With just four weeks remaining in the 2012-13 regular season, here’s a team-by-team look at how the stretch run is shaping up for the area’s high school girls’ basketball teams:
• Westfield (2-10, 1-1 Suburban League) – Needs to win final eight games to finish .500 or finish first or second in the league. The Bombers are on the road for five straight – Chicopee (Tuesday), Chicopee Comp (Thursday), Agawam (Friday), Longmeadow (Feb. 7), and Amherst (Feb. 11) – before finishing up at home against Chicopee (Feb. 14), Chicopee Comp (Feb. 18), and Agawam (Feb. 20).
• Southwick-Tolland (6-5, 1-2 Bi-County West) – Must win five of next nine games, or finish first or second in the league. “Our goal is to win the league and make the tournament,” Southwick coach Mike Gill said. “That’s still on the table as far as I’m concerned. That’s what we’re still shooting for. If everyone plays their role and does their job, we’ll be OK.”
The Rams play at Commerce Tuesday and host Sabis Thursday before traveling to Monson on Friday. The remaining slate includes games against Ware (Feb. 4), Holyoke Catholic (Feb. 5), Sci-Tech (Feb. 7), Holyoke Catholic (Feb. 11), McCann Tech (Feb. 14), and Putnam (Feb. 18).
• Gateway Regional (9-3, 9-1 Bi-County) – A contender for a league title, the Gators are nearly locked into a Western Massachusetts Division III tournament berth. Thursday’s home game against New Leadership (league unbeaten) is the next big test. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m.
“We need to keep playing the way we’ve been playing,” Gateway coach Eli Robbins said. “We’re playing a big one on Thursday against New Leadership. Whoever wins that one will be in the driver’s seat for the league title. We need to keep building toward the tournament.”
• Westfield Voc-Tech (3-7, 3-5 Tri-County) – “We’re up against it, circling the drain,” said Voc-Tech coach Matt Seklecki. “We have to run the table this week, and hope to be 6-7 by the time we play Gateway.” In the interim, the Tigers play Pioneer Valley Christian School (Tuesday), Smith Voke (Thursday), St. Mary (Feb. 4), Pathfinder (Feb. 7), and Franklin Tech (Feb. 11).
• St. Mary (record incomplete) – The Saints, whose game against the Gateway Gators was snowed out on Monday, return to the hardwood Thursday at home against Pathfinder. Tip-off at Westfield North Middle School is at 5:30 p.m. Remaining games include: Westfield Voc-Tech (Feb. 4), PVCS (Feb. 7), Smith Voke (Feb. 11), Franklin Tech (Feb. 14), and New Leadership (Feb. 21). No makeup date against the Gators was available as of press time.