to change this.’ We knew we couldn’t change the bylaws in midseason. Our bylaws don’t speak to three-way ties. Baseball had a similar problem, and they corrected that. We need to revise all the bylaws in all the sports.”
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel.
2014 EAST METRO ATHLETIC CONFERENCE GIRLS BASKETBALL STANDINGS
T1. Brighton* 8-1 (17-6 overall); T1. RANGEVIEW 8-1 (15-8); T3. GATEWAY* 7-2 (12-11); T3. Westminster 7-2 (12-11); 5. Prairie View 5-4 (8-15); 6. Adams City 4-5 (7-15); 7. AURORA CENTRAL 3-6 (11-11); 8. HINKLEY 2-7 (5-16); 9. Northglenn 0-9 (1-21), 10. Thornton 0-9 (1-22)
* — Seeded higher than team it tied with by virtue of head-to-head win