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Thu, Feb. 20

Fall season transitions into playoffs this week

The playoffs are here!

The last week of October brings the postseason for a number of local high school teams starting today. Here's what to look for this week:

BADMINTON

The Prescott Badgers open the AIA Div. 1 team state playoff brackets today. As the state's No. 12 seed Prescott travels to face 5-seed Desert Vista for a 5 p.m. start on the neutral court of Mesa Red Mountain High School. A win there would send the Badgers directly into the quarterfinals later tonight, at 6:30, against the winner of 4-seed Red Mountain and 13-seed Hamilton.

A quarterfinal and subsequent semifinal win would send Prescott into the state championship, which is scheduled for Thursday at Xavier College Prep in Phoenix, as the badminton team vies for the local area's first state title of the fall season, and the first in program history.

SOCCER

The defending state champion Chino Valley boys' team takes the No. 1 seed into this week's AIA Div. 4 tournament as they seek the fourth state title in program history.

The Cougars have looked almost unbeatable this season, streaking to an 18-1-1 record.

The top seed earns them a first-round bye when the bracket opens Thursday, so Chino will wait to host the winner of 9-seed Lourdes Catholic and 8-seed Phoenix Country Day this Saturday at 2 p.m. on the CVHS campus field.

The Chino girls, meanwhile, earned a spot in the Div. 4 state tournament as the No. 7 seed in the eight-team bracket.

The Cougars open their run on Thursday at 2-seed River Valley at 6 p.m. An upset win there would send Chino into the Final Four on Saturday.

Elsewhere in Yavapai County, the Camp Verde girls' team also qualified for the state playoffs. As the 8-seed, they have the daunting task of opening up against 1-seed Blue Ridge this Thursday.

FOOTBALL

While the bigger schools close out their regular season this Friday night, Div. 6 Bagdad opens its state championship title defense with its playoff opener in the eight-man game.

After a first-round bye last week, the 1-seed Sultans will host 9-seed Superior this coming Saturday on their home field in Bagdad in the Elite 8. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. Superior won its first round game Saturday night in a wild one, 66-54, over 8-seed Glendale Prep.

Should the Sultans prevail, they would advance to the Div. 6 Final Four on Nov. 8 at North Canyon High School in Phoenix.

CROSS COUNTRY

Qualifying distance runners and teams from Prescott, Bradshaw Mountain and Chino Valley get their crack at the AIA Div. 2 and 3 State/Sectional Meet this Friday. The bigger schools run at Cesar Chavez Park in Phoenix at noon, while the Cougars test their times at Holbrook Golf Course at 2:30 p.m.

Those who make the cut advance to the state finals Nov. 8.

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