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Ironton sets sights on playoffs

It's week No. 7, but the postseason playoffs are already shaping up.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers (6-1) win over Covington Holmes last week virtually sealed a berth in the Ohio High School Athletic Association postseason playoffs for the fifth straight season and 21st overall.

Portsmouth should finish first in Region 15 of Division IV if the Trojans win their final three games including a big matchup Friday against Gallipolis.

Ironton could finish second by winning its final two games against Columbus DeSales and Belfry, Ky. Both are strong teams, especially DeSales, but would be worth a lot of computer points.

If Portsmouth would lose to Gallipolis and Ironton would win its final two games, the Fighting Tigers could finish first in the region.

The top eight teams this week figure to be Portsmouth, New Lexington, Ironton, Martins Ferry, West Portsmouth, Fairfield Union, Coshocton, and Waverly. Wellston is ninth and Westfall 10th.

Waverly could be on the bubble. It still must play Portsmouth West and Coshocton. Two wins could give Waverly a home game, but two losses could allow Wellston to get the berth.

The top four teams in the region will host a playoff game the first week. Ironton, Portsmouth, New Lexington, and Martins Ferry have the inside track if they keep winning. Portsmouth West could host a game if Martins Ferry stumbles in its season finale rivalry with Bellaire.

As of now, it would appear Ironton would host Coshocton if the Fighting Tigers and Indians keep winning. The team to finish first in the region will probably host Waverly or Wellston.

Besides Ironton, the Symmes Valley Vikings could qualify for the Region 23 Division VI playoffs by winning out.

The Vikings are expected to finish fifth or sixth and make a road trip to open the playoffs, probably at Shadyside or Millersport.

Symmes Valley will be fifth this week behind Stasburg-Frankling, Danville, Shadyside, and Millersport.

The Vikings jumped into the playoff picture with their 15-14 upset win over Lucasville Valley last week.