With three teams ranked in the top 10, a majority of the Class B, Subdistrict 6 field isn’t fighting for its playoff life.
However, those teams are trying to secure home district games, and that means the battles won’t be lacking for intensity.
“There are two districts in Class B that are pretty brutal, and we’re one of them,” Northwest coach Russ Moerer said. “So we’ve got to come back to work Monday and Tuesday and be ready to go.”
The No. 7-rated Vikings (18-5) earned the right to host the district tournament as the top seed. They face Aurora (5-13) Monday at 6 p.m. in a rematch of a Jan. 4 game that Northwest won 47-34.
In the second semifinal, No. 6 York faces No. 9 Hastings. The Dukes (16-7) crushed the Tigers (13-7) by a 51-21 margin on Dec. 21.
Whichever two teams advance to Tuesday’s championship, that game will also be a rematch.
Moerer said the subdistrict teams’ familiarity with each other doesn’t lead to heated emotions.
“It certainly doesn’t breed content,” he said. “We all have a great deal of respect for each other because we know these teams, we know these coaches. We know all four of these teams are going to be absolutely prepared to do battle Monday and Tuesday.
“So. it helps in terms of knowing each other a little bit, but certainly it’s going to be a battle.”
Northwest’s losses this year have come to No. 1 Crete (21-0) three times and one apiece to York and Hastings.
But the defending state champions enter the postseason with momentum coming off of Friday’s 57-43 victory over No. 3 Beatrice. That gave the Vikings six wins in their last seven games following a Jan. 24 loss at Hastings.
Northwest knows what it needs to do to remain successful.
“I think we continue defending and rebounding, and then our shooting, which has been coming along all year, has to remain solid for us,” Moerer said.
Class D-2, Subdistrict 7
Familiar foes meet up to get the Class D-2, Subdistrict 7 tournament underway Monday at Broken Bow.
Heartland Lutheran (6-15) takes on Elba 5-11 for the third time this season at 7 p.m. The Red Hornets won the previous two 36-32 on Jan. 16 and 39-32 on Feb. 4.
The winner advances to Tuesday’s 5 p.m. semifinal against top-seeded Anselmo-Merna (12-8). The winner of that game advances to Thursday’s final against either Sumner-Eddyville-Miller (10-8) or Twin Loup (4-13).