High Point Wesleyan at No. 4 Providence Day (2-0), Tuesday, 7: Wesleyan is ranked No. 10 in MaxPreps’ national rankings and No. 20 by USA Today. Providence Day is ranked in the top 50 nationally in at least two polls and is reigning NCISAA 3A state champ. The game will feature at least 11 Division I recruits, including Wesleyan’s Jaylen Hoard, a 6-foot-8 forward ranked as high as No. 8 nationally who burst onto the international scene with a strong performance for the French U17 national team at the FIBA World Championships last summer. He averaged more than 25 points per game. Hoard’s father played at Murray State and professionally overseas.
No. 2 North Mecklenburg at West Mecklenburg, Wednesday, 7:30: North Meck debuts a young but talented team expected to challenge for a state title. North Meck lost to Charlotte Catholic in the semifinals last season.
No. 12 Rocky River girls at No. 2 South Mecklenburg, Tuesday, 6: One of the biggest girls games in the state Tuesday will provide both teams with a big season-opening test. Both teams return three starters, added key newcomers and transfers – and they both are legitimate N.C. 4A state title contenders.
No. 1 Mallard Creek girls at No. 11 Butler, Thursday, 6: Another big girls test. Mallard Creek returns four starters and added two high-profile transfers who have greatly raised expectations for a team that was 26-2 last season.
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Cannon Classic, Friday-Saturday: the 19th annual tournament could feature a preview of the N.C. Independent Schools state championship game in February. Cannon’s boys, No. 1 in the Sweet 16, play North Raleigh Christian Friday at 8, a few hours after nationally ranked Greensboro Day plays SouthLake Christian. If Cannon and Greensboro Day win, Saturday’s 4 p.m. final will feature at least eight Division I recruits, including top-30 national junior Jairus Hamilton of Cannon.