↑Providence Day girls: Back in USA Today national poll, at No. 25. Chargers also return to No. 1 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll this week. Providence Day’s boys, No. 1 in the Sweet 16, are No. 18 in USA Today’s national poll.
↓NCHSAA regional semifinals: Several schools are scrambling for sites to avoid overcrowding in Tuesday’s state quarterfinals. Locally, Cox Mill vs. Robinson was moved to Cabarrus Arena to handle big crowds. Butler-North Meck was moved to Hough (thankfully). In years prior, regional tournaments were held at large neutral site venues.
↑Mecklenburg County basketball: In what’s been called a bit of down year for public school ball, there’s still potential for an all 4A boys and girls Western Regional championship game. Not bad.
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Tuesday’s Key Games
Butler (24-5) vs North Mecklenburg (26-2) at Hough, 7 p.m.: North Meck, winners of 14 straight, is in the regionals for the first time in eight years; Butler’s there for the first time in 12. The Bulldogs, who have won 11 in a row, have never been past this round. North Meck was in back-to-back state finals in 2005 and ‘06, winning the title in ‘05. The game, originally scheduled to be played at North Meck, was moved to the much larger Hough gym to accomodate an anticipated large crowd.
Southwest Guilford (27-2) at Charlotte Catholic (29-1), 7 p.m.: Southwest starts three Langley brothers: freshman twins Kobe and Keyshaun and junior Kameron. That trio has Southwest in the regionals for the first time since 1987. Charlotte Catholic also features a freshman, 6-7 center B.J. Mack, along with nine seniors. The Cougars make their fourth regional appearance and first since 2009.
Myers Park (23-5) at Northwest Guilford (28-0), 7 p.m.: The two-time N.C. 4A champs from Myers Park will be underdogs in the regional semifinal. Myers Park has won eight straight games but faces a Northwest team ranked No. 2 overall in North Carolina by MaxPreps behind Durham Hillside. Myers Park is No. 11 overall.
Southwest Guilford (21-9) at Ardrey Kell (24-6), 7 p.m.: Ardrey Kell has won six straight games and appears to be hitting its stride. The Knights are two wins away from their first N.C. 4A state final. Southwest Guilford upset Sweet 16 No. 1 Mallard Creek last week on the road.
Cox Mill (22-7) vs. Concord Robinson (26-3) at Cabarrus Arena, 7 p.m.: The game was moved from Robinson to accomodate what is expected to be a huge crowd. Robinson and Cox Mill are county and conference rivals in the South Piedmont.
Lake Norman Charter (23-7) at Forest Hills (27-2), 7 p.m.: Lake Norman Charter’s Troy Cracknell had 28 points and Connor Reed 19 on five 3-pointers in a third round upset Saturday at Sylva Smoky Mountain. Forest Hills has won 17 straight.
Shelby (24-5) at East Lincoln (26-0), 7 p.m.: East Lincoln tries to reach its second straight regional final.
3 To Watch Tuesday
RaeQuan Scott, Butler: A deadly outside shooter, Scott had 30 points in the Bulldogs’ come-from-behind win over Northwest Guilford at home Saturday. He has a penchant for playing big in big games.
Chanin Scott, Myers Park girls: One of the state’s best athletes, Scott is ramping her game up as she tries to lead the Mustangs to a third straight N.C. 4A state final.
Cameron Dollar, East Lincoln: Chazz and Sage Surratt get a lot of attention in Lincoln County, but Dollar – a 6-3 junior guard – is a big key to the unbeaten Mustangs. He does a little bit of everything, and he is one of the team’s most important players.