Find My Team >>

Log in to High School OT with one click using your favorite social network:
OR
Log in using your High School OT account:



Wrong email/password combination.

Forgot password?

Register with High School OT using your favorite social network:
OR
Register for a High School OT account using our web form.
Log In
Register

Zach Mayo

Eight 4-A East games to watch in the first day of playoffs

Published: 2014-02-23 21:25:00
Updated: 2014-02-23 21:27:47


Feb 23, 2014

BBB: Garner 61, SE Raleigh 58 (February 19, 2014)

Julius Barnes (10) drives strong with the ball. SE Raleigh visits Garner on Wednesday, February. 19, 2014. SE Raleigh lead the first half but Garner came back to win with a last second 3 pointer to win the game 61 - 58. (Photo By: Beth Jewell)

It’s the playoffs, folks.

Never mind the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s seven-hour process of posting preliminary brackets Saturday afternoon and weeding out the abundance of inaccuracies across the board. Never mind the fact that incredible inconvenient winter weather had teams all over the state hustling right up the very last minute of the regular season to squeeze everything in. Never mind that many conference tournaments were tossed out the window. It’s finally the playoffs.

And in the playoffs, nothing else matters. Forget the regular-season records. Forget the eight-game losing streak your team started its season on. Forget that your team frequently beats others by more than 50 points. It’s the playoffs. Nothing else matters.

Yet at the same time, everything matters more. The outcomes matter more. The loose balls and missed opportunities matter more. Even the snide and no-so-subtle bickering from subjective fans over the state of the game’s officiating and the equality/inequality of total team fouls is going to dial up a few notches. Seriously, it’s going to happen and I’m dreading it.

Anyway, Seeding Saturday offered few shocks once the mistakes were found, the smoke began to clear and the brackets were finalized. In the boys’ portion of the 4-A East, Northern Durham, Clayton and Millbrook were all awarded top-five seeds after their dominant regular-season campaigns. On the girls’ side, powerhouses like Millbrook, Southeast Raleigh, Cary and Hillside are sitting at or near the top.

Some local teams are favorites to make deep runs through this bracket, while some face strong challenges on the first day of the playoffs.

Here are the 4-A East first-round games that intrigue me the most:

(21) Leesville Road @ (12) Jordan (Boys)

With a 7-3 record, the Jordan Falcons finished second in the Pac-6 4-A conference behind 2-seed Northern Durham. The Falcons sputtered a bit late in their season and have lost three of their last five games. With a 9-5 Cap-8 record, Leesville Road enters the state playoffs as the 21-seed in the 4-A East. They have not lost to an opponent other than Millbrook since Jan. 3. Expect this to be a closely contested game.

(18) Knightdale @ (15) Jordan (Girls)

Here’s my bit of #analysis for this one: The Knightdale girls are better than an 18-seed. Going 9-4 in the Greater Neuse River 4-A conference, the Knights have several speedy and offensively-gifted players, including Mikaya Wilson and Lovely Locklear. Jordan, however, is no slouch either. The Falcons finished second this season in the Pac-6 conference and have a number of players who step up and produce. In the last Jordan game I watched, freshman Rachel Ruderman finished with 18 points while Salita Green turned in a double-double with 21 points and 16 rebounds. This first-round game will feature a lot of talented athletes.

(18) Middle Creek @ (15) Hoggard (Boys)

The Middle Creek Mustangs hit a snag in late December and early January but have won nine of their last ten games entering the playoffs as 6-foot-7 senior Fred Iruafemi continues to play well. The Creek will be an underdog when it flows to Wilmington on Monday to take on the Hoggard Vikings. Junior guard Trae Bryant leads the Vikings’ attack with 16.4 points per game.

(23) Wilmington Laney @ (10) East Wake (Girls)

With wins against Millbrook, Clayton (twice) and Knightdale (twice), the East Wake Warrior girls’ team is very strong. Laney, on the other hand, went 21-5 this season and 9-3 in its conference. This will be a showdown between two very accomplished groups of girls. East Wake plays a bit faster on the court, scoring 56.7 points per game compared to Laney’s 42.7.

(20) Lumberton @ (13) Garner (Boys)

The Garner Trojans had ups and downs in the beginning part of their season, but an 11-game win streak drops the team into the playoffs at its hottest point of the year. The team has yet to lose in February and is coming off a thrilling last-second win over Southeast Raleigh. Lumberton has won five of its last six games but will have to make the 87-mile drive north to face the Trojans.

