There was a four-way tie at the top of the Division II boys basketball regular season standings, but the tiebreaker for the top spot was easy to figure out.
Hanover (16-2) gets the No. 1 seed because it finished with a higher rating than the other three teams – Portsmouth, Pembroke and Souhegan.
The other three teams all finished with the same rating, but in head-to-head play, Portsmouth held wins over both Pembroke and Souhegan, giving the Clippers the second seed. Since Pembroke and Souhegan didn’t play during the regular season, the tiebreaker went to rating, and the Spartans finished with the higher number.
So No. 1 Hanover will open the postseason on Wednesday at 7 p.m against No. 16 Windham (6-12), which finished in a tie for the final playoff spot with Oyster River, but the Jaguars had a better rating than the Bobcats. Hanover and Windham didn’t play during the regular season.
The winner of that game will face either No. 8 Pelham (11-6) or No. 9 Lebanon (11-7). The Pythons and Raiders will meet for the first time this season also at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Pelham.
Souhegan (16-2) is the fourth seed and will get to face rival No. 13 Hollis Brookline (8-10) for a fourth time this season. The teams met in the Chick-fil-A Holiday Tournament, with the Cavs winning 66-62. But the Sabers took both regular-season meetings, winning at HB 71-61 on Jan. 11 and in Amherst 70-54 on Feb. 21. The two will meet at Souhegan at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
The fifth seed is Bedford (14-4), which will host No. 12 Bishop Brady (9-9) in the first round on Wednesday. It will be the first meeting between the teams this season, and the winner will face either Souhegan or HB in the quarterfinals.
No. 2 Portsmouth (16-2) will host No. 15 Kingswood (7-11) in the preliminary round on Wednesday. The Clippers won the lone regular-season meeting, 65-35 on Jan. 17.
The winner of that game will take on either No. 7 Goffstown (13-5) or No. 10 John Stark (10-8). This not only be the third meeting for the Grizzlies and Generals, but it will be their third game in a row, as Goffstown ended the regular season by beating John Stark 71-61 and 68-67.
Pembroke (16-2) gets the third seed and will host No. 14 St. Thomas (8-10) in the preliminary round on Wednesday. The two didn’t play during the regular season.
No. 6 Merrimack Valley (13-5) will host No. 11 Coe-Brown (10-8), with the winner moving on to face either Pembroke or St. Thomas. The teams didn’t play each other during the regular season.
All quarterfinal games are scheduled for 7 p.m. on March 10 at the home of the higher seed. The semifinals are set for March 14, starting at 6 p.m., at the University of New Hampshire, and the final will also be at UNH at 1 p.m. on March 17.