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Northeast Dallas County Basketball Playoffs Picture
As the regular season winds down, some area basketball teams have already secured their spot in the playoffs, while many others are still battling it out.
Here is a quick look at the postseason races in Northeast Dallas County.
In: Rowlett (9-0), Naaman Forest (7-2), Lakeview (7-3), Sachse (6-4)
Notes: With three games left in the regular season, the four playoff spots in 11-5A have been filled. But there is still plenty on the line in terms of seeding.
Rowlett can clinch the top seed with a victory on Tuesday over Naaman Forest. An Eagle loss, however, opens things up.
There could be plenty of drama on the final day of the regular season when Rowlett hosts Lakeview and Naaman Forest plays at Sachse on Feb. 5.
In: Horn (8-1), Mesquite (8-2), Rockwall (8-2)
In the hunt:: Longview (4-5), Tyler Lee (3-6)
Notes: Thanks to recent victories over the other two contenders, Horn has risen to the top of the 12-5A standings and controls its own destiny. However, if the Jaguars are to win the outright district title and the top playoff seed, they cannot slip up even once, as Mesquite and Rockwall are right on their heels.
If Horn is able to hold on, Friday's clash between Mesquite and Rockwall will likely see the winner earning the second seed.
The fourth spot is up for grabs between Longview and Tyler Lee. The Lobos could settle the matter on Tuesday if they can defeat the Red Raiders on the road.
However, a Tyler Lee win forces a tie for fourth with one week left. Longview would appear to have an easier game on Friday when they host North Mesquite while the Red Raiders must play at Horn.
But the opposite is true on Feb. 5, when the Lobos must play on the road at Rockwall while Tyler Lee draws a home game against Rockwall-Heath.
In: Carrollton Newman Smith (11-0), West Mesquite (9-2), Highland Park (9-2)
In the hunt: Carrollton Creekview (6-5), North Forney (3-8)
Notes: Carrollton Newman Smith needs two victories in its last three games to assure itself of the outright district championship, but that will be no easy feat with challenging games against West Mesquite on Tuesday and Highland Park on Friday.
While the Trojans won the first meetings with each of those teams, if that trend is reversed, there could be a three-way tie for first place at season's end.
Creekview will earn the final playoff spot with one more victory or one North Forney loss. The Mustangs have a tough game at Highland Park on Tuesday but then will be heavy favorites on Friday against winless Terrell.
North Forney, meanwhile, needs Creekview to lose both games, as well as earn victories over Forney and Poteet to even have a chance when the two teams meet head-to-head on Feb. 5.
In: Lakeview (8-0)
In the hunt: Rowlett (7-1), Naaman Forest (5-3), Sachse (4-4), Garland (2-5), South Garland (1-7)
Notes: Lakeview is the only team that has wrapped up a playoff berth, but they should soon be joined by Rowlett, which needs just one victory to clinch.
The Patriots and Eagles have been the class of the district thus far, and their second meeting on Feb. 5 could determine the 11-5A championship.
Naaman Forest and Sachse have some cushion over Garland and South Garland for the third and fourth postseason spots, but a lot can happen in two-and-a-half weeks.
The Owls could make a run during the next 10 days, as they play the Colonels on Tuesday, Naaman Forest on Friday and winless North Garland on Feb. 5.
Sachse can take a big step toward the playoffs, and end South Garland's chances, with a win when those two teams meet on Friday. The Mustangs also have a key game against Naaman Forest on Feb. 5 with a chance to move up the standings.
In the hunt: Mesquite (7-1), Longview (6-2), Horn (5-2), Tyler Lee (5-3), North Mesquite (3-4), Rockwall-Heath (1-7)
Notes: It looks like there will be five teams battling for the four playoff spots. Rockwall has already been eliminated and Rockwall-Heath would have to win its final four games and hope one of the leaders collapses to even have a chance.
Mesquite is in driver's seat and can clinch a postseason berth with a win over North Mesquite on Tuesday. The Stallions are the X-factor down the stretch, as they are the only team that can break into the quartet of Mesquite, Longview, Horn and Tyler Lee.
Whether they can do that or not will be known soon, as in addition to Tuesday's game against the Skeeters, North Mesquite will also play Longview on Friday and Horn on Feb. 5.
In the hunt: Carrollton Newman Smith (8-1), West Mesquite (7-2), Highland Park (6-3), North Forney (5-4), Poteet (5-4), Carrollton Creekview (3-6), Forney (2-7)
Notes: Seven of the eight teams are technically still alive, but Forney and Carrollton Creekview are going to need to get hot down the stretch and get some help from some slip-ups by the teams they are chasing.
Carrollton Newman Smith and West Mesquite will meet on Tuesday with first place in 10-4A on the line. Although both teams are in good shape, neither team, particularly West Mesquite, can afford a late-season swoon.
Poteet and North Forney, who are currently tied for the fourth and final playoff spot, will meet on Friday in one of the biggest games of the season, with the winner gaining the upper hand in the race for that berth.
Creekview will either make a charge or fade away during the next 10 days. The Mustangs have two direct chances to gain ground against teams ahead of them with games against Highland Park and North Forney, while also having a must-win contest against last-place Terrell.