Winding down: Prep basketball's regular season enters final stretch
BY PATRICK MASON
Thursday, February 7, 2019
The prep basketball regular season is nearing its end, with most teams playing through next week before conference tournaments begin.
There are a few tight conference races still to sort out, and several matchups between first- and second-place teams will tip off on Friday.
Here’s a look at the 12 local games.
Northern Nash (9-10, 5-3) at Rocky Mount High (15-6, 4-4), 6:30 p.m.
After a 5-1 start to Big East Conference play, Northern Nash has lost two games in a row and dropped to second place in the conference. The Knights, who have scored the fewest points of any Big East team this season, are coming off a one-point loss to Wilson Fike on Tuesday.
The Gryphons, meanwhile, are surging and looking for a third consecutive win. They have won three of their past four games and have pulled their conference record to an even 4-4 after enduring a 1-3 start.
Southern Nash (4-17, 0-9) at Franklinton (15-7, 4-4), 6:30 p.m.
Southern Nash is playing for its first conference win, though its Big East Conference path was dotted with several close calls. The Firebirds lost two games by one point apiece, and those losses came one week apart.
Franklinton has scored the second-most points in the conference.
Wilson Beddingfield (3-16, 1-6) at Nash Central (4-16, 0-7), 6:30 p.m.
Nash Central’s last win came on Dec. 27, a victory over West Johnston in the Cleveland Christmas tournament. Since then, the Bulldogs have lost 10 games in a row, but finish the last three games of the regular-season schedule with two home games and a chance to earn another win.
The Bruins are also struggling with four straight losses. Beddingfield’s most recent win, and lone Eastern Plains Conference win, came against Nash Central on Jan. 22.
SouthWest Edgecombe (18-3, 6-1) at Farmville Central (17-0, 7-0), 6 p.m.
In one of the more intriguing matchups around, SouthWest Edgecombe will get another shot at Farmville Central, the only roadblock left on its schedule before the postseason.
The Cougars have won nine of their past 10 games, with the lone loss coming against the undefeated Jaguars. In the last meeting on Jan. 22 in Pinetops, SWE lost 90-51. Another SWE loss on Friday will give the Jaguars the conference title.
The Cougars have scored 1,226 points this season, the most in the EPC. Farmville Central (1,211 points for) has allowed nearly 400 fewer points than SWE this season.
Tarboro (12-9, 6-4) at Northside-Pinetown (6-7, 3-5), 6 p.m.
The Vikings opened Coastal Plains Conference with a 6-2 start but have since dropped two in a row. This is a good road game to get back on track with two remaining games left in the regular season.
North Edgecombe (4-16, 2-9) at Rocky Mount Prep (4-15, 4-5), 6 p.m.
North Edgecombe snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 22-point win over Northwest Halifax on Tuesday.
This is Rocky Mount Prep’s final home game, and the Jaguars are coming off a 70-14 loss to Weldon on Feb. 1.
Northern Nash (20-1, 8-0) at Rocky Mount High (12-8, 2-6), 8 p.m.
Northern Nash has won 20 games in a row after losing the season opener. The Knights are two wins away from completing an undefeated run in the Big East Conference, but will have to get through the Gryphons who made for a tough out last time.
The Gryohons were tied with the Knights at halftime during their first matchup on Jan. 22, but were outscored by 10 points in the second half. RMH has lost three games in a row, including a double-overtime loss on Tuesday.
Southern Nash (13-8, 5-4) at Franklinton (2-20, 0-8), 8 p.m.
Southern Nash is on a two-game win streak after a 78-74 double-overtime win over Rocky Mount High on Tuesday.
Franklinton is trying to avoid a winless conference schedule, and lost by two points in the last meeting with the Firebirds.
Wilson Beddingfield (7-11, 3-3) at Nash Central (6-14, 3-4), 8 p.m.
Nash Central’s two-game losing streak has slid it to fourth in the Eastern Plains Conference with three games to play. Beddingfield is one slot ahead of the Bulldogs in the standings, and have a one-point win over Nash Central in the first meeting in Wilson.
SouthWest Edgecombe (11-10, 4-3) at Farmville Central (21-0, 7-0), 7:30 p.m.
The Cougars have won three of the past four games, with the lone loss during that stretch coming in overtime. Farmville Central is undefeated and has scored at least 400 more points than any other team in the conference.
Tarboro (13-6, 7-3) at Northside-Pinetown (10-7, 4-4), 7:30 p.m.
The Vikings are two games out of the Coastal Plains Conference lead with a pair of games to play.
North Edgecombe (10-11, 6-5) at Rocky Mount Prep (10-10, 7-4), 7:30 p.m.
RMP has won three games in a row, and five of its past six. The Jaguars are led by guard Sam Benton, who has six 30-point games this season.
North Edgecombe won the previous meeting, 95-72.