Falls receives boon from WIAA concerning basketball seeding
Forfeit could count as win in coaches' meeting
At the WIAA seeding meeting for the southern half of the Manitowoc Division 1 boys basketball sectional on Saturday, the no-brainer decisions are unbeaten and top-ranked Germantown getting the first seed and eighth-ranked Homestead earning the two, while struggling Hartford and Waukesha South will likely get the eighth and ninth seeds, respectively.
But in-between all that is a horse race with the five remaining teams vying for that coveted three-seed and the opportunity to stay away from highly dangerous Germantown until possibly the sectional semifinals on March 8.
And in a recent an email received by the Menomonee Falls School District from the WIAA, the Indians may just have an edge in that matter. They recently had to forfeit a victory over Greater Metro Conference leader West Allis Central due to the use of an ineligible player. It was an awkward mess that left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths.
But in a careful parsing of what is legal and what actually may be right, the WIAA said Falls may use that victory as part of its criteria when it goes into the seeding meeting, though in the actual league standings, the forfeit will still stand.
Coach has to convince peers
According to Falls officials, it will be up to Indians coach Dan Leffel to convince the other coaches at the meeting that Falls is worthy of a better seed based on that victory (Falls is currently 10-8 but would actually be 11-7 for seeding purposes). The Indians will have a chance to solidify its alleged superiority over Central (14-4) when it visits the Bulldogs in a rematch on Friday, the day before the meeting.
Depending on who you talk to, Falls could be as good as 12-8 or more importantly 13-7 going into the meeting if it sweeps its games this week (it also played Bay View in a nonconference game on Tuesday). If the Indians do win twice this week, and coaches take into consideration the WIAA stand on counting the first Central game for seeding purposes, then the Indians would have the best record out of the five remaining teams in contention for that elusive third seed.
It is an important distinction whether opposing coaches take that win into consideration or not, because as it stands, it's hard to fit a piece of paper between the other teams in contention for the third seed.
They include Waukesha West (12-8 overall, 7-5 in the Classic 8); Waukesha North (12-8, 5-7); Arrowhead (10-9, 8-4); and Sussex Hamilton (10-10, 5-7 in the GMC). Some sorting will occur on Friday when West visits Arrowhead and North (which has lost its last three games) hosts a solid Catholic Memorial team that same night.
In Leffel's eyes, it is all part of a second-half of the season resurgence for Falls. One that should be rewarded with as high a seed as possible.
When a forfeit's not a forfeit
But if that seed is earned with a forfeited victory that was due to a mistake made first by a Falls' athlete and then compounded by a decision from the school's administration, how right and legitimate is it?
All that is known is that if it does work out in Falls' favor (a big if), it will be up to history to judge how correct the actions of the WIAA and the coaches in the sectional were.
See MenomoneeFallsNOW.com over the weekend for the results of the seeding meeting.
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