Jaguars, Rams, Falcons ready for fourth round
By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
As the number of teams fighting for a state high school basketball title dwindles, four local squads still remain in the hunt as the fourth round kicks off tonight, including 2-A Farmville Central’s girls and boys both trying to extend unprecedented unbeaten runs and a rare road game for the 4-A South Central boys.
No. 3 South Central at No. 2 Wakefield
With only one loss on their schedule (Dec. 29 to Ranney, N.J., in the John Wall Invitational) South Central has dominated opponents all season, including cruising through the second and third round after a first-round bye, winning by an average of 29 points.
In order to ensure continued success, SC will need to take to the road and focus on shutting down Trae Smith, Wakefield’s talented senior guard. Smith has averaged 19.3 points per game, along with five rebounds.
SC head coach Chris Cherry will be hoping for an improvement at the free throw line in his team’s next matchup. The Falcons have struggled to convert on free points this postseason.
PREDICTION: SC pulls off the road upset and will wait to see its opponent in the east regional.
No. 4 Vance County at No. 1 Farmville Central
The Vipers and Jaguars will meet for the second time this season Tuesday, The Jaguars ran away in the first meeting in FC’s MLK Invitational in January, 93-75.
Vance County may have a better idea of what to expect from head coach Larry Williford’s squad, but an athletic starting five along with deadly accurate jump shooting will still be a tall task to compete with the undefeated Jaguars.
PREDICTION: History repeats itself in the second edition of this matchup. FC once again takes the blowout win and advances to the regional final Saturday.
No. 6 Hertford County at No. 2 Greene Central
It’s no surprise that Rams head coach and East Carolina basketball legend “Blue” Edwards has continued the storied success of GC basketball in his first season.
Led by UNC-Wilmington commit Imajae Dodd, the Rams will look to down Hertford County for the chance to possibly meet up with Farmville Central for the fourth time this season, with a trip to the state final on the line.
Dodd and the rest of the Rams, including powerful combo guard Donte Johnson, form an extremely tough defensive grouping. Add in other strong shooters such as Jakeal Gay and Hysaan Hudson, and GC looks to be the favorite in this one.
PREDICTION: The Rams take the win, with the final episode of their rivalry with the Jaguars looming.
No. 10 NC School of Science and Math at No. 1 Farmville Central
The Jaguars girls team has also cruised through the postseason, not allowing an opponent to top 60 points.
The strong defense of head coach Hollis Harper’s group has set the tone for the determination to capture the title.
With senior Je’Shrya Carmon and freshman Amiya Joyner in the post, FC’s length gives the Jags the advantage on either side of the floor.
PREDICTION: Jaguars fans will be packing Minges Coliseum Saturday to watch both the girls and boys compete for the right to head to the state final after their win.