Five Mecklenburg County high school basketball teams, two boys and three girls, punched their tickets Friday night to the N.C. Western Regionals.
Reigning N.C. 4A boys' champion West Charlotte survived a major challenge at sold-out South Mecklenburg, winning 59-55. Sweet 16 No. 1 Olympic solved Alexander Central's backdoor cuts and slow-down offense to win 65-51 to join the Lions again in Greensboro. The same teams reached the 4A regionals a year ago.
In girls' play, Berry qualified for its first-ever regional with a 47-33 win against Concord's Robinson High in the 3A playoffs. Also in 3A, Harding is returning to the regionals for the first time since 2007 and the fourth time in school history. The Rams beat North Iredell 57-53.
In 4A girls' play, Myers Park ran its record to 30-0 with a 75-46 win against Southwestern 4A mate Butler. The Mustangs, in the regionals for the first time, are three wins away from becoming the first public school girls' team in 26 years to have a perfect season.
West Charlotte's boys are three wins from becoming the first repeat 4A champion since Winston-Salem Reynolds won three in a row in 2000-02.
"We're close," Lions guard Mike Brown said. "We're a family. We're ready. We don't want anything to get in our way."