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Area Sports Briefs: Four Rowan teams ready for Round 3

From staff reports

Teams that make the first round of the state playoffs have had a good season.

Teams that make the second round … that’s a very good season.

The third round is where it becomes special, a legitimate playoff run.

Carson’s girls are here for only the second time in school history.

Carson’s boys also are here for only the second time in the school’s 12-year history.

Salisbury’s boys are here for the first time since the 2010-11 season.

West Rowan’s girls have made it to the third round for the second time in three seasons. Senior Egypt Alexander and junior Mary Sobataka were starters on the West team that reached the third round in 2015-16 before losing to Weddington by a single point. Shyann Vaughters and Kia Pharr are two more veterans who had roles on that 2015-16 West team.

(5) Hendersonville at (4) Salisbury, 6 p.m.

2A boys

Senior guard Trell Baker (977 career points) leads the fast, deep Hornets (25-3), who put six in double figures in an impressive rout of East Rutherford on Thursday.

The Hendersonville Bearcats (20-6) get a lot of points from 6-foot-4 junior Kalin Ensley (17.3 per game) and 6-9 junior Ben Beeker, who averarages 19.2 points and 9.8 rebounds.

Beeker had 14 and Ensley had 13 in Thursday’s win against Pisgah.

Hendersonville has a long trip of 142 miles.

••••

(5) Charlotte Catholic at (4) Carson, 7 p.m.

3A boys

Seniors Jamarius Hairston, Jailen Williams and Owen White lead the Carson Cougars. That trio accounted for 74 points on Thursday, with Williams, the senior point guard, netting a career-best 30.

Carson (25-2) is undefeated at home and is having the best season in school history.

Charlotte Catholic (25-3) has shredded West Rowan and Marvin Ridge in the 3A playoffs with a combination of outside shooting and pressure defense.

Charlotte Catholic has won 17 in a row. Guards Luke Harkins and Sean Rogan and 6-7 Matt Ciccone average double figures, and Riley Berger, who averages 9 points, got hot against West Rowan and scored 23.

Catholiccoach Mike King guided his team to the 4A state title two years ago.

A trip to top-seeded Cox Mill is likely for the winner.

•••

(10) Carson at (2) Northern Guilford, 5 p.m.

3A girls

Carson (25-3) faces a tall task — literally — as it challenges the defending state champion Nighthawks (24-4).

Northern Guilford star Elissa Cunnane, a 6-5 N.C. State signee — scored 32 points on Thursday as Northern Guilford rallied past Asheville Erwin.

Cunnane is rated  as one of the top 25 seniors in the country. She has more than 2,000 career points and more than 1,400 rebounds.

Senior point guard Olivia Gabriel, the school’s all-time leading scorer, leads the Cougars. Carson got huge efforts from freshmen Colbie Perry (five 3-pointers) and Ellie Wilhelm (16 points) on Thursday.

Carson has about a 75-mile drive to the Greensboro school.

•••

(19) West Rowan at (11) Rockingham County, 6:30

3A girls

West Rowan’s girls are the biggest local surprise to make the third round, but the Falcons (21-7) have been good against just about everyone but Carson.  Four of their losses are to the Cougars.

West was only a third-place team in the North Piedmont Conference, but NPC leaders Carson and North Iredell also are still playing tonight.

Post players Alexander and Abigail Wilson are the key scorers for the Falcons, who have gotten a lot of defense from everyone in two playoff wins.

Rockingham County’s Cougars (24-4) have a star player in forward Madeline Hardy, who averages 22.5 points and 8.1 rebounds.

West, which already has played two road games this week, will be traveling about 95 miles north to play.

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