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3 County teams among crowded TRC title picture

BY JACOB RUDE - sports@wabashplaindealer.com

As the girls’ basketball season winds to a close, the Three Rivers Conference (TRC) is squarely in murky waters following a handful of recent results.

Northfield’s win over Tippecanoe Valley and Manchester’s loss to North Miami last week leaves six teams with two TRC losses, three of those teams residing in Wabash County.

Topping the conference as of Tuesday afternoon were Northfield and Rochester, each holding 5-1 marks. The Norse’s lone loss came to Manchester while Rochester lost to Wabash.

Tippecanoe Valley and Manchester also sport just one loss on the season, both coming last week to Northfield and North Miami, respectively.

The Warriors are 3-2 on the season with a win over Manchester, but hold TRC losses to Tippecanoe Valley and Rochester on the year. Likewise, Wabash is 3-2 with losses to the Vikings and Northfield.

The Sagarin ratings do little to separate the six teams. Tippecanoe Valley still holds the top spot with a rating of 75.37 while Northfield is comfortably in second at 69.23.

Rochester is third with a rating of 59.81, North Miami is a close fourth at 59.69 and Wabash is fifth at 58.84. The Squires slot in at sixth with a rating of 57.73.

Manchester still holds its fate in its own hands with just one loss coming to a North Miami side already with two conference losses and a win over the Norse already.

With games against Wabash, Rochester and Tippecanoe Valley left on the schedule, should the Squires win their final four TRC games, they would, at worst, be tied with the Norse for first with the head-to-head tiebreaker.

The Zebras are facing much of the same with home games against the Vikings and Squires and a road trip to Northfield remaining. Were Rochester to win each of its last three TRC games, they would take home the conference title outright.

Northfield does not control its own fate and would need Manchester to drop one of its final four TRC games of the season. If the Squires fall once more in conference play and the Norse win their remaining games against North Miami, Whitko and Rochester, they would finish with an 8-1 mark and, at worst, would be tied with Tippecanoe Valley while holding a win over the Vikings.

The Warriors and Apaches are still looming, but each requires some help. The Apaches have remaining contests against Manchester, North Miami, Peru and Whitko and can finish 7-2 at best.

With losses to Tippecanoe Valley and Northfield already on the season, Wabash would need each side to drop at least one game in hopes of a multi-team tiebreaker situation.

A win over Rochester could prove vital in potential tie-breaking scenarios for the Apaches come season’s end.

In similar fashion, Manchester’s win over Northfield could also play a big role in how the final standings shake out.

Manchester will likely have the biggest say in the final standings. Of its final four TRC games, three come against Wabash, Rochester and Tippecanoe Valley.

Even if the Squires don’t win out, victories over any of those three teams would likely have a direct impact on the final standings.

Peru could have the best chance at playing spoiler with games against Manchester, Wabash and Tippecanoe Valley remaining. The Tigers are almost certainly out of the title picture with a 2-3 TRC record, but could still impact the title race.

Northfield will be looking to clear one of its final hurdles on Friday when they host North Miami in a doubleheader with the boys’ team. Tip-off is set for 6:15 p.m.

Manchester hosts Peru tonight before hosting Wabash on Saturday. Both games are set for a 7:45 p.m. tip-off.