BY TREVOR HORN
THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz
The Inderkum teams were awarded the No. 10 seeds and Natomas High girls team is the No. 16 seed in the Sac Joaquin Section Division III playoff brackets released Wednesday afternoon.
The Lady Tigers will play at No. 7 seed Manteca High School 7 p.m. on Feb. 19 while the Lady Nighthawks face No. 1 seed Christian Brothers High School at the same time in South Sacramento.
The Inderkum boys will play at Placer High in Auburn 7 p.m. on Feb. 20. The Tigers beat the Hillmen 59-58 on Dec. 20 during the second round of the Rail City Classic in Sparks, Nevada.
Despite finishing tied for third in the Pioneer Valley League standing, Placer (19-8, 6-4) received the higher seed and a home game. Inderkum was the No. 8 in the final power rankings released last week, but fell two spots when the official brackets were announced Tuesday.
“We thought with our body of work we would host a home game,” Inderkum head coach Rodney Haymer said. “But we are just happy to be in the playoffs.”
Unlike most teams in the section scrambling for information on their next opponent, Haymer said he likes the match up – and his knowledge on the opposition.
“I don’t have to beg people of film,” Haymer said. “We are very familiar and should be pretty good game.”
The Lady Tigers will head south to Manteca (20-6, 14-0) to play the Valley Oak League champions.
Inderkum comes in on a high note after beating rival Natomas High 60-31 on the home court Tuesday night, and having played on the road for the first 16 games this season, is ready for an away game.
“Whatever it was, serendipity dumb luck, we spent all of the time on the road,” Inderkum girls head coach Phillip Hampton said. “We are team built on the road. It’s not unfamiliar to us to have to play on the road.”
Natomas head coach Stuart Welch, who is currently resting in a local hospital after having hip-replacement surgery this week, said when he found out the Lady Nighthawks made the playoffs, no medication was needed to make him feel on top of the world. Welch said he should be released on Thursday and back coaching next week.
“That kind of news right there makes all the pain go away,” Welch said while recuperating via phone conversation Tuesday afternoon. “I am feeling mighty fine right now.”
The Lady Nighthawks have a daunting task against the polished Falcons team. Christian Brothers (20-7, 10-0) won by an average of 32.6 in CVL games this season.
“I saw them on game-of-the-wee. They are a tremendous school,” Welch said. “One thing that is going to help us is we have played great competition.”