Four local teams advance

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, February 26, 2014

“March Madness” is underway, despite what the calendar says.

The 2014 North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s basketball tournament tipped off Monday night with hoops action across the state.

Locally, four of the seven Roanoke-Chowan area teams invited to this annual post-season affair posted wins on opening night and advanced to tonight’s (Wednesday) second round.

As expected, the area’s two highest-seeded teams – the girls’ squads at Bertie High School and Gates County High School – cruised to lopsided wins on opening night.

Bertie’s Lady Falcons (22-1 overall; Northeastern Coastal Conference regular season and tournament champions) cruised past Dixon High School, 61-34, on opening night. BHS, a #3 seed, advance to host conference rival Pasquotank High (the #14 seed) at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Gates County’s Lady Barons – also 22-1 overall and the regular season and tournament champions of the Coastal Ten Conference – defeated league foe Camden High, 56-27, Monday night. GCHS, a #2 seed in their play-off bracket, will host #10-seeded Southeast Halifax at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in second round action.

The third local girls’ team, Northampton High, invited to the play-offs also survived and advanced. The Lady Jaguars, seeded #8, beat #9 Jones Senior, 55-41, on Monday. They advance to play at 7 p.m. Wednesday at top-seeded and undefeated Riverside High School in Williamston.

Of the four local varsity boys’ teams participating in the state tournament, only one – Hertford County – remains alive after opening night action.

The seventh-seeded Bears, 18-4 overall and regular season champs of the Northeastern Coastal Conference, defeated #26 SouthWest Edgecombe, 68-54, during Monday’s opening round action. That win advanced HCHS to Wednesday’s second round in Ahoskie where the Bears will host #10 Jacksonville Northside (17-3 overall). Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

The other three local boys’ teams taking part in the state play-offs failed to make it past the opening round.

Northampton High School, the Two Rivers Conference regular season champion and a #3 seed in their state bracket, was upset Monday by visiting Southside High School (#14 seed), 80-69 in Creeksville.

Bertie (seeded 25th), fell at #8 Burlington Cummings, 68-55.

Gates County’s Red Barons (seeded 11th) lost at #6 Pamlico County, 85-43.

Wednesday’s winners will advance to Friday’s Sectional championship round. The victors there advance to next week’s Eastern Regionals to be held at Crown Arena in Fayetteville.