Area Sports Briefs
From staff and wire reportsPrep basketball conference tournaments start tonight, and the South Rowan and East Rowan boys teams would have to win the NPC tournament or call it a season.
The girls teams from South and Salisbury — yes, Salisbury — also have to go 3-0 in tournament play this week in order to qualify for the state playoffs.
• South’s fifth-seeded girls are at No. 4 East Rowan tonight at 6 p.m. East has beaten South three times — 65-44 and 51-43 in league games and 51-35 in the Christmas tournament.
The NPC gets four playoff berths, so East’s girls are in unless South, Statesville or West Iredell wins the tourney.
•South’s fifth-seeded boys will play their first-round tourney game at No. 4 North Iredell on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
South beat North Iredell 67-52 during a run of solid play in January, but North Iredell’s 52-50 victory at South was a season-changer for both teams.
North Iredell’s boys are in the playoffs unless South, East or West Iredell wins the NPC tournament.
• East Rowan’s sixth-seeded boys will be at No. 3 seed Carson tonight at 7:30 for the nightcap of a Carson home doubleheader. Carson is 3-0 against East. It beat East 46-36 in the Christmas tournament and swept the Mustangs 54-41 and 60-46 in NPC contests.
• Salisbury’s fifth-seeded girls will open play in the CCC tournament at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at No. 4 Lexington.
Salisbury had won at least 25 games for nine straight seasons and had won eight CCC regular-season titles and six CCC tournament titles during that span, not to mention four 2A state championships. The Hornets had an amazing, nine-season record of 107-5 in CCC regular-season games before plunging to 4-6 this season.
Salisbury’s last-second loss to top-seeded Thomasville on Senior Night was devastating, and the Hornets went down quietly in their finale against East Davidson with their season on the line. Now they’ll have to win three times in four days in the Lexington gym if they’re going to make it back to the state playoffs for the 11th straight season.
• Co-champion Thomasville is the No. 1 seed in the CCC girls tourney by virtue of a season sweep of co-champ Central Davidson. Thomasville will keep that No. 1 seed for the state playoffs even if Central wins the tournament.
• West Rowan won a draw with Carson for the No. 2 NPC boys seed for the tournament, but the league’s No. 2 seed for the state playoffs will be determined on the court. If there are no huge upsets in the first round, a West Rowan-Carson semifinal doubleheader looms at North Iredell on Thursday.
Assuming top seed Statesville is in the title game, Carson’s boys can move up to No. 2 for the state playoffs by beating West Rowan.
Carson’s girls, however, can only move up to No. 2 for the state playoffs by winning the tournament, and they figure to have to beat both West Rowan and top-seeded North Iredell back-to-back to do that.
• Salisbury’s fourth-seeded boys are at home tonight at 7 against No. 5 seed West Davidson in a first-round game in the CCC tournament. While they are seeded fourth for the tournament, the Hornets tied for second as one of three teams to finish 5-5 in the CCC, and they split with the other two — East Davidson and Lexington.
That means the Hornets enter the CCC tournament even with East Davidson and Lexington as far as state-playoff positioning, and tournament results will sort things out.
East Davidson was granted the No. 2 seed for the tournament based on its win against No. 1 seed Central Davidson.
The main worry for the Hornets is that No. 5 West Davidson or No. 6 Thomasville could win the tournament and oust Salisbury from a playoff berth. The CCC gets four.
• North Rowan’s top-seeded boys are expected to cruise Tuesday at 7 at home against South Davidson in the first round of the YVC tournament.
Assuming a first-round win, North would then move on to semifinal action to be held at East Montgomery. North would play on Wednesday at 7:30 against the East Montgomery-West Montgomery winner (that one is a tossup).
• North Rowan’s third-seeded girls play at home tonight at 7 against No. 6 seed Albemarle. North’s girls beat Albemarle 59-49 and 59-55 in tough YVC contests. The Cavs are assured of one of the league’s five 1A state playoff berths. North would have to win the tournament to move up to a No. 2 seed for the state playoffs.
If North’s girls survive their first game, they will play in a 6 p.m. semifinal at East Montgomery on Thursday.
• West Rowan’s teams play a doubleheader tonight in Mount Ulla, starting at 6 p.m.
Both Falcon clubs are seeded second and both swept tonight’s opponents in the regular season with little trouble.
The West Rowan girls play No. 7 Statesville at 6, with the West Rowan boys taking on No. 7 seed West Iredell at 7:30.
• Carson’s third-seeded girls play at home tonight at 6 against No. 6 seed West Iredell. Carson won 73-48 and 62-29 in the regular season. The Carson boys vs. East will follow that contest.
• A.L. Brown’s fifth-seeded girls are at No. 4 Central Cabarrus tonight at 6. Brown is assured of one of the SPC’s five playoff berths unless Cox Mill, Hickory Ridge or Mount Pleasant shocks the world and wins the tournament. If the Wonders beat Central, they’ll play in a Wednesday semifinal at Concord — in all likelihood against No. 1 seed Robinson.
• A.L. Brown’s second-seeded boys will host No. 7 Hickory Ridge tonight at 7. If the Wonders advance, they’ll play in a semifinal at Concord on Tuesday. Northwest Cabarrus or Robinson would be the opponent.
• Davie’s girls have to win the CPC tournament to extend their season, and they’ll be in action tonight vs. Reagan at 6.
Davie is hosting the entire tournament, so the War Eagles will be on their home floor.
Davie is seeded fifth. Reagan is the No. 4 seed. The league gets four playoff berths.
