Five area teams qualify for state basketball tournament

Published 5:57 pm Saturday, February 19, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Northside’s boys and girls, Southside’s boys and girls and Washington’s boys basketball teams will start state tournament action Tuesday.

The Northside girls (15-2) earned the fourth seed in the 1A East bracket and will host #29 Columbia (10-11) Tuesday. The Panthers will stay home until the fourth round if they continue to advance.

“We’ll take as many home games as we can get,” coach Michelle Leathers said. “We are very comfortable here and our school community supports us very well. We are excited to get started. Northside made it to the east finals last year and has not lost to a 1A team this season.

The Southside girls are the 16th seed with a 13-7 record and host #17 Woods Charter (11-6) of Chapel Hill.

Junior Ka’Nayah O’Neil leads the Seahawks with 31 points, 13 rebounds and five steals per game.

Bertie HS is the top seed in the 1A girls bracket.

On the boys side, Washington (14-8) drew the 15th seed and will host #18 East Bladen, 15-8, of Elizabethtown. The winner will play the #2 Kinston-#31 West Bladen in the second round.

“I’m fine with our seed and am happy to be home for the first round,” Pam Pack coach David Allewalt said. “The state said strenght of schedule would be a bigger factor in determining the seeds and it turned out to be true. We were rewarded for playing a tough schedule and I’m happy about that also.”

Three-time defending state champion Farmville Central is the top seed in the east.

In 1A, Northside (9-10) is the 25th seed and will travel to Smithfield to take on #8 Neuse Charter (19-9).

All five 1A Coastal Plains Conference members made the tournament as Southside drew the 28th seed, only to face conference champion Pamlico County (14-8) on the road.

The Seahawks (7-14) dropped both regular season meetings to the Hurricanes, 66-41 and 67-58, but after not getting to compete in last year’s tournament because of last minute COVID-19 contact tracing issues, coach Davelle Whitney is happy to get started.

“We have three guys who were part of last year’s team and I’m happy for them,” he said. “It’s a little disappointing to play a conference team in the first round because it’s fun to play teams from other places, but we’re grateful for the opportunity. Both games were closer than the final score and I think we have a good shot.

Chatham Charter is the top seed in the 1A boys bracket.

Second round games are Thursday, followed by Saturday’s third round.