Getting ready for the postseason

By Toriano Porter PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: October 20, 2017 - 10:02 AM

Play time is over and playoff time is here for teams in the Interscholastic League as single-elimination district tournaments kick off statewide Friday.

League co-champs Central, Lincoln Prep and Southeast look to surprise, while East and Northeast try to salvage a season full of stops, starts and fits.

Central had a chance to secure a fourth seed in the Class 3 District 8 tournament and host a home playoff game but were upended 38-32 in a Week 9 loss to Van Horn (4-5).

The Blue Eagles, 3-6 overall and 3-1 in league play, is seeded fifth. They will go on the road Friday to face a solid Pembroke Hill squad led by senior Yakini Kasimu.

The Raiders, 7-2 as an independent, is seeded fourth after a 21-10 upset loss last week to St. Pius X, the district’s No. 3 seed.

St. Pius finished the regular season 4-5.

Lincoln Prep is seeded seventh in Class 3 District 8 and will take on perennial small-school power Maryville (7-2) Friday in Maryville.

The Spoofhounds were a Class 3 runner-up last season.

The Blue Tigers (3-6, 3-1) were handled 47-6 in their regular season-finale against undefeated Hogan Prep.

Lincoln head coach William Lowe knew his young team would have its hands full against the Rams.

“Hogan is Hogan,” Lowe said. “They have some very talented players.”

Fresh off a stunning IL co-championship, Southeast will try to extend its late-season run on the road Friday at Odessa.

The Knights (3-6, 3-1) ended the regular season with a championship-clinching 27-6 win over East. They are seeded sixth in Class 3 District 7.

Odessa (5-4) is the district’s No. 3 seed. The Bulldogs started the season 3-0 before a late-season slide.

Southeast opened the season 0-5 with a murderer’s row schedule that included Class 4 Van Horn, Class 4 Jefferson City Helias (4-5), Kansas Class 5 Schlagle (7-0), Hogan Prep (9-0) and Lincoln Prep.

The Knights are 3-1 since a 30-24 Week 5 loss in double overtime to Lincoln Prep. Head coach Leon McElrath said that game was the season’s turning point.

“I felt that game really propelled them to get better,” McElrath said of his squad. “They understand now, if we want to win we have to work at it.”

East, led by bruising tailback David Wilson, is seeded seventh in Class 4 District 6. They will travel to No. 2 seed Harrisonville Friday to take on the 6-3 Wildcats.

The Bears (1-8, 1-3 IL) won the IL in 2015, but have struggled with back-to-back one-win seasons.

The hardships will pay dividends soon, Bears head coach Greg Smith said.

“I have some guys coming back next year that can play,” Smith said.

Northeast, the No. 8 seed in Class 4 District 6, will try to stop a four-game losing streak against top-seeded Grain Valley.

Grain Valley (7-2) is coached by former Raytown South head coach David Allie. The Eagles won an undefeated Missouri River Valley Conference West championship this season with a 5-0 mark.

The Bulldogs, 1-8 overall, went winless in the IL (0-4).