Mecklenburg County basketball teams are two wins away from the prestigious N.C. Western Regionals and will try to take another step as the playoffs continue Wednesday night.
A few highlights:
• At Independence, the Southwestern 4A regular-season and tournament champions Patriots will host Davie County.
Davie (21-5) features N.C. State recruits Cody and Caleb Martin, a pair of 6-foot-7 players who are ranked among the top 50 nationally in the class of 2014.
Davie County lost a close game in Charlotte earlier this season to Sweet 16 No. 1 Olympic.
• At Olympic, the nationally-ranked Trojans will be at a strong size disadvantage to ME-GA 7 conference rival Garinger. Garinger features 7-foot freshman Raekwon Long and has been a much-improved team in the second half of the season.
Olympic is up to No. 9 in MaxPreps national rankings.
• Mallard Creek beat Sun Valley 51-39 Monday behind Dominique Hendersons 18 points, five rebounds, two steals and a block. A win by the Mavericks (19-8) at Watauga (14-10) pits them against the Garinger-Olympic winner on Friday in an all-Charlotte sectional final.
• In 3A, Harding (14-10) visits Marvin Ridge (15-9). Marvin Ridge coach Gosnell White was Hardings coach in the 90s.
• On the girls side, nationally ranked Myers Park (28-0) hosts Southern Alamance (22-5). If the Mustangs win, they could get a fourth meeting Friday with Ardrey Kell (25-3). The Knights, who are 25-0 against every other team except Myers Park, play host to Southeast Guilford (21-6).
Spring sports kick off
Spring sports kick off Wednesday and a big baseball game is on the schedule. Ardrey Kell, a 4A power and former state champ, visits 2012 N.C. 3A champ Weddington. First pitch is at 7 p.m.
Southwestern 4A baseball hopes to rebound from 2012
Providence High baseball coach Danny Hignight has been looking forward to Wednesday.
It will be the first time his Panthers have taken the field since last seasons extra-inning 5-4 loss to Mount Tabor in the first round of the baseball tournament.
The Panthers were nationally ranked for much of the season and came into the tournament 25-2. Southwestern 4As four other playoff teams Ardrey Kell, South Mecklenburg, Independence and Butler also lost in the first round.
According to Southwestern4Abaseball.com, its the first time thats happened in the Southwestern 4A, often considered one of the states best baseball conferences.
I think weve all got a chip on our shoulders now, said Myers Park coach Matt Burnett.
In the last season before the conference splits due to realignment, the league seems as wide open as it has been in recent years.
I think everybodys got stars, Hignight said. A lot of teams have got a chance to win the league this year.