• Davie’s explosive boys are the No. 3 seed in the CPC and will play at 7:30 on Tuesday against first-round opponent West Forsyth, the No. 6 seed.
• CPC co-champ Mount Tabor’s boys have been seeded No. 1 for the tourney based on a Frank Spencer Tournament win against co-champ Reagan, the No. 2 seed. Mount Tabor and Reagan split and both finished 9-1 in the league.
• All five leagues have somewhat different tournament formats, so check brackets in Scoreboard daily.
Tournament hosts for semifinals and finals are East Montgomery, Lexington, North Iredell, Concord and Davie.Women’s hoopsGeorge Washington’s Shi-Heria Shipp (Salisbury) had 14 points and six rebounds in a 66-56 loss to Fordham on Wednesday.
Shipp had eight points and eight rebounds in a 68-56 loss at Charlotte on Sunday. Ayanna Holmes (Salisbury) scored five for the 49ers.
• Jessica Heilig (Salisbury) had 12 points, six rebounds and three blocks for Gardner-Webb in a 70-67 overtime loss to Coastal Carolina on Saturday. Doreen Richardson (Salisbury) scored four points for the Bulldogs.
• TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Leonor Rodriguez scored 22 points and Chelsea Davis had 21 as No. 19 Florida State defeated No. 14 North Carolina 80-73 in Atlantic Coast Conference play Sunday.
It was the first victory for the Seminoles (20-5, 10-4) over a team in the top 15 since Feb. 1, 2010 — when they beat then-No. 13 North Carolina 83-73.
The Tar Heels (23-4, 11-3) got within one, 47-46, after five consecutive points by Xylina McDaniel, but Florida State never lost the lead.
McDaniel scored 25 points to pace North Carolina.
• DURHAM — Tricia Liston scored a career-high 29 points with five 3-pointers and No. 5 Duke beat Wake Forest 81-70 on Sunday after losing star Chelsea Gray to a knee injury.
Haley Peters added 13 for the Blue Devils (24-1, 14-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). After Gray went down in the first half, they had trouble putting away a Wake Forest team they beat by 29 points last month and led by 13 with 15 minutes to go.
Chelsea Douglas scored a career-high 24 points with five 3s for the Demon Deacons (11-15, 4-10), and Lakevia Boykin tied it at 67 with a 3 with 3 minutes left.College baseballCatawba split Sunday’s SAC doubleheader with Wingate.
Wingate (6-6, 1-2) won the opener 4-0 behind Olen Little’s three-hitter and handed the third-ranked Indians (10-1, 2-1) their first loss of the season.
John J. Tuttle (A.L. Brown) fanned eight in six innings but took the loss at Newman Park.
Catawba rebounded to win the nightcap 5-2 behind the strong pitching of Ross Whitley, who worked into the seventh and got relief help from Will Johnson (East Rowan) and Ryan McClintock.
Cam Cockman’s double in the second inning was a key blow. Garrett Furr and Paul Kronenfeld had run-scoring doubles in the fifth, and Chris Dula walloped a two-run homer. Julio Zubillaga (Carson) had two hits, and Blake Houston (South Rowan) scored a run.
Brad Cherry homered for the Bulldogs. Will Sapp (East) had a hit for Wingate.
Catawba is at Newberry next weekend.
• Sapp hit his first college homer recently against Chowan.
• Carson-Newman beat Tusculum 10-2 on Sunday behind a complete game by Alex Britt (Salisbury). Britt fanned 11 and allowed three hits.
• Carson Herndon (Davie) was the opening day pitcher for Liberty at No. 5 South Carolina on Friday and did well in front of a crowd of 8,242.
Herndon took the loss, leaving after five innings with the Flames down 1-0 in a game they eventually lost 4-3. Herndon allowed three hits, stuck out three and walked three.
• Brett Huffman (West Rowan) went 4-for-4 and belted his second homer for UNC Pembroke in an 8-2 win against Chowan last week. Huffman also scored the only run in a 1-0 win against Columbus State on Sunday.
•Justin Roland (East) walked twice and scored a run as the Charlotte 49ers opened the season with a 13-7 win against Delaware State. Justin Seager (NW Cabarrus) drove in two runs for the 49ers.
• Brevard beat Lenoir-Rhyne 5-3 in a SAC opener on Friday. Kevin Hamilton (NW Cabarrus) pitched six innings for the win. Alex Litaker (East) baffled the Bears during a 1-2-3 seventh and struck out two.
• Army’s Jon Crucitti (West Rowan) singled and walked in an 8-5 loss to UNC Greensboro on Sunday.
• Freshman Ryan Foster (Davie) pitched in relief in UNC Wilmington’s opener and helped the Seahawks beat Kent State 7-6. Foster retired eight of the 11 batters he faced and fanned three.College softballCatawba split a doubleheader at UNC Pembroke on Sunday.
Catawba rolled 12-2 in the nighcap behind Carley Tysinger’s 12 strikeouts. She is 5-0. Amanda Terry and Gina Gerone knocked in three runs apiece.
Gerone had a two-run double, but the Indians dropped the opener 6-5.
• Campbell’s Ericka Nesbitt (East Rowan) had a hit and drove in a run in a 6-2 loss to Northwestern on Saturday. Campbell plays at Elon on Tuesday.Junior college hoopsLouisburg, coached by Mark Vanderslice (West Rowan) is ranked second nationally among Division II junior colleges.
Louisburg won 82-56 against Rockingham Community College on Saturday and is now 25-1. Louisburg’s loss was 75-73 to Wake Tech on Jan. 30.