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The Bucks are on a hot streak as league playoffs loom; will face Crosshill Christian Friday and Falls City on Monday

The St. Paul boys basketball team has come a long way in the past few seasons. In their third year under coach Todd Swan, the Bucks are 16-5, 12-1 in the Casco League. It is a far cry from the freshman and sophomore years of this senior class, during which the Bucks won just 10 combined games.

Swan's team has won seven in a row, the latest an 80-28 demolition of Livingstone Adventist on Thursday.GARY ALLEN - Senior guard Jaidyn Jackson put up 28 points in St. Paul's 80-28 win over Livingstone Adventist.

"We get nit-picky as coaches, but when you do a 5,000-foot view of this team, this is the best seven- or eight-game stretch we've ever had here," Swan said. "It's exciting to know where they came from a few years ago. The hard work they've put in has paid off and they're fun to be around."

As of Monday afternoon, the Bucks sit atop the Casco League standings at 12-1. Perrydale, who St. Paul split the season series with, is second at 11-3. C.S. Lewis Academy, who the Bucks played again Tuesday, is trailing right behind at 10-3 in league play.

If St. Paul beats the Watchmen and takes care of Crosshill Christian on Friday, it will clinch the No. 1 seed in the league playoffs and guarantee themselves a spot in the championship game. If they win the league title, they receive a significant advantage come state playoff time.

The team is hoping to have its biggest post presence back for both league and state playoffs. Junior post Alex Dela Cerda visited doctors on Monday to determine the severity of a knee injury suffered Jan. 21.

"If it's a mild meniscus tear or strain, it's only a three-week wait, and he's already almost there," Swan said. "Anything worse than that would put him out for the season. We still don't know and we're hoping for the best because we could use a big body come playoffs."

The Bucks face Crosshill Christian at home on Friday and take to the road to face Falls City on Monday.

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