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FCIAC Girls Basketball: Playoff picture comes into focus

With just two games remaining in the girls basketball regular season, six teams have clinched FCIAC playoff bids, while four others remain mathematically alive for the final two spots.

The eight playoff teams could be determined by the end of games on Monday, with only the seedings and quarterfinal matchups to be determined.

The FCIAC girls basketball tournament will begin on Saturday, Feb. 18, and all four quarterfinal match-ups will be carried live by the HAN Network. The top two seeds will each host two quarterfinal games, with the 4-5 and 1-8 games at the No. 1 seed, and the 2-7 and 3-6 games at the No. 2 seeds. Tip-off times for the games have yet to be determined.

The HAN Network will also carry the semifinals on Tuesday, Feb. 21, and the final on Thursday, Feb. 23.

Here’s a look at the playoff race as its stands heading into the final week. Games listed are Monday-Wednesday unless otherwise noted.

1 – Trumbull (13-1)

Games Remaining: Home vs. Central; At Trinity Catholic

Playoff Status: Clinched; Needs one more win to secure one of the top 2 seeds; Will be No. 1 with two wins or one win and a Ridgefield loss.

Despite suffering its first loss of the season to Warde on Friday, the Golden Eagles are holding the top spot in the FCIAC standings. They hold tiebreakers against both Ridgefield and Stamford — the only teams which could mathematically tie them — and will likely be the No. 1 seed given their less-than-imposing schedule during the final week.

2 – Ridgefield (13-1)

Games Remaining: Home vs. Westhill; At Norwalk

Playoff Status: Clinched; needs one more win to secure one of the top 2 seeds; Can move up to No. 1 with two wins and a Trumbull loss.

With a victory over either Westhill or Norwalk this week, the Ridgefield Tigers can wrap up one of the league’s top-two seeds and the quarterfinal home game which would go along with it. The game with Norwalk is a playoff-caliber game to close the regular season, although the two teams will likely be on opposite sides of the bracket for the FCIAC tournament.

3 – Stamford (12-2)

Games Remaining: Home vs. Wilton; At Central

Playoff Status: Clinched; Will clinch at least No. 3 seed with a win; Can fall no lower than the No. 4 seed.

Stamford boosted its seeding with a victory over Norwalk on Friday, and can secure the No. 3 seed with one more victory this week.

4 – Norwalk (11-3)

Games Remaining: At Ludlowe; Home vs. Ridgefield

Playoff Status: Clinched; One win will clinch a top 4 seed.

The Bears are having an impressive regular season and will have a great playoff primer when they host Ridgefield on Wednesday. Unless Stamford stumbles this week, Norwalk will likely play in the 4-5 quarterfinal game against Warde.

5 – Warde (10-4)

Games Remaining: Home vs. McMahon; At Ludlowe

Playoff Status: Clinched

Warde had a nine-game win streak broken by Stamford last Tuesday, but bounced back in a big way on Friday when it became the first team to defeat Trumbull this season. The Mustangs face two teams with losing records in the final week and are on a collision course with Norwalk for the quarterfinals.

6T- Danbury (9-5)

Games Remaining: Home vs. Central (Tues); At Greenwich

Playoff Status: Clinched

Danbury will take on Central on Tuesday in a game which was postponed due to Thursday’s snowstorm, and will then play at Greenwich in Wednesday’s regular-season finale. Danbury, which holds tiebreakers over Staples, Wilton and Darien, has clinched a playoff spot.

6T – Greenwich (9-5)

Games Remaining: Home vs. Trinity; Home vs. Danbury

Playoff Status: Needs one win OR one loss by either Staples or Darien to qualify

Greenwich can clinch playoff berth with a win against a 2-16 Trinity team on Monday before taking on Danbury in a playoff tune-up on Wednesday.

8 – Staples (8-7)

Games Remaining: At New Canaan; Bye

Playoff Status: Needs one win OR one loss by Wilton to qualify

Staples has just one game remaining, as the Wreckers will have the final regular-season bye on Wednesday. They’ll play at New Canaan, which is just 3-15 this winter, on Monday and can clinch a playoff berth with a victory.

9 – Wilton (7-7)

Games Remaining: At Stamford; At McMahon

Playoff Status: Needs two wins and a loss by Staples to qualify

OR

one win AND a loss by Staples AND two wins by Darien to qualify

Wilton has two paths to the playoffs, both of which depend on New Canaan upsetting Staples on Monday. If that happens, the Warriors could slip past Staples by beating Stamford and McMahon, both on the road. If the Warriors split their final two games, they could still qualify if Staples loses and Darien wins its final two games to create a three-way tie at 8-8. In that case, Wilton would sneak in on the “quality wins” criteria, based on its victory over Norwalk on Jan. 3

10 – Darien (6-8)

Games Remaining: Home vs. St. Joseph; At Westhill

Playoff Status: Needs two wins AND two losses by Wilton AND one loss by Staples to qualify

Darien’s path in is difficult. The Wave would need to win its final two games and have Staples lose its remaining game, and Wilton lose twice.

Twelve of the FCIAC’s 17 teams have qualified for the state tournaments: Trumbull, Ridgefield, Stamford, Norwalk, Warde, Danbury, Greenwich, Staples, Wilton, Darien, Westhill and St. Joseph.

Here’s this week’s schedule:

Monday, Feb. 13

Warde at Brien McMahon, 5:15

Wilton at Stamford, 5:15

St. Joseph at Darien, 5:30

Norwalk at Ludlowe, 5:30

Trinity Catholic at Greenwich, 5:30

Staples at New Canaan, 7

Westhill at Ridgefield, 7

Central at Trumbull, 7

Tuesday, Feb. 14

Central at Danbury, 5:30

Wednesday, Feb. 15

Ridgefield at Norwalk, 5:30

Darien at Westhill, 5:30

Trumbull at Trinity Catholic, 5:45

Stamford at Central, 5:45

Warde at Ludlowe, 6

Danbury at Greenwich, 7

Wilton at Brien McMahon, 7

St. Joseph at New Canaan, 7

Senior co-captain Victoria Ray and the Trumbull Golden Eagles have their sights set on the FCIAC’s No. 1 seed. — David G. Whitham/Trumbull Times photo

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