(25) Clayton @ (8) Wilmington Ashley (Girls)

The Clayton Comets and Ashley Screaming Eagles have similar overall records, but Ashley finished first in the 4-A Mideastern conference against teams including New Hanover, Laney and Hoggard. Clayton also played tough competition throughout the season in the GNRC. The Comets will travel to Wilmington on Monday night and coach Marlon Lee will rely on a number of scorers including Taisha Murphy, Ashley Murphy, Amber Caudle and Jenna Harris to get the team to the second round.

(19) Hillside @ (14) Greenville Rose (Boys)

With a 5-5 conference record, the Hillside Hornets have a punched ticket to Greenville for Monday night to take on the Rose Rampants. Rose finished 10-2 in its conference during the regular season. Hillside will have a slight size advantage in the game, but will Justice Kitchart and the Hillside offense put up enough points to spring the upset?

(30) Green Hope @ (3) Cary (Girls)

The Cary Imps and Duke recruit Azura Stevens will be heavy favorites to win this game and go far in the 4-A East bracket, and rightfully so. Stevens is having a remarkable statistical season and Cary hasn’t lost since Jan. 7. Still, Green Hope has wins over playoff contenders including Holly Springs, Apex and Panther Creek, and the Falcons took Cary to overtime earlier in the year before eventually losing by ten. The Falcons and Imps know each other well, which could make for an interesting game in the first-round conference rematch.

Follow Zach Mayo on Twitter at @ZachMayoHSOT

Back to Zach Mayo
COMMENTS

1 Comment



page 1
sort order: oldest first | newest first

Here are some interesting match-ups im my opinion in the 1st round:

Athens girls at Broughton. Broughton's former coach goes back as head of the Jag's.

Cleveland girls at Triton. CHS gets to play the team that just knocked them down from a 2 seed to a 3. Payback time?

Ashley boys at New Hanover- you have to despise 1st rd match-ups with your neighbor down the street.

South View boys at 71st -see above.

Midway at Farmville Central could be a track meet, should be a fun one to watch.
uncw1
February 24, 2014 3:58 p.m.
• Report abuse

page 1
sort order: oldest first | newest first

This blog post is closed for comments.

