Lady Horns Seek Spot At ‘Big Dance’

Power points crucial to postseason play


Lady Longhorn Arianna Paulson (22) guards an opponent during the Holiday Hoops basketball tournament, held last weekend in Payson.

Lady Longhorn Arianna Paulson (22) guards an opponent during the Holiday Hoops basketball tournament, held last weekend in Payson. Photo by Max Foster. |

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With the Holiday Hoops tournament in the record books and the all-important 2013 season under way, it’s time for coaches, players and fans to pay particular attention to power points rankings because they will help determine postseason playoff seedings as well as which teams advance to state and which will be left on the outside looking in.

This year, the seedings are compiled by MaxPreps, an independent online Web service for high school sports.

The rankings are calculated on the results of all Arizona Interscholastic Association games played during the regular season and do not include invitational tournaments.

Although the rankings have been criticized in the past for being flawed, the AIA last year partnered with MaxPreps to come up with a corrected, more accurate formula.

The algorithm used, which comes from a research paper, “A solution to Unequal Strength of Schedule” written by Roy Bethel in 2005, analyzes past games and places teams in order in their respective sections and divisions.

Division III seedings

According to Division III seedings that were updated Jan. 2, the Lady Longhorns are ranked 16th with a 6-1 record and a rating of 6.0129.

Window Rock (5-0) is seeded first with a rating of 16.7279.

In the 17-team Section III of D-III, Payson is ranked fifth in a section being dominated by top-rated Fountain Hills (12.8798).

The battles for second through fifth place in S-III, however, are highly competitive, with all the teams fairly close in ratings.

Second ranked Valley Christian is rated 6.9650, third-rated Camp Verde is sitting a 6.8688 and fourth place Estrella Foothills holds a 6.5741 ranking.

Which means the difference between second-ranked Valley Christian and fifth-rated Payson is just .9521.

Of course, those ratings change drastically as the season wears on and the wins and losses pile up.

But best rule of thumb for prep teams hoping to reach the postseason Promised Land is to finish as high as possible in the rankings to best ensure a ducat into the high school version of the “Big Dance.”

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