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Playoff scenarios

By GREG AUMAN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 3, 2002

Another week, another set of games, and Pasco County's playoff picture clears up ... a little bit.

Ridgewood joined Land O'Lakes, Zephyrhills and Wesley Chapel in the playoffs, and Pasco and Mitchell both have a chance to join the postseason next week. Here's how each team stands with one week of the regular season left:

LAND O'LAKES (9-0): Thanks to Ocala Forest's loss Friday, the Gators can clinch the region's top seed with a win Friday against Wesley Chapel. That would help them keep homefield advantage deeper into the playoffs.

ZEPHYRHILLS (8-1): Already district champs, the Bulldogs can make their first-round opponent an at-large team if they win Friday at River Ridge. That win would also mean Tampa Jesuit would likely travel to Zephyrhills in the second round, instead of the other way around.

WESLEY CHAPEL (8-1): If Hardee (9-0) beats DeSoto County (3-5) on Friday, then Wesley Chapel's first-round playoff opponent will likely be Bradenton Southeast (7-2). If the Wildcats can beat Land O'Lakes, they would host that game, but a loss would likely send them to Bradenton.

RIDGEWOOD (6-3): The Rams should pull for Wesley Chapel. If Land O'Lakes wins, Ridgewood opens on the road, perhaps at Melbourne Palm Bay (7-2).

PASCO (5-4): The Pirates control their destiny: Beat Ridgewood and they lock up an at-large bid. If Pasco loses, it could back into the playoffs at 5-5.

MITCHELL (3-6): If the Mustangs beat Hudson (1-7) and Palm Bay Bayside (3-5) loses to Melbourne Eau Gallie (7-2), then Mitchell would earn an at-large playoff berth despite a losing record.

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