CHAPEL HILL — The N.C. High School Athletic Association released the playoff brackets Sunday afternoon, and four county teams found their way in to the postseason.
East Carteret and West Carteret qualified for the boys playoffs. The Mariners and Patriots each captured conference championships this season, but with league title teams being assigned by random draw, it was anybody’s guess where East and West were going to end up.
All first-round games were on Tuesday, and this edition was published before results were available. Results, however, will be available on the web at www.carolinacoastonline.com Wednesday morning.
West (8-2), the Coastal Conference champion, drew the sixth seed in the 3A playoffs and hosted 11th-seed Williams (9-4) on Tuesday. The Bulldogs finished second in the Mid-Piedmont Conference with a 4-2 record, trailing only Eastern Guilford (10-1 overall, 6-0 league).
West entered the game No 15 in the MaxPreps 3A rankings, while Williams was No. 40 of the 110 teams in the division.
The winner of that matchup will take on the winner of third-seed New Hanover (8-1 overall, 3-1 league) and 14th-seed Cleveland (11-3 overall, 9-1 league) on Thursday.
East (10-0), the Coastal 8 Conference champion, drew the eighth seed in the 1A playoffs and welcomed ninth-seed Bear Grass Charter (5-5) on Tuesday. The Bears went 2-1 in the two-team Atlantic 6 Conference that also includes Cape Hatteras (2-5 overall, 1-2 league).
East entered the contest No. 15 in the MaxPreps 1A rankings, while Bear Grass was No. 72 of the 93 teams in the division.
The winner of that matchup will take on the winner of top-seed Granville Central (12-2) and 16th-seed Southside (6-3) on Thursday.
The East Carteret girls finished fourth in the Coastal 8 with a 6-6 mark but took first in the 1A portion and drew the fifth seed in the playoffs. The Mariners hosted 12th-seed Holmes on Tuesday. The Aces went 8-5 overall and 5-2 in the Albemarle Athletic Conference to finish as runner-up to Gates (6-1).
East entered the game No. 40 in the MaxPreps 1A rankings, while Holmes was No. 22 of the 83 teams in the division.
The winner of that matchup will take on the winner of fourth-seed Cape Hatteras (6-3 overall, 2-1 league) and 13th-seed Riverside-Martin (6-3) on Thursday.
The Croatan girls went 11-2 overall and finished as runner-up in the Coastal 8 with a 10-2 mark. The Cougars drew the 14th seed in the 2A playoffs and traveled Tuesday to third-seed East Duplin. The Panthers went 12-1 overall and won the East Central Conference with an 11-1 record.
Croatan entered the game No. 24 in the MaxPreps 2A rankings, while East Duplin was No. 18 of the 112 teams in the division.
The winner of that matchup will take on the winner of sixth-seed Southwest Onslow (11-1) and 11th-seed Whiteville (8-4 overall, 7-1 league) on Thursday.
The West Carteret girls finished third in the Coastal Conference with a 7-3 mark and the Croatan boys took fourth in the Coastal 8 with an 8-4 record, but neither qualified for the playoffs in a year when the brackets are cut in half from 64 to 32.