At least right now, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association has released a rough draft of the state playoffs brackets. The state playoffs begin Monday. And for the Watauga High boys' basketball team (17-9), the No.1 seed among the Class 4A schools in the Northwestern
3A/4A Conference, they are the eighth seed overall in the West and will open the state playoffs at home against Alexander Central (14-11), a team they've all ready beaten twice this season.
The Pioneers got by Alexander Central on the road 61-58 on December 4; they beat the Cougars 61-43 at Lentz-Eggers Gym on December 10.
The Cougars, who were 8-6 and finished in a fourth place tie overall with Statesville (the Cougars are the No.3 seed among the Class 4A schools) in the Northern Piedmont 3A/4A Conference, are led by junior Ty Ireland, who leads the Cougars with a 13.5 point average and six reobunds a game.
The Cougars come into Monday night's match up against the Pioneers riding a two-game losing streak. The winner of Monday's first-round game between the Pioneers and Alexander Central wil play either No.24 seed, Jamestown-Ragsdale, or the No.9 seed McDowell in the second round on Wednesday. If WHS advances, the Pioneers will play at home.
The WHS girls (9-17), the No.2 seed among the Class 4A schools in the NW3A/4A Conference, are the No.32 seed overall. The Pioneers will open the state playoffs on the road against the No.1 seed McDowell (22-0), a team WHS hasn't beaten since the 1996-97 season.
The Titans are regular-season champions in the Mountain Athletic 3A/4A Conference. They're led by Jennifer Brooks, who was a stellar player for the Titans, when they were led by legendary coach Mike Silver.
And the Titans feature a balanced attack led by junior Karly McRary (12.9 ppg), junior Markia Stacey (12.0 ppg), senior Kylee Lenon (9.7) and junior Kassie Brackett (9.0).
The winner of Monday night's game between the Pioneers and McDowell will play either the No.16 seed, Northwest Guilford, or the No.17 seed, Lake Norman. If the Pioneers advance, they would be on the road.
In Class 1A, the Avery girls (20-6) will be a No.4 seed (they were seeded fifth in the preliminary bracket) and they will open the state playoffs at home against Elkin, the Avery boys (22-4) are a No.2 seed and will open the state playoffs at home against Murphy.
In Class 2A, the Ashe County girls (11-14) are a No.28 seed and they will open the state playoffs at the No.5 seed, Monroe-Parkwood, instead of East Rutherford. The Ashe County boys (10-16) will miss the state playoffs for the second year in a row.
A starting time for Monday night's games have not been announced.