Friday, Oct. 17, 2003 | 10:18 a.m.
Adam Candee covers high school sports for the Sun. Reach him at (702) 259-4085 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A plague upon thy house, Desert Shields.
OK, we really have nothing at all against Cheyenne. But the Desert Shields' loss to Cimarron-Memorial was the only blemish on our week 7 picks. That translates to a very healthy 12-1 record upon which we can only hope to build.
A couple of division championships and a handful of playoff spots will be decided this week. That could bring the kind of intensity we expect to see with just two weeks remaining in the regular season -- which has really flown by this year.
On to the Week 8 picks ... Today's games, 7 p.m.
Foothill (7-0) at Coronado (5-2)
The skinny: Either the Falcons wrap up the division title or Coronado pulls an upset and sets up a potentially giant mess in the season's final week. While the Cougars proved their mettle in hanging with Palo Verde, this Foothill team just has a championship look about it.
The pick: Foothill 20, Coronado 7
Centennial (4-3) at Palo Verde (7-0)
The skinny: There is little left to prove for the Panthers, who have handled every test thrown at them in the regular season. Only the Bulldogs, an overlooked team with some talent, stand between Palo Verde and a division crown. The Panthers are the class of the Sunset Region.
The pick: Palo Verde 21, Centennial 10
Basic (5-2) at Green Valley (1-6)
The skinny: Believe it or not, this is likely a play-in game in the Southeast Division. Basic has scored 68 points in its two Southeast games, but has lost both. It is time for the Wolves to prove they belong with the city's elite and they are likely to do so against the reeling Gators.
The pick: Basic 35, Green Valley 7
at Bishop Gorman (5-2)
The skinny: The Southwest Division title is on the line tonight for the Warriors and Gaels. Gorman is playing better football right now, but Western has been resilient and resurgent in division play. We'll give the edge to the Gaels playing at home -- or at Sam Boyd Stadium, as the case may be.
The pick: Bishop Gorman 33, Western 16
Cim.-Memorial (5-2) at Silverado (3-4)
The skinny: Congratulations to the Skyhawks, who are in the playoffs by way of two division wins and tiebreakers. Silverado faces a tough test against the Spartans, who won big against Cheyenne last week. Look for offense from two teams that can throw the ball a bit, with a slight edge to Cimarron.
The pick: Cimarron-Memorial 31, Silverado 27
Valley (2-5) at Chaparral (2-5)
The skinny: Valley and Eldorado have a pretty good unofficial duel about who is the best 2-5 team in town. Both are better than their record and Valley just can't seem to get over the hump. Against a Chaparral team that has lost five consecutive games, it is Valley's time.
The pick: Valley 25, Chaparral 7
Eldorado (2-5) at Desert Pines (5-2)
The skinny: There is no hotter or more dangerous team than Desert Pines right now. The Jaguars have hit their stride and appear poised to give Las Vegas a good run in their matchup next week. That means Leon Evans must ensure that his team does not look past a dangerous Eldorado squad.
The pick: Desert Pines 44, Eldorado 24
Rancho (4-3) at Las Vegas (7-0)
The skinny: Las Vegas did not put forward its best game against Valley last Friday. When that happens, the Wildcats usually come out very strong in their next game. With the rivalry game on tap, Las Vegas will be ready against Rancho, one of the city's most unpredictable teams.
The pick: Las Vegas 41, Rancho 14
Sierra Vista (2-5) at Bonanza (3-4)
The skinny: Bonanza's offense is very difficult to stop. Sierra Vista has had a very hard time stopping opponents. We try not to make our picks an exercise in deep philosophy, so we'll stick with what appears to be an obvious call in this one.
The pick: Bonanza 33, Sierra Vista 14
Durango (2-5) at Clark (0-7)
The skinny: Durango's freefall would be complete with a loss to Clark, the only non-first year 4A team without a win in southern Nevada. As it is, the Blazers will likely need to beat rival Sierra Vista next week to make the playoffs. Durango is down, but not far enough to lose to the struggling Chargers.
The pick: Durango 27, Clark 19
Mojave (1-6) at Cheyenne (3-4)
The skinny: We really thought the Desert Shields would show up against Cimarron-Memorial. They really did not. The Desert Shields are too talented to have a losing record at this point of the season, and they should get back to level here.
The pick: Cheyenne 27, Mojave 6
at Moapa Valley (6-0)
The skinny: This might not be a fun trip for the Patriots, who at least got on the board a couple of weeks ago.
The pick: Moapa Valley 49, Liberty 0
Boulder City (2-4) at Shadow Ridge (1-6)
The skinny: The Mustangs keep fighting, which is admirable. We think that against a middling Boulder City team, that scrappy nature will pay off with win No. 2.
The pick: Shadow Ridge 31, Boulder City 20