The star of Saturday’s Section VI boys basketball seeding meeting was a coin. Actually, three coins.
At the outset of the meeting to confirm seeds and schedules for the sectional basketball tournament, which tips off this week, a three-way coin flip was needed to determine the top seeds in Class AA.
The results were that Jamestown claimed the top seed, Williamsville North is second and Clarence is third.
The coin flips were needed because those three teams tied for first place in ECIC I with records of 10-2, resulting in equal power ratings that determine sectional seedings, and all three had split their two meetings with each other.
Three coins were flipped, each one representing a different school, and if there was an odd one among the three, that team received the third seed. That is how Clarence became No. 3. Another coin flip left Jamestown first and Will North second.
As it turns out, the coins might fall in line with the next News large school poll, which will be released Tuesday. Jamestown beat visiting Williamsville North, 67-54, on Monday; its loss at Will North was by one point in December. Jamestown’s home win over Clarence was by 30 points on Jan. 21, although it lost at Clarence by three four days later.
That wasn’t the end of the coin flips for the Class AA boys. Niagara Frontier League co-champions Lockport and Kenmore West were in a similar situation, both with 13-1 league records, equal power ratings tying them for fourth, and a split of their season series. The coin flip there went to Kenmore West, which means the Blue Devils will host Lockport in Friday’s Class AA quarterfinals.
On the boys side, Quarterfinal Friday is the busiest and biggest early-round day of the tournament, as 32 games will determine who advances to the semifinals at Buffalo State and Jamestown Community College. The tournament begins with first-round contests in Class B-1 and B-2 on Tuesday, with prequarterfinal games in seven of the eight brackets (all but Class D) on Wednesday.
The girls tournament also begins Tuesday with prequarterfinals in A-1, A-2, B-1 and B-2.
• Jamestown is the top seed in both Class AA tournaments, with the ECIC I champion girls earning the top spot after a season in which the Red Raider girls (16-2) went 11-1 in league play and spent most of the season in The News large school top three.
• The only other school to have two No. 1 seeds is Fredonia in Class B-1.
• The Olean boys, ranked atop The News small school poll for the last several weeks, is the unquestioned favorite in Class B-1 although it is not the top seed.
Olean played an independent schedule this season, and while it offered them a chance to schedule excellent competition, it resulted in a 15-3 overall record which translated to a power points rating of 4.389. Teams that play independent schedules have all of their games counted towards their rating; all other teams are seeded based on their league record.
That meant Fredonia (14-4), which is currently ranked as The News’ No. 6 small school, earned the top seed with a 4.6 power rating it earned by going 10-0 in CCAA I West.
• The Williamsville South boys took the top spot in Class A-1, largely due to their big win at Iroquois Thursday night, which split the ECIC II title between the teams. While both had a top power rating of 3.75 based on their 9-3 league records, South earned the top spot because it swept the Chiefs in their two meetings.
• The only undefeated team in either tournament is the Niagara-Orleans champion Barker boys (18-0), the top seed in C-1.
• The other top boys seeds are Amherst (A-2), East (B-2), International Prep at Grover Cleveland (C-2) and Sherman (D). The other top girls seeds are McKinley (A-1), East Aurora (A-2), Wilson (B-2), Holland (C-1), Olmsted (C-2) and Pine Valley (D).
• The Monsignor Martin Association still has a handful of games to complete before their playoff schedules begin with boys quarterfinals on Saturday and two divisions of girls semifinals on Sunday.