morehead city —

The panel doesn’t just dip its toe in but instead jumps into the deep end of the high school playoff pool this week.

The nine members pick an entire slate of prep postseason games. including the two involving county teams.

Note: all picks were done prior to the games on Thursday night with this story placed on the free website before the games Thursday.

The Croatan and East Duplin game provides the most disagreement for the panel with a 5-4 split.

J.J. Smith (News-Times), Dennis Thomason (News-Times), Deana King (, Tim Hower ( and Brian Barnes ( go with East Duplin. Brian North (WCTI-12), Brian Bailey (WNCT9), Billy Weaver (WITN-7) and Zack Nally (News-Times) like Croatan.

Four games see two panelists apiece in the minority.

North and Smith team up in two of those contests, taking Ayden-Grifton over Southwest Onslow and North Lenoir over South Granville. North and Hower go with North Duplin over Gates County, while King and Barnes select St. Pauls over Currituck County.

One panelist breaks from the pack each time in four games.

Weaver is involved in two of them, taking C.B. Ayock over Northside-Jacksonville and Southside over South Creek. King goes with Western Alamance over Jacksonville, while Bailey chooses Whiteville over Wallace-Rose Hill.

The entire panel goes with Princeton over East Carteret, West Craven over Kinston and New Hanover over Topsail.

Carteret Publishing gained the win last week in the team standings with a 23-13 record. The online editors were the runner-up with a 20-16 mark, followed by the TV sports anchors at 19-17.

Smith led the way in the individual standings by going 9-3, followed by Bailey at 8-4. Thomason, Hower, Nally, Barnes and North were 7-5 apiece. King went 6-6 and Weaver 4-8.

The entire panel correctly chose Croatan over East Carteret, Havelock over Jacksonville and East Duplin over Goldsboro.

The entire panel missed on West Craven over New Bern and Rosewood over Princeton.

King failed to take Ayden-Grifton over Kinston.

Three games saw three panelists apiece in the minority.

Thomason, Nally and King rightly went with West Carteret over Swansboro.

North, Weaver and King missed on Manteo’s win over Washington County, while Weaver, Nally and Hower failed to go with Green Bay over Carolina.

Three games were 5-4 splits.

North, Bailey, Smith and Barnes correctly picked LSU over Alabama. North, Smith, King and Hower rightly took Minnesota over Dallas, while Bailey, Smith, Nally and Hower was on the right side of Seattle’s victory over San Francisco.

Carteret Publishing increased its lead in the overall team standings from two games to five and now sports a 302-124 record. The online editors are next at 297-129, followed by the TV sports anchors with a 288-138 mark.

Thomason stayed in front in the overall individual standings by upping his record to 105-37. Bailey moved up to second at 103-39. Hower is one game behind with a 102-40 record. Smith broke a four-way tie to take sole possession of fourth at 100-42. Nally and Barnes are tied at 98-44, followed by King at 97-45, North 96-46 and Weaver 91-51.

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