Trumbull, St. Joe's set sights on FCIAC girls basketball playoffs

The FCIAC girls basketball playoff picture will be put in focus tonight, as the regular season comes to a close with several big games on the schedule.

Seven teams have qualified with the eighth and final spot still up for grabs heading into games this evening.

Two of those contests, tipping off at 7 p.m., involve head-to-head match-ups of playoff-bound teams with identical records: Warde at Wilton, and Trumbull at Stamford.

The Warde Mustangs and Wilton Warriors are both 16-1 in FCIAC play and the winner of tonight’s game will seize the No. 1 seed for the tournament, with the loser taking the No. 2 spot.

The third through sixth seeds are a bit more muddled.

The Ridgefield Tigers (15-3 FCIAC) are currently the third-place team, one victory ahead of the Greenwich Cardinals, Stamford Knights, and Trumbull Eagles, all of whom sport 14-3 league marks.

Ridgefield has completed its FCIAC schedule, while Greenwich is heavily favored in its 5:30 p.m. game against Brien McMahon (3-16). If the Cardinals hold serve and move to 15-3, there will be a three-way tie involving Ridgefield, Greenwich, and the winner of the Stamford-Trumbull game.

In the event of a three-way tie involving Greenwich, Ridgefield, and Stamford, Greenwich would take No. 3, followed by Stamford at No. 4, and Ridgefield at No. 5.

Those three teams are even in head-to-head match-ups, so the quality wins tiebreaker would be used, which favors Greenwich based on its win over Warde. Stamford defeated Ridgefield and would thus rank ahead of the Tigers.

In the event of a three-way tie involving Greenwich, Ridgefield, and Trumbull, Ridgefield would be No. 3, followed by Trumbull at No. 4, and Greenwich at No. 5. Ridgefield would win the head-to-head tiebreaker having beaten Greenwich and Trumbull, while Trumbull topped Greenwich.

In either scenario, the loser of the Stamford-Trumbull game finishes 14-4 in the FCIAC and takes the No. 6 seed.

The St. Joseph Cadets (11-6 FCIAC) have locked up the No. 7 seed and will face the loser of the Warde-Wilton game in the quarterfinals. The Cadets are playing at Trinity Catholic today at 5:45 p.m.

The eighth and final playoff spot will go to either the Ludlowe Falcons (9-8 FCIAC) or the Darien Blue Wave (8-9 FCIAC). Darien remains alive thanks to its win over Ludlowe last week.

Ludlowe will clinch the No. 8 seed with a win over Westhill, or a Darien loss to New Canaan. Darien takes the No. 8 seed with a win over New Canaan and a Ludlowe loss.

Should Ludlowe qualify, it would set up an interesting 1-8 game, with its opponent being either rival Warde or Wilton, which has won 18 straight since an opening-night loss to Ludlowe.

The FCIAC tournament will get underway with the quarterfinals on Saturday, Feb. 21. All four quarterfinals will be held at Westhill High School in Stamford, with the first game tipping off at noon.

In terms of the state playoff picture, 13 of the 19 FCIAC teams have qualified: Warde, Wilton, Ridgefield, Greenwich, Stamford, Trumbull, St. Joseph, Ludlowe, Darien, New Canaan, Danbury, Staples, and Norwalk.