02/11/07 — Area conference basketball tournaments begin Monday

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Area conference basketball tournaments begin Monday

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 11, 2007 2:08 AM

One loss and you're done.

That's the scenario the Goldsboro High men's basketball team faces when the Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference tournament tips off Monday evening.

The fifth-seeded Cougars (13-11 overall) travel to fourth-seeded Tarboro High for a 7:30 p.m. contest. Goldsboro must win the three-day tournament to qualify for the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.

A loss ends a frustrating season of high expectations that never transpired. The Cougars started the season 8-1, but have lost 10 of their 15 contests since an 0-2 showing in the prestigious Glaxo SmithKline Invitational in late December.

"We'll prepare for whoever we have," said Goldsboro head coach Randy Jordan. "It's one and done now, and that's our approach (to the postseason). Hopefully these guys can regroup."

The other quarterfinal-round matchup pits sixth-seeded North Lenoir (4-20) at third-seeded Farmville Central. The first-round winners meet Wednesday evening at different sites.

"I have a lot of respect for Goldsboro and I think they're a little like us," said Tarboro head coach Leshaun Jenkins. "Their results don't speak for the type of team that they are. Goldsboro set the standard in our conference last year, and just to get one win over them was big for our kids.

"Now that we've beaten them twice this year, I think our kids feel we have the mental edge. I feel good about whoever we have to play."

On the girls' side, North Lenoir (20-4) throttled border rival Greene Central and clinched its second EPC regular-season crown in the last three seasons. Each team clinched an opening-round bye and awaits quarterfinal-round winners on Wednesday.

Goldsboro's girls, the No. 5 seed, travel to Farmville Central (13-10) on Monday for a 6 p.m. tip-off. Third-seeded Tarboro (12-9) entertains sixth-seeded North Pitt (4-19) in the other first-round contest.

The Cougars (5-18) concluded regular-season play with a 36-point thrashing of North Pitt.

"(The win) is very important, especially for the confidence of this team with us being as young as we are," said Goldsboro head coach Brandy Smith. "Ending on a win and going into Monday's game, I think the confidence level is going to continue to build for us.

"Whoever we play, Tarboro or Farmville Central, we know we can compete with either one of those teams."


The battle for supremacy in the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference also begins Monday with doubleheaders at Wilson Hunt and Charles B. Aycock.

At Hunt, the sixth-seeded Southern Wayne girls (7-15) face the third-seeded Warriors at 6 p.m. Beddingfield's boys tangle with winless C.B. Aycock at 7:30 p.m.

At C.B. Aycock, the fourth-seeded Golden Falcon girls (10-14) play host to fifth-seeded Kinston. The teams split the regular-season series with each winning on their home court. That 6 p.m. matchup is followed by a key boys' contest involving archrivals Eastern Wayne and Southern Wayne. The winner clinches an automatic bid to the NCHSAA playoffs.

Play continues Wednesday in the six-team league with semifinal-round doubleheaders hosted by the Wilson Beddingfield and Eastern Wayne girls. At Beddingfield, the top-seeded Bruin girls (23-1) await the Kinston-C.B. Aycock winner. The Hunt boys, who drew the No. 1 seed, face the Eastern Wayne-Southern Wayne victor at approximately 7:30 p.m.

At Eastern Wayne, the second-seeded Warrior girls (9-11) tangle with the Hunt-Southern Wayne winner. Kinston's boys, which tied Hunt for the ECC regular-season crown, are seeded No. 2 and play the Beddingfield-C.B. Aycock winner.

The semifinal-round winners meet Friday at Beddingfield. Admission is $5 for the quarterfinals and semifinals, and $6 for the finals.

Carolina 1-A

Welcome to the wacky world of the Carolina 1-A Conference.

Ayden-Grifton's girls threw a huge curveball in the league standings with a season-ending 63-53 upset of North Johnston. The loss created a two-way tie between the Panthers and Rosewood for the top spot.

Athletics directors from both schools will meet Monday and draw for the No. 1 seed. Each team receives an opening-round bye.

The girls' portion of the tournament begins Monday. Sixth-seeded North Duplin (1-14) is the guest of third-seeded Ayden-Grifton. Fifth-seeded Spring Creek (3-18) travels to Princeton (13-11). Each game tips off at 7 p.m.

The boys start play Tuesday. Third-seeded Princeton (15-9) entertains sixth-seeded and county archrival North Johnston. Rosewood (5-16) heads to playoff-bound North Duplin, which is 3-13 overall. Each game starts at 7 p.m.

Regular-season champion Ayden-Grifton (16-6) and runner-up Spring Creek (9-12) each earned an opening-round bye.

Mount Olive College and Kornegay Arena is the host site for the semifinal and championship games. The semifinals are scheduled for Thursday and the finals will be played Friday. The girls play at 4 and 5:30 p.m., followed by the boys at 6:30 and 8 p.m. on Thursday.

Admission each day is $5.