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Ely to host Border Area VFW playoffs

All but two teams will advance to the district playoffs, but that doesn’t mean that this weekend’s Border Area VFW playoffs are without significance.The five-team, double-elimination playdown starts Friday at Ely’s Veterans Memorial Field. And though the top three finishers will all earn a spot in the Eighth Distritc Tournament, which starts July 30 at Hibbing, teams aren’t likely to hold anything back in battling for a high district seed and the Border championship trophy.The playoffs have traditionally been very competitive, and have served as a good tune-up for the 10-team double-elimination district event.If league play is any indication, the battle for the Border Area trophy may come down to three teams.Ely, Virginia and North Shore (Silver Bay/Two Harbors) were in a three-way fight for the top seed going into the last round of regular season play today.Babbitt-Embarrass-Soudan-Tower will finish fourth in the league and Eveleth takes up the rear.Ely, 11-12, owns wins over both Virginia and North Shore but has lost to both teams as well.Post 2717 heads into the postseason with a pitching staff anchored by 16-year-olds Paul Starkovich, Jordan Richards and Nick Furnstahl.The Border tournament gets underway with a noon game between BEST and Eveleth.The two and three seeds square off at 2:30 p.m. Friday and the losers of the first two games meet at 5. Closing out the first day of action is the top seed, which will meet the winner of the BEST-Eveleth tilt at 7:30 p.m.Play continues Saturday with the championship game set for 2 p.m. Sunday.

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