Bladen teams set for playoff openers Monday

W. Curt Vincent Editor

February 22, 2014

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced its pairings for the state basketball playoffs on Saturday, and each of the four Bladen County teams received berths.

All the first-round games were scheduled for Monday night.


Girls playoffs


— East Bladen’s Lady Eagles, 25-1, were hoping for a No. 1 seed in the Class 2-A East bracket, but instead got handed a No. 4 seed.

Still, the Lady Eagles, who shared the Four County Conference regular-season title with Clinton at 13-1 and then won the conference tournament, will play at home on Monday against Warren County, 11-12.

“We’re very happy with our draw,” said East Bladen coach Patty Evers. “It’s just what we hoped for.”

— West Bladen’s Lady Knights, 13-10, were seeded No. 25 in the Class 2-A East bracket and will travel to take on No. 8 Wilson Bettingfield, 17-3, on Monday at 6:30 p.m.

“The girls are happy to make the playoffs — the third straight year, which is good for this program,” said West Bladen coach Pam Stephens. “I was told this was a good draw, but I don’t know anything about that team.”

In other Four County Conference girls games: No. 10 Clinton will host No. 23 North Lenoir in Class 2-A East; No. 31 Midway will travel to No. 1 Jacksonville Northside in Class 2-A East; No. 5 Wallace-Rose Hill will host No. 12 Kestral Heights in Class 1-A Mideast; and Heidi Trask will travel to Rosewood in Class 1-A Mideast.


Boys playoffs


— East Bladen’s Eagles, 14-10, got the No. 29 seed in the Class 2-A East bracket and will travel to face No. 4 Fairmont, 18-5, on Monday.

“We’re glad to be in the tournament,” said East Bladen coach Ken Cross. “I really don’t know what they are like now — I’m sure they are a better team now than they were earlier this season. And we should be, too.”

— West Bladen’s Knights 14-11, drew the No. 27 seed in the Class 2-A East bracket and will travel to take on a familiar foe — No. 6 Clinton on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

“I’m not surprised (to be playing a Four County Conference opponent),” said West Bladen coach Travis Pait. “It wasn’t hard to figure out. This is the game we thought we’d get and we’re excited about it.”

In other Four County Conference boys games: No. 24 Midway travels to No. 9 Farmville Central in Class 2-A East; No. 16 Pender County travels to No. 1 Neuse Central in Class 1-A Mideast; No. 13 Wallace-Rose Hill travels to No. 4 Voyager Academy in Class 1-A Mideast; and No. 2 Heidi Trask hosts No. 15 Northwest Halifax in Class 1-A Mideast.