Mercer tiebreaker update
There was plenty of movement among the teams involved in the tiebreaker in Class 5-A, District 7 last week, but there was no change in the big picture as we spelled it out in this post. South Laurel still holds a one-point edge over Mercer County in the three-way tiebreaker for the Nos. 3 and 4 playoff seeds in that district.
By winning on Friday, each team picked up the wins of an additional opponent to count in the points system used to break three-way ties. South Laurel got Middlesboro and its six wins; Mercer got Rockcastle County and its four wins. Mercer also picked up one win each for wins by Russell County, Greeneville (Tenn.) and Boyle County, and South Laurel got a point for a win by Valley.
(Southwestern is the third team in this three-way tiebreaker, but it’s mathematically impossible for the Warriors to catch either Mercer or South Laurel in this points race.)
Here are the current points for each team, listed with the teams that each of them can count and their current win totals, and this week’s opponent and its win total in parentheses:
- South Laurel, 18 points: Valley 7, North Laurel 0, Knox Central 5, Middlesboro 6. (This week’s opponent: East Jessamine 5.)
- Mercer County, 17 points: Russell County 3, Greeneville (Tenn.) 7, Boyle County 3, Rockcastle County 4. (This week: open date.)
- Southwestern, 3 points: Paul Dunbar 3. (This week’s opponent: George Rogers Clark 2).
Because Mercer doesn’t play, South Laurel clinches the No. 3 seed with a win over East Jessamine. The Titans can still get points from the teams they’ve beaten, but not enough to overcome one more South Laurel victory.
Mercer’s maximum point total is 20, which it’ll get only if Greeneville, Boyle and Rockcastle all win this week. (Russell doesn’t play.) If South Laurel loses, Mercer must also hope for losses by Valley, North Laurel, Knox Central and Middlesboro (or at least most of them).
The probable outcome is that Mercer gets the No. 4 seed and a first-round game at Lincoln County on Nov. 9. (The No. 3 seed plays at Pulaski County.) And in fact, that’s what the Titans are expecting. It didn’t take long during their on-field meeting after the win over Rockcastle for the talk to turn to Lincoln and the Titans’ desire to avenge a 12-7 home loss to the Patriots on Sept. 7.
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A slight correction from Friday’s post. Mercer County and Rockcastle County were district rivals in Class 3-A (not 2-A) in the late 1970s and early ’80s.