Blogs
*
More HSOT Today
*
More On The Trail
HighSchoolOT Forums
More HighSchoolOT Forums
  1. HighSchoolOT: Free throws help Millbrook girls down Broughton http://t.co/E44gB1gEX6
      — Saturday, December 20, 2014 2:35 AM
  2. HighSchoolOT: Millbrook beats Broughton in battle of undefeated teams http://t.co/BEmIMq54sg
      — Saturday, December 20, 2014 2:35 AM
  3. HighSchoolOT: Orange hammers Northern Vance, 78-57 http://t.co/JmnQ9gdex3
      — Saturday, December 20, 2014 2:35 AM
  4. NickStevensHSOT: We talk an awful lot about Millbrook's offensive capability, but the Wildcats' defense won the game for them tonight. #HSOT
      — Saturday, December 20, 2014 12:36 AM
  5. HighSchoolOT: We have stories, slideshows and video highlights from both Millbrook-Broughton games tonight coming to #HSOT.
      — Saturday, December 20, 2014 12:35 AM
  6. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: How Chris Clemons helped Millbrook beat Broughton #HSOT #NCHSAA #Basketball http://t.co/Lmz8ke0KG7
      — Saturday, December 20, 2014 12:32 AM
  7. NickStevensHSOT: How Chris Clemons helped Millbrook beat Broughton #HSOT #NCHSAA #Basketball http://t.co/Lmz8ke0KG7
      — Saturday, December 20, 2014 12:30 AM
  8. NickStevensHSOT: FINAL: Millbrook 72, Broughton 67 in boys basketball
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 9:56 PM
  9. NickStevensHSOT: Clemons another basket. Millbrook 70, Broughton 67 - 13.1 secs left. Timeout Millbrook.
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 9:54 PM
  10. NickStevensHSOT: 17.7 left, Millbrook 68, Broughton 67. Wildcats ball.
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 9:53 PM
  11. NickStevensHSOT: Millbrook takes a 68-65 lead on Broughton behind two Chris Clemons steals & buckets. 44.7 secs left. #hsotscores
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 9:51 PM
  12. NickStevensHSOT: Whole gym is standing. Broughton 63, Millbrook 62 with 2:15 left.
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 9:45 PM
  13. HighSchoolOT: MEDIA: Today is the last day to apply for credentials for the #HSOTInvite Dec. 26-30. Go to http://t.co/XUaTC1QpPN for more info.
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 9:38 PM
  14. HighSchoolOT: @KofieKofie You will get an email from @BCHanks in the next few days.
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 9:37 PM
  15. NickStevensHSOT: Millbrook takes a timeout. They trail Broughton 58-55 with 4:53 left. #hsotscores
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 9:36 PM
  16. HighSchoolOT: One week from right now the first day of the #HSOTInvite will be coming to an end. Are you ready?
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 9:32 PM
  17. NickStevensHSOT: Boys Basketball: Broughton 51, Millbrook 46 - End 3Q - Sold out crowd getting a good one! #hsotscores
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 9:30 PM
  18. NickStevensHSOT: Boys Basketball: Millbrook 38, Broughton 28 - Half #hsotscores
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 9:03 PM
  19. ZachMayoHSOT: RT @carolinallstars: GBB: Jordan Lady Falcons 49, Apex Girls 46 Lady Falcons now 8-2 @PrepsNow @HighSchoolOT @HSOTScores @NCPreps @TheHera
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 8:59 PM
  20. NickStevensHSOT: Boys Basketball: Millbrook 17, Broughton 13 - End 1Q #hsotscores
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 8:48 PM
  21. NickStevensHSOT: Broughton & Millbrook warming up. Huge #Cap8 game. Could see this match-up in the #HSOTInvitehttp://t.co/XZoIJ7jcho
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 8:30 PM
  22. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: The Millbrook-Broughton game is officially sold out. Great atmosphere.
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 8:24 PM
  23. NickStevensHSOT: Girls Basketball: Millbrook 58, Broughton 43 - FINAL
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 8:22 PM
  24. NickStevensHSOT: The Millbrook-Broughton game is officially sold out. Great atmosphere.
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 8:21 PM
  25. NickStevensHSOT: RT @Millbrook_SBC: THE GYM IS SOLD OUT. WE ARE NO LONGER ALLOWING ADMISSION.
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 8:20 PM
  26. NickStevensHSOT: If you haven't gotten to Millbrook yet, chances are you're not getting a seat. Almost to capacity. #HSOT #Sellout
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 8:08 PM
  27. NickStevensHSOT: Girls Basketball: Millbrook 38, Broughton 32 - End 3Q #hsotscores
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 7:57 PM
  28. NickStevensHSOT: Girls Basketball: Millbrook 26, Broughton 17 - Half #hsotscores
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 7:27 PM
  29. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: At Millbrook for tonight's big boys/girls double-header with Broughton. Two huge Cap 8 games. All four…
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 7:08 PM
  30. NickStevensHSOT: At Millbrook for tonight's big boys/girls double-header with Broughton. Two huge Cap 8 games. All four… http://t.co/HpjFuHFQK6
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 7:07 PM
  31. HighSchoolOT: Updated story on Garner RB Nyheim Hines committing to #NCSU: http://t.co/s0E6cTFbZD #HSOT #PACK15
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 6:19 PM
  32. HighSchoolOT: FULL VIDEO: Nyheim Hines had a cool way of announcing his #NCSU commitment. WATCH >>> http://t.co/ANnBD7VOZk #HSOT http://t.co/Z15HBXZs5A
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 5:49 PM
  33. HighSchoolOT: 24 photos from Nyheim Hines' (@TheNyNy2) commitment to #NCSU: http://t.co/Z3H4JlorS6 #HSOT #PACK15 http://t.co/C2scpPkM4T
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 5:48 PM
  34. HighSchoolOT: VIDEO: Garner RB Nyheim Hines tells why he chose #NCSU: WATCH: http://t.co/Efq8flJRgh #HSOT http://t.co/EmMIjXrc9y
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 5:46 PM
  35. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: Earlier today, Pinecrest's Sean Pollard announced his commitment to Clemson. http://t.co/mqltKK0NUy http://t.co/3Hik8pPnbi
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 5:45 PM
  36. HighSchoolOT: Garner's Hines commits to NC State http://t.co/DyDxvpbUsX
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 5:18 PM
  37. HighSchoolOT: ICYMI: Garner RB Nyheim Hines commits to #NCSU: http://t.co/s0E6cTFbZD #HSOT #PACK15
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 4:15 PM
  38. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: Just finished a 1-on-1 interview with Nyheim Hines (@TheNyNy2). I will have a special feature on him tomorrow on @High
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 4:13 PM
  39. HighSchoolOT: We will have full coverage of Garner RB Nyheim Hines' commitment to #NCSU tonight on http://t.co/WPWSWXdU5V. #HSOT
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 4:10 PM
  40. HighSchoolOT: ALERT: Garner RB Nyheim Hines commits to NC State http://t.co/e5NxqpdEqc
      — Friday, December 19, 2014 3:13 PM