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Suffolk League I boys playoff chase (4 teams, 3 spots)

Sachem East's Randall Colson get high over the

Sachem East's Randall Colson get high over the net for this spike. (Sept. 15, 2011) Photo Credit: Andrew J. Hyatt

In Suffolk League I, Lindenhurst is off to a 7-0 start, 2 1/2 games ahead of the pack and already guaranteed a playoff berth.

Commack (0-8) cannot mathematically qualify, while Connetquot (2-5) must win four of their five remaining League I games. Unless Connetquot does the impossible, that leaves four teams vying for the final three spots: Sachem North (5-3), Sachem East (4-3), Half Hollow Hills (4-3) Ward Melville (4-4).

In a year that is consistent in its inconsistency, here is the League I playoff picture as it stands:

1. Sachem North:

Remaining Opponents: Lindenhurst, Commack, Half Hollow Hills and Connetquot.

Analysis: Riding a two-game losing streak, Wednesday's match with Lindenhurst should make it three straight. But with winless Commack after that, North is in little jeopardy of dropping four in a row.

2. Sachem East

Remaining Opponents: Commack, Connetquot, Half Hollow Hills, Ward Melville and Lindenhurst.

Analysis: A dangerous, if inconsistent, team, East is riding the high off Wednesday's four-set win over crosstown rival Sachem North, who swept them in the League I opener. With Randall Colson manning the middle, the Flaming Arrows will be a tough out come playoff time.

With both Sachems all but a shoe-in, it will more than likely come down to reigning Long Island champion Half Hollow Hills and Ward Melville for the final berth.

3. Half Hollow Hills

Remaining Opponents: Connetquot, Lindenhurst, Sachem East, Sachem North, Ward Melville.

Analysis: Assuming they beat Connetquot (although you know what they say about a person who assumes), the Thundercolts would need to win one of their final four games to get in. Could it be Hills vs. Ward in the season finale for all the marbles?

4. Ward Melville

Remaining Opponents: Commack, Connetquot, Sachem East, Half Hollow Hills

Analysis: As shown by tonight's win over Sachem North, the Patriots are capable of winning out against these four opponents. Unlike the three teams above them, they do not have to face Lindenhurst down the stretch.

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