State playoffs kick off tonight

Matthew GorrySports Writer

February 23, 2013

ELKIN - With the state playoffs tipping off this week, four area hoops squads received berths in their respective brackets, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced Saturday.

On the boys side, Elkin and Starmount were awarded slots in the 1A and 2A postseason, respectively. On the girls side, East Wilkes and Forbush punched their ticket to the 1A and 2A playoffs, respectively.

The Buckin’ Elks, fresh off a Mountain Valley Conference regular-season championship and a second-place finish in the conference tournament last week, earned the No. 3 seed in the 1A state playoffs.

Elkin will open its title run at home against familiar Northwest Conference foe East Surry tonight.

The Cardinals swept two regular-season meetings between the squads, including a 67-57 victory in Pilot Mountain in January. East finished the year with a 15-10 mark.

Starmount used a strong second-half run to advance to the conference tourney semifinals last week and captured the No. 10 seed in the 2A bracket.

The Rams kick off the playoffs tonight on the road against seventh-seeded Piedmont. The Panthers finished the season at 20-5 and 11-3 in the Rocky River Conference.

East Wilkes earned the 11th-seed in the girls bracket after claiming the final 1A slot from the conference.

The Lady Cardinals will open against Wilkes County neighbor West Wilkes tonight on the road. The Blackhawks swept the regular-season matchups with both wins coming by double-figures.

Forbush rounds out the local teams in the playoffs, capturing the No. 14 seed in the 2A state bracket.

The Lady Falcons tip off the postseason tonight on the road against third-seeded Thomasville. The Bulldogs powered their way to a second-place finish in the Central Carolina Conference at 18-5 and 8-2.

The other four area squads - Elkin and Starmount girls, and East Wilkes and Forbush boys - missed the cut for their respective playoffs. After not receiving postseason berths, the high school careers of senior leaders Heaven Walters of Starmount and Avery Wallis of East Wilkes came to an end.

According to the NCHSAA, first-round games are tentatively scheduled for 7:00 p.m. tonight, unless changed by the schools.

Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or mgorry@civitasmedia.com.