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Stage is set: Big East, Eastern Plains finals set for Friday

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Northern Nash’s Sencere Battle, center, battles with three Wilson Fike players during a game in January. These two teams will meet Friday in the Big East tournament finals.

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Telegram Reports

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Big East Conference and Eastern Plains Conference held their semifinals on Wednesday and, after an overtime game and a couple of upsets, the championship matchups are set and will begin Friday.

The Big East Conference will plays its boys’ and girls’ title games at the Rocky Mount Event Center, while both of the Eastern Plains Conference games will be held at Farmville Central.

Here’s a breakdown of those games.

Big East Conference

Girls

No. 2 Rocky Mount High (18-6) vs. No. 1 Wilson Hunt (19-3)

Where: Rocky Mount Event Center

When: 6 p.m.

How they got here: Rocky Mount High had a bye through the first round, and defeated Franklinton, 53-45, in the second round. Wilson Hunt also had a bye, and held off Northern Nash, 58-46, in the second round.

Breakdown: The Gryphons have closed the season with five consecutive wins, and have won six of their last seven. The lone loss during that stretch was to Hunt. The Warriors won both regular season meetings with RMH, including a 12-point win on Jan. 29, and a blowout, 58-21, win on Jan. 11.

The Gryphons are led by Mya Pittman’s 13.3 points per game. Hunt, meanwhile, has three players averaging double figures in points, led by Bria Griffith’s 17.3 per game.

Boys

No. 3 Wilson Fike (17-8) vs No. 1 Northern Nash (23-1)

Where: Rocky Mount Event Center

When: 7:30 p.m.

How they got here: Northern Nash had a bye in the first round, then defeated Wilson Hunt, 70-61. Wilson Fike, meanwhile, earned a tight, 66-63, win over Franklinton in the first round, then beat No. 2 Southern Nash, 60-46.

Breakdown: For Northern Nash, a win would be a nice topper to an already impressive regular season that includes 23 wins in a row after a season-opening loss on the road. For Wilson Fike, a win would mean an automatic postseason berth as a conference tournament champion. Without a win, the Demons could still receive an at-large big with their 17-8 record.

The Knights won both regular season meetings, including a 25-point win on Jan. 18.

Joseph Cherry-Blue is Northern Nash’s leading scorer at 16.2 points per game. Wilson Fike is led in scoring by Elijahwon Cooper’s 16 points per game, while Moses Parker is right behind averaging 15.

Eastern Plains Conference

Boys

No. 3 SouthWest Edgecombe (13-12) vs. No. 1 Farmville Central (25-0)

Where: Farmville Central High School

When: 7:30 p.m.

How they got here: SouthWest Edgecombe won a pair of games, defeating North Johnston, 61-52, in the first round, then held on for an overtime, 73-67, win over Nash Central on Wednesday. Farmville Central had a bye through the first round and defeated North Pitt, 89-39, in the second round.

Breakdown: SouthWest Edgecombe coach Shelton Langley believes that his team has put together a strong enough season to be considered for an at-large bid to the postseason, even if the Cougars fall short on Friday.

SWE built a large lead against Nash Central on Wednesday, but couldn’t hold off a furious comeback by the Bulldogs, who forced overtime. The Cougars dominated the extra session and won.

Farmville Central hasn’t lost a game all season, and defeated SWE 106-55 on Feb. 8.

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