WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Sixteen teams started the high school basketball playoffs with championship dreams, now just two remain: the Hoggard boys and the Ashley girls.
Tuesday, the No. 4 Hoggard Vikings will host ninth seeded Lumberton at 7 p.m. Hoggard coach Brett Queen says the Pirates are playing their best basketball right now.
“[Lumberton] is going to be more athletic and faster than us,” said Queen. “That's going to be a big key. We have to keep them off the boards and slow down their transition game.”
Knowing that their next game could be their last is one of the factors that has fueled the Vikings.
“There’s a lot on the line and none of us want it to be over,” said Hoggard senior Luke Lamporte. “Of course, we want to keep on playing. And it’s scary to think about if we don’t win, it could be our last game. I think that really helps drive us.”
Tuesday Ashley girls will travel to Southeast Raleigh to face the Bulldogs at 6 p.m.
Back in December, the Bulldogs beat the Screaming Eagles 57-17, holding Saniya Rivers to a season low 13 points. “
This is the number one team in the state,” said Rivers. “So, we need to come in with a whole different mentality. Just the killer mentality. We have to play together and make layups. We need to box out because they are a big team so we’re going to have to rebound.”
Teams are also finding out that the Screaming Eagles are more than just Saniya Rivers.
“She’s finding her teammates when she’s not scoring,” said Ashley coach Adrienne Gale. “She’s in there getting rebounds. They are doing their jobs getting loose balls. Putting it in the basket when she finds them and grabbing rebounds and scoring points from the outside, too.”