5 teams set for playoff action
On Saturday afternoon, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) announced the playoff pairing for the 2014 State Championship basketball tournaments. Those brackets included five Rutherford County teams: East Rutherford's boys and girls, Thomas Jefferson's boys and girls and the R-S Central boys.
The East Rutherford Lady Cavaliers (20-2) enter the tournament as the No. 4 seed out of the 2A west riding a 19-0 winning streak and will host host No. 29 Draughn (11-11) at 6 p.m. on Monday.
The East Rutherford boys (18-4) earned the No. 11 seed and will host No. 22 Wilkes Central (14-8) following the girls matchup.
"I think we got a pretty good draw," East Rutherford head boys coach Brad LeVine said. "I think right now we're playing some of our best basketball and this is the time you want that to happen. We're at the point in the season where everyone pretty well knows their role.
"We just have to be prepared to work hard and play three games this week."
The R-S Central boys round out the 2A entries for Rutherford County snagging the No. 23 seed. The Hilltoppers (13-9) will make the trip to face No. 10 East Lincoln (19-3) on Monday.
"Obviously they're a good team," R-S Central head coach Greg Wright said of East Lincoln. "They have really good athletes and a little size to deal with. We'll just have to go in and offset that size and utilize our quickness.
"We have a tough draw but it's just one game at a time now."
The Thomas Jefferson girls (10-12) snuck into the tournament as the No. 14 seed out of the 1A west and will travel to No. 3 Hiwassee Dam (19-3) on Monday for a date with the Lady Eagles.
The Thomas Jefferson boys narrowly missed out on a regular season conference title last week, but they will now shift their attention to the state playoffs as the No. 6 seed out of the west.
The Gryphons (15-6) will play host to the No. 11 Blue Ridge Bobcats Monday night at Cool Springs.
First round playoff pairings
All games to be played Monday, Feb. 24
No. 6 Thomas Jefferson (15-6) vs. No. 11 Blue Ridge (7-14), 7 p.m.
No. 14 Thomas Jefferson (10-12) at No. 3 Hiwassee Dam (19-3), 7 p.m.
No. 11 East Rutherford (18-4) vs. No. 22 Wilkes Central (14-8), 7:30 p.m.
No. 23 R-S Central (13-9) at No. 10 East Lincoln (19-3), 7 p.m.
No. 4 East Rutherford (20-2) vs. No. 29 Draughn (11-11), 6 p.m.