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Ridgewater men qualify for MCAC playoffs, women still on bubble

WILLMAR -- The Ridgewater Warriors have already clinched a berth in the MCAC basketball tournament at the end of the month at Minneapolis. They will play either Vermilion or Central Lakes in the quarterfinals Feb. 27 at Minneapolis.

The Lady Warriors' fate is far from clear.

By winning their last two games -- following a four-game skid -- Carrie Ogdahl's squad is back in the hunt.

The Lady Warriors (4-7, 8-13) will be big underdogs on their home court at 6 p.m. today when they host unbeaten Rochester (10-0, 24-0). But if they can win at Worthington Saturday vs. Minnesota West, they would tie for fourth with the Bluejays.

Ogdahl predicts Anoka-Ramsey (4-6, 14-10) will beat both Fergus Falls (4-7, 9-15) and Minneapolis (1-9, 5-20) to finish 6-6 and in third behind runner-up Riverland (8-2, 20-4).

Assuming a loss to Rochester, the Lady Warriors will head to Minnesota West on Saturday with fourth place at stake.

The Bluejays trimmed Ridgewater on Jan. 28 in two overtimes.

A Minnesota West win would settle the issue, but if Ridgewater wins, both teams would end up 5-7 and 1-1 head-to-head.

The MCAC handbook says in that situation the teams would stage a playoff game, probably Monday or Tuesday, with a coin flip to determine the home team.

The MCAC bylaws also state the No. 4 team in the South isn't automatic because the North has more teams.

The women's state tournament is at Willmar Feb. 27 through March 1.