For the first time since 2013, we’ll have high school basketball conference tournament championships. This year’s seniors only have faint memories of what that’s like. Everyone else was in middle school at the time.
Should a team seeded third or lower win the conference tournament title, that team assumes the league’s No. 2 seed in the playoffs, bumping No. 2 to No. 3 and No. 3 to a wild-card bid.
Regular-season conference champions maintain the No. 1 seed no matter what.
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The Leesville Road girls will try to give Millbrook its first loss to an in-state school this year. The Millbrook boys split the season series with Heritage.
Thursday scores: Millbrook boys 70, Leesville Road 57; Heritage boys 53, Broughton 47.
Friday’s championships: At Broughton – 1-Millbrook girls (24-2) vs. 3-Leesville Road (21-5), 6 p.m.; 1-Millbrook boys (24-1) vs. 2-Heritage (20-6), 7:30 p.m.
Both Cardinal Gibbons and Hillside’s boys teams entered the tournament needing to win all three games in order to make it to the NCHSAA playoffs. Gibbons’ dream is still alive after another upset.
Thursday scores: Cardinal Gibbons boys 76, Riverside 69; Northern Durham 81, Hillside 71.
Friday’s championships: Friday at Riverside – 1-Hillside girls (23-1) vs. 2-Riverside (18-5) 6 p.m.; 2-Northern Durham boys (19-6) vs. 5-Cardinal Gibbons (10-15), 7:30 p.m.
Southwest Wake 4A
Panther Creek’s girls have never played in a conference tournament and have set a new school record for wins. They split the season series with arch-rival Green Hope. The last time Cary met Apex, the Imps stayed unbeaten on a last-seconds shot in overtime.
Friday’s championships: Friday at Panther Creek – 2-Green Hope girls (22-4) vs. 4-Panther Creek (18-8) 6 p.m.; 1-Cary boys (26-0) vs. 2-Apex (19-7), 7:30 p.m.
Big 8 3A
Northwood and Chapel Hill’s girls will play for the tournament title and the No. 1 seed representing the Big 8 in next week’s playoffs. Southern Durham’s boys swept Orange this season.
Friday’s championships: Friday at Chapel Hill – 1-Chapel Hill girls (20-5) vs. 2-Northwood (22-3) 5:30 p.m.; 1-Southern Durham boys (19-3) vs. 2-Orange (16-8) 7 p.m.
Big East 3A
Rocky Mount and Southern Nash’s boys had a three-way tie for the regular-season title, so the conference tournament is the tiebreaker. Nash Central, by not making it to the title, takes the 3-seed.
Thursday scores: Rocky Mount boys 55, Northern Nash 53; Southern Nash boys 51, Fike 46.
Friday’s championships: Friday at Fike – 2-Northern Nash girls (20-4) vs. 4-Rocky Mount (15-8) 6 p.m.; 1-Southern Nash boys vs. 2-Rocky Mount (7-14) 7:30 p.m.
Cape Fear Valley 3A
Union Pines’ girls get another track at Terry Sanford – which did not lose a conference game in boys’ or girls’ play.
Thursday’s scores: Fayetteville Terry Sanford girls 62, Westover 45; Union Pines 76, Lee County 50.
Friday’s championships: Friday at Fayetteville Terry Sanford – 1-Terry Sanford girls vs. 2-Union Pines, 6 p.m.; 1-Terry Sanford boys vs. 2-Southern Lee 7:30 p.m.
Two Rivers 3A
Corinth Holders and Smithfield-Selma’s boys are playing for the No. 1 seed, and some hardware.
Thursday’s scores: Cleveland girls 41, Corinth Holders 30; Triton 64, South Johnston 56.
Friday’s championships: Friday at Corinth Holders – 1-Cleveland girls (23-2) vs. 2-Triton (17-6) 6 p.m., 1-Corinth Holders (16-8) boys vs. 2-Smithfield-Selma (15-9), 7:30 p.m.
Eastern Plains 2A
North Johnston’s girls will try to shock North Pitt, while Farmville Central’s boys will try to keep their dream season alive.
Friday’s championships: Friday at Farmville Central – 1-North Pitt (23-1) vs. 2-North Johnston (12-12), 6 p.m.; 1-Farmville Central (21-0) vs. 3-North Pitt (19-6), 7:30 p.m.
Northern Carolina 2A
Bunn’s girls went unbeaten in league play this year. The only two conference losses for the Franklinton boys came to Southern Vance.
Thursday’s scores: Southern Vance boys 77, South Granville 39; Franklinton boys 71, Bunn 66.
Friday’s championships: Friday at Bunn – 1-Bunn girls (19-3) vs. 3-Warren County (17-7) 6 p.m.; 1-Franklinton boys (17-6) vs. 2-Southern Vance (17-8) 7:30 p.m.
North Central Athletic 1A
Roxboro Community’s girls team swept Franklin Academy in the regular season, while Voyager Academy did the same to the state’s leading scorer, Darius McGhee, and the Roxboro boys.
Friday’s championships: Friday at River Mill Academy – 1-Roxboro Community girls (25-2), 2-Franklin Academy (24-2), 6 p.m.; 1-Voyager Academy boys (25-4) vs. 3-Roxboro Community (14-12), 7:30 p.m.
Louisburg’s boys earned a spot in the title game by fending off 3-seed Southeast Halifax.
Thursday’s scores: Louisburg boys 56, Southeast Halifax 50; Northwest Halifax 55, Weldon 47.
Friday’s championships: Friday at Weldon – 1-Southeast Halifax girls (18-2) vs 3-Northwest Halifax (12-10), 6 p.m.; 1-Weldon boys (20-3) vs. 2-Louisburg (15-9), 7:30 p.m.
N.C. Independent School Athletic Association state semifinals are set for Friday at three locations.
Ravenscroft’s girls (23-4) will be at home at 7 p.m. against 6-seed Charlotte Christian. The 2-seed Ravens defeated 7-seed Forsyth Country Day 67-33.
In 1A, Henderson’s Crossroads Christian boys basketball lost in the quarterfinals to The Burlington School, 77-48.
Erwin’s No. 3 Cape Fear Christian downed Raleigh’s No. 6 Neuse Christian 80-78 on a buzzer-beater by Quentin Jackson Jr. and will play Fayetteville’s No. 2 Northwood Temple on Friday, 8:30 p.m., at Cary Academy.
For a full NCISAA schedule, go to nando.com/preps.