15 local teams make state high school basketball playoffs that begin on Tuesday (with final 2021 standings)

By Richard Walker
Fifteen Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln county high schools begin N.C. High School Athletic Association basketball state title pursuits when the state playoffs begin on Tuesday.

The NCHSAA finalized its postseason pairings on Sunday and Cleveland County’s Crest, Kings Mountain and Shelby boys and girls teams, Gaston County’s Huss boys, Bessemer City girls and Mountain Island Charter’s boys and girls teams and Lincoln County’s East Lincoln boys and girls teams and the Lincoln Charter and North Lincoln boys will participate.

All but Huss’ boys and Kings Mountain’s girls were assured of going based on finishing first or second in their respective leagues; Huss and Kings Mountain took wild card berths as non first- or second-place teams.

Tuesday’s boys first round pairings are as follows with notes on the local teams:

3A West No. 4 Crest hosts Greensboro Dudley (Crest finished unbeaten in the Big South Conference, marking on the fourth time in league history as well as Crest history. Previous unbeaten Big South boys teams were Ashbrook in 2002 and Huss in 2008 and 2010. Previous unbeaten Crest league regular season finishes came in 1971, 1977 and 2001. It’s also the Chargers’ second straight state playoff berth.)

3A West No. 10 Kings Mountain plays at Central Cabarrus (Kings Mountain advances to the playoffs for the eighth straight season. The Mountaineers’ six-year first-round winning streak was ended last year.)

3A West No. 15 Huss plays at Weddington (Huss is in the playoffs for a 16th straight season and they’ve won first-round matchups in 13 of their previous 15 seasons with losses coming in 2009 and 2019. Huss’ streak is third in county history behind Cherryville’s 27-year streak from 1991 to 2017 and Ashbrook’s 17-year streak that came to an end this season.)

2A West No. 3 North Lincoln host Forbush (The Knights are making their second straight playoff appearance after their South Fork 2A regular season title was the first in school history.)

2A West No. 10 Shelby plays at Patton (Shelby is in the the playoffs for a Cleveland County-record 24th straight season. The Golden Lions, who shared the Southwestern 2A title with R-S Central, had won first-round games in each of the previous 23 years except for 1997, 2002, 2010 and 2018.)

2A West No. 11 East Lincoln plays at North Davidson (East Lincoln is in the playoffs for a Lincoln County-record 17th straight season. The Mustangs also has won first-round playoff games every year since 2012.)

1A West No. 5 Lincoln Charter hosts Murphy (The Eagles, Southern Piedmont 1A champions, are making their eighth straight playoff appearance have racked up 21 playoff wins in the previous six seasons.)

1A West No. 10 Mountain Island Charter plays at Chatham Charter (The Raptors, who lost a game for the PAC 7 No. 1 seed on Saturday night, are making their fifth straight playoff appearance.)

Tuesday’s girls first round pairings are as follows with notes on the local teams:

3A West No. 4 Ashbrook hosts Alexander Central (The Green Wave are in the playoffs for a 14th straight season and have won first-round games in seven in of the previous 13 seasons. The 14-year streak is only two behind Cherryville’s county-record streak of 16 years from 1998 to 2013.)

3A West No. 11 Crest plays at Cuthbertson (Crest is in the playoffs for the first time since 2015. The Chargers had made 11 straight playoff appearances from 2005 to 2015 and have won their last four first-round playoff games.)

3A West No. 14 Kings Mountain plays at Carson (Kings Mountain is in the playoffs for the first time since 2019. The Mountaineers have also won their last two first-round playoff games in 2017 and 2019.)

2A West No. 6 Shelby hosts 2A West No. 11 East Lincoln (Shelby, which won the Southwestern 2A, is making its fourth straight playoff appearance and 16th in 17 years. East Lincoln is making its second straight playoff appearance and seeks its first playoff win since 2010.)

1A West No. 2 Bessemer City hosts Kernersville Bishop McGuinness (Bessemer City, which won the drawing to break the unprecedented five-way tie for the Southern Piedmont championship, is making its second straight playoff appearance. The Yellow Jackets are seeking to win their first playoff game since 2014; Other Bessemer City playoff wins came in 1979, 1982 and 2002.)

1A West No. 11 Mountain Island Charter plays at Mitchell County (The Raptors are making their fifth playoff appearance in six years – they missed 2018 – and are seeking their first-ever postseason victory.)

Tuesday’s winners advance on in state playoff games hosted by the higher-seeded teams on Thursday, Saturday and March 2. The state championships will be played March 6 at Providence Grove and Wheatmore high schools in Randolph County.

Final standings with conference record listed first followed by overall record:

Crest 12-0, 13-1
Kings Mountain 9-3, 10-4
Huss 8-4, 9-4
Ashbrook 5-7, 5-9
Forestview 4-8, 4-9
North Gaston 3-9, 3-11
Cramer 1-11, 1-13

Ashbrook 11-1, 12-1
Crest 9-3, 10-4
Kings Mountain 9-3, 10-4
Forestview 6-6, 6-7
Huss 5-7, 5-8
North Gaston 2-10, 2-12
Cramer 0-12, 1-13

Shelby 11-1, 13-1
R-S Central 11-1, 12-1
South Point 8-4, 10-4
Burns 6-6, 6-8
East Rutherford 3-9, 3-10
East Gaston 3-9, 5-9
Chase 0-12, 0-14

Shelby 12-0, 14-0
R-S Central 10-2, 10-3
East Gaston 7-5, 9-5
East Rutherford 7-5, 7-5
Burns 4-8, 4-10
South Point 2-10, 3-11
Chase 0-12, 1-13

North Lincoln 12-2, 12-2
East Lincoln 11-3, 11-3
Lake Norman Charter 10-4, 10-4
Lincolnton 8-6, 8-6
Maiden 7-7, 7-7
Newton-Conover 6-8, 6-8
Bandys 2-12, 2-12
West Lincoln 0-14, 0-14

Newton-Conover 14-0, 14-0
East Lincoln 10-4, 10-4
Lake Norman Charter 9-5, 9-5
Bandys 8-6, 8-6
Maiden 6-8, 6-8
West Lincoln 5-9, 5-9
North Lincoln 3-11, 3-11
Lincolnton 1-13, 1-13

Lincoln Charter 11-1, 12-1
Christ the King 9-3, 10-3
Thomas Jefferson 7-5, 9-5
Cherryville 6-5, 9-5
Bessemer City 6-6, 6-6
Piedmont Community 2-10, 3-11
Highland Tech 0-11, 0-11

Piedmont Community 8-4, 9-4
Bessemer City 8-4, 8-4
Thomas Jefferson 8-4, 8-4
Christ the King 8-4, 8-5
Lincoln Charter 8-4, 8-5
Cherryville 1-10, 2-11
Highland Tech 0-11, 0-11

PAC 7 1A
Pine Lake Prep 14-1, 14-1
Mtn Island Charter 12-2, 12-2
Comm Sch Davidson 7-5, 7-5
Queen’s Grant 7-5, 7-5
Union Academy 4-8, 4-8
Langtree Charter 4-9, 4-9
Caro International 2-8, 2-8
Bradford Prep 0-12, 0-12

Comm Sch Davidson 12-0, 13-0
Mtn Island Charter 9-2, 9-2
Bradford Prep 6-6, 7-6
Pine Lake Prep 6-6, 7-6
Union Academy 6-6, 6-6
Queen’s Grant 1-9, 1-9
Caro International 0-11, 0-11
Langtree Charter no team