The playoff picture for high school girl basketball in District 25-5A remains murky, but the San Marcos Rattlers are very much in it after a dramatic victory Tuesday night.
The Rattlers notched a 50-48 win at home against Smithson Valley on a bucket from underneath by Madison Miles with two seconds left, improving their record in the district to 3-5, which ties them for fourth place with the team they beat. The Rattlers are 9-21 overall, while Smithson Valley is 13-19 overall.
Suddenly, with their two-game winning streak, the Rattlers have an inside track to the playoffs. They can clinch a playoff berth Friday night (7 p.m.) with a win on the road against last-place New Braunfels (0-8, 6-19) , provided form holds as Smithson Valley plays at Converse Judson (7-1, 22-9), while third-place Canyon (4-4, 16-9) plays at home against San Antonio Wagner (7-1, 26-6) on the same night. In that case, the Rattlers and Canyon would both be 4-5 and Smithson Valley would be 3-6 entering the final night of the season on Feb. 5.
On that night, though, the Rattlers go to Judson and Canyon goes to Smithson Valley, which beat Canyon, 50-44, at Canyon, on Jan. 18. If the Rattlers can pull off an upset at Judson, then they would finish 5-5 in the district, no worse than in a two-way tie for third, which puts them into the playoffs. If the Rattlers can’t win that game, then they’re still in regardless of what happens between Smithson Valley and Canyon. A Canyon win against Smithson Valley would drop the Rangers to 3-7 and the Rattlers would be the fourth-place team at 4-6. If the Rattlers lose and Smithson Valley wins, then there would be a three-way tie for third at 4-6 between the Rattlers, Smithson Valley and Canyon. However, Smithson Valley would win the tiebreaker between it, the Rattlers and Canyon with a 4-2 record in head-to-head games among the three teams, San Marcos would be 3-3 and Canyon would be 2-4. Thus, San Marcos would be the second of those three teams into the playoffs.
However, if the Rattlers lose Friday at New Braunfels, or if Canyon or Smithson Valley can pull an upset that night, then that whole calculation is out the window.
That’s why they play the games.
Miles and Bailey Hill each scored 14 points Tuesday night to lead the Rattlers. Smithson Valley’s Kriston Munro scored 16 to lead all scorers.
Smithson Valley established a 26-20 lead at halftime, but the Rattlers charged back with a 16-13 third quarter and a 14-9 fourth quarter.