The 2021 regular seasons for the Northfield Knights and Dundas Dukes are nearing their end, and neither team are necessarily where they wanted to be at the start of the season.
Both teams reside in the top half of the Classic Cannon Valley League, but out of range of first-place Miesville. The Mudhens also sit atop Section 1B, where success has not fully carried over for the Dukes and Knights.
With only one regular-season game for both remaining against a Section 1B opponent, there’s still some seeding to be sorted out for the Section 1B playoffs. Northfield finishes its Section 1B slate Wednesday night at home against Miesville, while Dundas travels to Miesville on Sunday afternoon for its final section game.
As of publication, Northfield is locked into the Section 1B play-in game scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 1. What remains up for grabs is whether that game is played in Northfield or somewhere else. A Northfield victory against Miesville won’t be enough to fully secure a home game, but it goes a long way.
In order to catch New Market, the Muskies need to lose against Miesville on Tuesday night (played after deadline) and at home against the Rochester Royals on Sunday afternoon. If that happens, Northfield and New Market finish tied at 4-8 in Section 1B, with the teams splitting the two-game regular-season series wiping out the first tiebreaker.
The second tiebreaker is a team’s record against the first-place team, which at the moment is Miesville. In the scenario New Market and Northfield finish tied, the Knights hold the advantage in that tiebreaker. Elko still has a shot to nab that top spot, however, which would hand New Market home-field advantage.
Either way, Northfield will have plenty of work to do in order to secure a fifth straight trip to the Class B state tournament.
Dundas with everything to play for
Dundas’ seed in the Section 1B playoffs is in much more flux.
As of publication, the Dukes are fifth in the seven-team section, a half-game ahead of New Market and a half-game behind Rochester. If all breaks right this week, Dundas can still obtain the No. 2 seed and home-field advantage in its playoff series, which is awarded to the top three seeds.
The Dukes can also fall down to the No. 6 seed and into the play-in round against Northfield.
In order to avoid that, Dundas needs to snap a five-game regular-season losing streak against Miesville (the Dukes have also won three straight postseason games against the Dukes).
The other large factor of where Dundas lands in terms of seeding is dependent on how the teams around them perform. Hampton finishes its Section 1B slate Sunday afternoon against Elko, which also plays Rochester on Friday night.
If Elko loses both games and Dundas beats Miesville, the Dukes and Express both finish 6-6 with a two-game split against each other. In that scenario, both teams will also finish 1-1 against first-place Miesville, 0-2 against Hampton, 2-0 against Northfield, 1-1 against New Market and 1-1 against Rochester. The difference, then, would be the team’s respective road records.
Elko’s road record of 4-2 beats out Dundas in that aspect.
Hampton, meanwhile, beats out Dundas on tiebreakers thanks to its season sweep of the Dukes. Rochester and Dundas split their season series, and the Royals finished 1-1 against first-place Miesville. If Dundas is able to match that mark against Miesville with a win Sunday, the tiebreaker moves further down the standings. Rochester is 0-1 against Elko entering their final matchup, while Dundas is 1-1 against Elko.
Dundas is 0-2 against Hampton, while Rochester is 1-1, meaning the tiebreaker buck likely stops there if it gets that far.