It’s still too early to say what impact the new seeding procedure will have next month when the N.C. High School Athletic Association basketball brackets are released, but it might be a good thing.
After Hurricane Matthew extended football season and, by extension, caused some basketball teams to start their seasons later than normal, the NCHSAA agreed for teams to be seeded by a 20-game schedule instead of 22.
In the 16-league-game Southwest Wake 4A, so long as a team won four times in nonconference, none of the nonconference losses would be used in seeding. A 20-4 conference champion who went 16-0 in league play would be seeded as a 20-0 conference champ.
Garner’s boys, for instance, are 10-2 overall and have gone 6-2 against nonconference foes. After 14 league games, which cannot be dropped, the Trojans will be seeded as having gone 6-0 in nonconference.
In a way, this may be a good thing. Coaches have been hesitant with the new seeding system because they said it penalized tough schedules. With so many nonconference games being dropped, conference games make up a higher percentage of games.
There’s a chance that the seeds we see will be more closely aligned with how those teams finished in league play, and the teams who bulked up on tough nonconference opponents won’t get burnt.
At least that’s my hope, because I like a lot of the things the playoff process brings to the table, but it undeniably invites weak nonconference schedules.
Captains of the comeback
Rocky Mount Prep and Cardinal Gibbons’ boys basketball teams have wild comebacks to enjoy this week.
RMP was facing a near-certain blowout loss, down 53-27 at Tarboro on Wednesday. But somehow, the Jaguars outscored Tarboro 28-19 in the third and 40-20 in the fourth to hang on and win 95-92.
Cardinal Gibbons was in a more dire situation. According to the Roxboro-Courier, the Crusaders were down five with 58.5 seconds to play.
Gibbons was fouled on a 3-point shot and made all three free throws to trail only by 2. Person missed two free throws and then Gibbons drove and was fouled again, getting a personal foul and then an ensuing technical.
The Crusaders hit all four free throws, taking the lead for good thanks to seven points – all from the line – in 26 seconds.
The Starting 5
Five standouts from the past week.
Jada Bradford, Person: Her corner 3 sank N&O No. 13 Cardinal Gibbons 45-44 as time ran out on Tuesday.
Robin Gallagher, Athens Drive: Had 18 points on Tuesday and 23 on Wednesday and is averaging 19.8 points, 13.3 rebounds, 4.1 steals and 5.8 assists per game.
Tamari Key, Cary: Had 23 points in a Thursday win against Fuquay-Varina and 18 points and 12 blocks on Tuesday to defeat No. 8 Holly Springs.
Abby Lampe, Neuse Charter: Became the second player in school history (and this season) to record a triple-double. Had 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 steals in a 55-20 win at North Duplin. Kiondra Webb had one earlier this year.
Ayeshia Teasley, Southern Vance: The freshman had 30 in a rivalry win over Northern Vance on Wednesday.
Jayden Gardner, Heritage: Had 28 points and 21 rebounds in a 69-60 overtime win Thursday against Millbrook and 35 in a win over Knightdale on Tuesday.
Tyler Maye, Farmville Central: The senior scored his 1,000th point in just his second year at the school in a 40-point effort Thursday. Also had 12 rebounds and seven assists in the win over Washington.
Andreas Wilson, Louisburg: The junior reached the 1,000-point mark for his career on Tuesday. Is averaging 31 per game and scored 57 – tied for 10th highest in NCHSAA single-game history – to open the season against Northern Vance.
Sam Okauru, North Raleigh Christian: Poured in 37 points on Tuesday in a win over New Life Christian and is averaging 26 per game on the season.
Abe Omar, Northwood: Made his two points count – a game-winning putback to defeat Cedar Ridge 82-81 in overtime on Tuesday.
Conference race analysis.
Cap-8 4A girls: Though Heritage (12-2, 4-1) defeated Millbrook for the Holiday Invitational title, the Wildcats avenged it with a win Thursday that puts Millbrook (13-2, 5-0) in first place. Leesville Road (11-3, 3-1) hopes to make an impact on the race as well.
PAC-6 4A boys: East Chapel Hill (13-4, 5-0), in the final year of retiring coach Ray Hartsfield, now leads after defeating Northern Durham (9-4, 4-1) on Tuesday.
It’s the only area league where every team is above .500 this late in the year. Person (8-7, 0-5), Jordan (8-6, 2-4) and Riverside (9-5, 2-2) are the only three without 10 wins yet.
Southwest Wake 4A boys: It’s still wide open in this league. Green Hope (12-2, 6-1) and Cary (8-5, 5-1) are tied for first in the loss department, with Cary owning a head-to-head overtime win. Apex (7-6, 5-2) and Athens Drive (11-3, 5-2) are just a game back.
Middle Creek (6-6, 3-3), which has played well since getting all of its football players back, is still a threat, as is Panther Creek (8-7, 4-4).
Two Rivers 3A boys: There were some surprises to open conference play this week as Western Harnett (5-6, 1-0) upset South Johnston (10-4, 1-1) 65-60. Triton (7-9, 2-0) quickly climbed to the top with wins over Cleveland 46-36 and Corinth Holders 70-60.