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February 9, 2013

A tournament update as regular season winds down

With the area paralyzed by “Winter Storm Nemo” — we’re naming snowstorms now apparently? — and all local sporting events cancelled for the weekend, it seems as good a time as any to take a step back and take a look at the state tournament resumes of your local hockey and basketball teams.

Three local teams have already punched their tickets: the Manchester Essex boys and girls basketball teams and the Rockport hockey team.

The Hornets girls were the first local team to qualify, securing their playoff berth early in the season with two Division 4 wins — which, by virtue of the MIAA’s Sullivan Rule, earns them a ticket to the Division 4 North tournament regardless of overall record.

The Hornets boys and the Vikings hockey squad both officially qualified for their respective tournaments Thursday night. Manchester Essex rode its hot shooting to a rout over Rockport, putting it at 10-7 and guaranteeing a regular season record of .500 or above.

And while the Vikings have yet to guarantee a winning record, their tie with Shawsheen Tech on Wednesday night put them at 6-0-1 in the lowly Commonwealth Athletic Conference. With just one conference game remaining for the Vikings and the rest of the CAC and Rockport holding a two-point lead over second-place Shawsheen and a seven-point lead over third-place Nashoba, they can finish, at worst, in a tie for first place.

With the top-two teams from each conference automatically qualifying for postseason play, Rockport’s in.

While no team on Cape Ann has been eliminated from tournament contention yet, there are several teams facing a steep uphill battle to qualify.

HANGING ON BY A THREAD:

Rockport boys basketball, Rockport girls basketball, Gloucester boys basketball, Gloucester girls basketball and Gloucester hockey.

With the regular season winding down, these five teams are still technically alive for the postseason.

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