State playoffs begin tonight

Published 8:40 am Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Despite the cancellation of several high school basketball conference tournaments, the NC High School Athletic Association playoffs will begin tonight (Tuesday) for a number of area teams.

All four classifications will see action, girls and boys.

Several first-round match-ups have familiar foes facing one another, particularly for local teams in the 2A Northeastern Coastal Conference.

Bertie (17-5) was one of the teams that managed to get in a conference tournament game.  Bertie played Northeastern in ElizabethCity to determine top-seed from the NCC on Friday night.  But the Falcons fell to the Eagles on another buzzer-beater, this time by a final score of 61-59.  Northeastern (15-5) will be the eighth seed in 2A East while Bertie will be the 11th seed.

The Falcons open sectional play against old rival Hertford County (10-11) tonight (Tuesday) in Windsor.  The Bears finished third in conference play and due to the weather were not able to play a tournament game.  This will be Hertford County’s first action since facing Bertie in the regular-season finale, also in Windsor, on Feb. 13.

Game time for tonight’s contest is 7:30 p.m.

Another NCC face-off has Northeastern hosting First Flight (15-7) in the Nighthawks’ first playoff appearance in five years.  That game will also be played on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Gates County is the number-three 1A East seed and the Red Barons (20-2) will open at home tonight at 7:30 p.m. against Raleigh Charter (7-12).   Also in the 1A ranks, Northampton got in as a wild-card, and the Jaguars (10-12) open on the road in Pinetown against Northside (17-4).

Hertford County’s girls did not play their tournament tie-breaker game with Northeastern to settle third-place in the NCC last week due to weather. Fortune smiled on the Lady Bears as they received the 23rd seed in the 2A East ranks. Hertford County (9-12) will be on the road at 10-seed East Duplin (20-2).

Meanwhile, Bertie (21-1) will be hosting a double-header tonight, because the Lady Falcons are the 4-seed in 2A and open with a home-date against Burlington Cummings (11-11).  Tip-off for that game in Windsor is 6 p.m.

Other Northeastern Coastal Conference teams playing tonight have West Bladen (12-10) at Currituck (14-7) and wild-card Northeastern (9-10) faces the overall three-seed in the 1A East in unbeaten Bunn (22-0).

Gates County’s girls are the number-one seed in the 1A East, giving the Lady Red Barons (22-1) home court throughout the sectionals.  The girls will play prior to the boys tonight in Gatesville at 6 p.m. against Wallace-Rose Hill (7-14).

Tonight’s winners advance to the second round of sectional play on Thursday.