• 50°

Prep basketball: Pairings announced

By Mike London

SALISBURY — North Rowan’s boys had just taken their 10th loss of the basketball regular season — 54-50 to Salisbury at Catawba’s Goodman Gym — when coach Andrew Mitchell brought up the N.C. State Cardiac Pack of 1983.

Mitchell was a junior at North Rowan that memorable hoops season when the Wolfpack went on arguably the most unexpected and amazing run of all time. Losers of 10 games during the regular season, they won the ACC tournament, and then won a string of March Madness games, culminating with an improbable national-championship victory against a Houston team that included future NBA superstars Clyde Drexler and Akeem (later Hakeem) Olajuwon.

Mitchell hasn’t forgotten the Cardiac Pack, and he’s reminded his team that the postseason is a new season.

“We’re a lot better team than our record, a better team than people think,” Mitchell said. “The schedule we’ve played has been very difficult.”

North (14-11) has taken on the 4As and the 3As.

North is a small 2A — the school will return to 1A this fall — but the Cavaliers are frequently a factor this time of year. Even after loss No. 11 occurred on Friday — 74-71 to a very strong Thomasville team in the CCC tournament final — there’s still a belief that the Cavaliers, led by seniors Joe Scott and Henderson Lentz, two of the county’s top five players, have some Cardiac Pack in them.

We’ll find out soon enough. The long-awaited playoff pairings were released by the NCHSAA on Sunday.

The four Rowan boys teams that qualified for the playoffs — North Rowan, Salisbury, Carson and West Rowan — all will be on the road for Tuesday’s first round.

There was some hope West might get a home game, but the Falcons narrowly missed.

Second-round games will be played on Thursday, with the third round set for Saturday.

Regional semifinals (fourth round) will be played on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Those four rounds will be played on the home floor of the team with the better seed.

Teams actually are given two seeds, a sub-regional seed and a regional seed. The regional seed will matter if two teams meet that have an equal sub-regional seed.

West teams are matched up with Midwest teams in the first round, an attempt to avoid any teams taking on conference opponents right away.

Regional championships will be contested on March at at neutral sites. In the West, those games will be played at Winston-Salem’s Joel Coliseum or UNC Greensboro.

State championships will be decided in the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill on March 11.

Tuesday’s boys games


No. 15 West Andrews at No. 2 Midwest North Stanly


No. 13 Midwest North Rowan at No. 4 West Lake Norman Charter

No. 10 Midwest Salisbury at No. 7 West North Wilkes, 7:30 p.m. (after a girls playoff game)

No. 16 West West Lincoln at No. 1 Midwest Thomasville

No. 15 Midwest Lexington at No. 2 West Lincolnton


No. 9 Midwest West Rowan at No. 8 West Tuscola

No. 12 Midwest Carson at No. 5 West Belmont South Point

No. 16 Midwest Concord at No. 1 West Freedom

No. 11 Midwest East Gaston at No. 6 Midwest Robinson

No. 16 West Ashbrook at No. 1 Midwest Cox Mill

No. 12 West Patton at No. 5 Midwest Hickory Ridge

No. 13 Midwest Central Cabarrus at No. 4 West Kings Mountain



As far as the girls teams, Salisbury (20-2) has the best chance to play for a while. The Hornets, with a No. 1 seed for the Midwest sub-regional and a No. 2 seed for the Western Regional (behind Smoky Mountain) will get four straight home games if they can keep winning.

Carson also earned a first-round home game. South Rowan and West Rowan are in the playoffs, as expected, but they’ll be on the road in Tuesday’s first round.

Salisbury has announced a 7 p.m. starting time, while Carson announced a 6 p.m. start.


16 West Cherryville at 1 Midwest Gray Stone

10 Midwest North Stanly at 7 West Lincoln Charter


12 Midwest West Davidson at 5 West Maiden

16 West Gastonia Hunter Huss at 1 Midwest Salisbury, 7 p.m.

10 West Newton-Conover at 7 Midwest East Davidson


10 Midwest Waynesville Tuscola at 7 Midwest Carson, 6 p.m.

13 Midwest South Rowan at 4 West Canton Pisgah

15 Midwest West Rowan at 2 West Ashbrook

16 Midwest Cox Mill at 1 West Freedom

14 Midwest Robinson at 3 West Asheville Erwin

11 West East Henderson at 6 Midwest Central Cabarrus

16 West Burns at 1 Midwest Hickory Ridge



Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval


Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash


Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students


PETA protesters gather in front of police department


Seven new COVID-19 deaths, 166 positives reported in county this week


Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep


Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County


Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes


Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds


Salisbury Station one of several ‘hot spots’ included in NCDOT rail safety study


Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, school considering options


Iredell County votes to move Confederate memorial to cemetery


Lara Trump may have eyes on running for a Senate seat


Rowan among counties in Biden’s disaster declaration from November floods


PETA plans protest at Salisbury Police Department on Friday


Essie Mae Kiser Foxx appeal denied, charter revoked


29 new positives, no new COVID-19 deaths reported


Blotter: Woman charged with drug crimes


Nesting no more: Eagles appear to have moved on from Duke’s Buck Station


The Smoke Pit leaving downtown Salisbury for standalone building on Faith Road



High School

High school football: Hornets’ Gaither set the tone against West


Salisbury to show off new fire station


Livingstone College to host virtual Big Read events this month