Area briefs: Critical NPC games tonight
From staff reports
A grinding, 18-game NPC baseball season finally ends tonight, and Carson and West Rowan will take the field on the road chasing 3A state playoff berths.
The league gets six slots. The last two will be decided by tonight’s games.
Carson, North Iredell and Lake Norman enter tonight’s play with 7-10 league records. West Rowan is 8-9. It controls its own destiny and clinches the No. 5 seed with a victory, but it has a tough game at Mooresville, which has locked up second place.
West Rowan is surging and completed a surprising season sweep of South Rowan last Friday, but if West Rowan loses tonight, it can slip back to the pack of 7-10 teams that is right on its heels.
West Rowan was swept by North Iredell, so a multiple tie that involves North Iredell could be deadly for the Falcons. If West Rowan, North Iredell and Carson all wind up 8-10, West Rowan would get knocked out of the top six.
But West Rowan swept Lake Norman. A three-way tie between West Rowan, Carson and Lake Norman would put the Wildcats out of the playoff picture.
Carson is at young, but steadily improving West Iredell, the ninth-place team. A loss doesn’t eliminate the Cougars from the playoffs. Lake Norman has a difficult game with talented Northwest Cabarrus and North Iredell plays South Rowan, which enters the night tied for third with Northwest.
Carson split with all three teams it’s battling with, so if the Cougars end up in a two-way tie for sixth, a play-in game on Tuesday might be the only solution.
Despite finishing second in a 10-team league, Mooresville will join four other NPC teams as road warriors in the first round of the playoffs on Friday. The Blue Devils appear headed for a meeting with Fred T. Foard in Newton.
East Rowan closes the NPC season tonight at last-place Statesville and will be looking to put an historic 18-0 conference record in the books.
* In the CCC, Salisbury will play an unusual game this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. against Central Davidson in Tyro.
The Hornets are in the 2A state playoffs, but they still don’t know if they’ll be seeded second, third or fourth.
When they take on Central Davidson, they still won’t have an idea if they’re fighting for the No. 2 seed or the No. 3.
Ledford has secured the No. 1 seed and plays West Davidson in the tournament championship game following the Salisbury-Central game.
If Ledford beats West Davidson, the Salisbury-Central winner will be seeded second and the loser will be seeded third. But if West Davidson wins the tournament, the fourth-seeded Green Dragons will jump up to the No. 2 seed for the state playoffs. In that scenario, the Salisbury-Central winner is third and the loser is fourth.
* In the CPC, top-seeded North Davidson plays No. 3 Mount Tabor for the championship at West Forsyth tonight at 7 p.m.
North Davidson will be the No. 1 seed for the playoffs. Mount Tabor can push West Forsyth out of the No. 2 seed with a victory tonight. Davie County will be the CPC’s No. 4 seed for the playoffs.
– Prep softball
East Rowan can clinch its first league title in softball since it shared the 1998 SPC crown with Sun Valley if it sweeps 10th-place Statesville today to close the NPC regular season.
East has two league losses. West Rowan and Northwest Cabarrus have dropped three apiece.
West Iredell has clinched fourth place. Lake Norman and Carson have a grip on the final two playoff berths.
As is the case with baseball, all NPC teams will be on the road in the first round of the playoffs next week except the league’s No. 1 seed.
– Intimidators split on road
The Kannapolis Intimidators split a doubleheader against Lake County, taking a 1-0 decision in the opener and losing the nightcap 6-5.
Johnnie Lowe (2-3) extended his scoreless innings streak to 17. Levi Maxwell earned a save. Dale Mollenhauer tripled and scored the only run.
In the second game, the Intimidators blew a 5-3 lead. Teenager Jose Martinez, one of Chicago’s best prospects, led Kannapolis with two hits and two stolen bases.
The teams meet again tonight in Ohio.
– Athletes honored
Thomasville’s E.J. Abrams-Ward and Pender’s Jannetta Robinson are the NCHSAA athletes of the year.
Abrams-Ward is a three-sport standout at Thomasville and is headed to Tennessee on a football scholarship.
Robinson played in five state-championship games. She starred in volleyball, basketball, softball and track.
– Sacred Heart track
Sacred Heart had 10 first-place finishers at the CCISAA track meet held at Burlington Williams.
Winners included Harrison Baucom, Anna Tonseth, Kate Sullivan, Maggie Habeeb, Payton Russell, Maria Strobel, Marianne Abdalah, Reilly Gokey, Rene Abdalah, Will Taylor, Mary Sobataka and Grace Faller.
At Burlington Williams
Sacred Heartís top-three finishers
Relay team ó (Rene Abdalah, Will Taylor, Mary Sobataka, Grace Faller)
Softball throw ó Mary Sobataka 55-8
75 meters ó Payton Russell 13.4
200 ó Payton Russell 29.0
1600 ó Marianne Abdalah 6:30
Long jump ó Reilly Gokey 11-1
Long jump ó Maria Strobel 9-4
200 ó Harrison Baucom 30.66
400 ó Anna Tonseth 1:12
4X100 relay ó (Kate Sullivan, Anna Tonseth, Maggie Habeeb, Harrison Baucom)
75 meters ó Grace Faller 17.34
100 ó Kate Sullivan 14.0
75 meters ó Brieanna Owens 13.58
Triple jump óPayton Russell 17-7
100 ó Maggie Habeeb 14.72
Long jump ó Anna Tonseth 10-9
1600 ó Fidel Flores 6:28
1600 ó Susannah Dixon 6:48
100 ó Jordan Pring 15.2
4X100 relay ó (Brian Bauk, Tim Burges, Nick Stout, Michael Mazur)
400 ó Reilly Gokey 1:13
200 ó Kate Sullivan 31.31
200 ó Joseph Harrison 33.8
Relay Team ó (Joseph Harrison, Reilly Gokey, Brieanna Owens, Maria Strobel)
Standing broad jump ó Maggie Habeeb 5-9
800 ó Tim Burges
200 ó Jordan Pring 30.78
Softball throw ó Laney Gokey 131-10
1600 ó Nick Stout 6:11