Just six days separated rivalry matchups between Southern and Hillside girls’ and boys’ varsity basketball teams, but in that span, both Southern squads gained maturity far beyond their years.
Southern boys' varsity defeated Hillside 81-64, and Hillside girls' varsity defeated Southern 73-59.
As it has all season, New Bern’s defense came up with a stop when it needed one. The Bears clamped down and forced Hillside to turn the ball over on downs with a little more than a minute remaining to preserve a 13-7 win in Friday’s state 4-A quarterfinal layoff game at Caruso-Coates Stadium.
In Friday's (Nov. 28) state quarterfinal high school football playoffs, Southern hosts Chapel Hill (3-AA), Orange hosts N. Guilford (3-AA) and Hillside travels to New Bern (4-A). All games begin at 7:30 p.m.
No. 1 New Bern (13-0) is next for No. 5 Hillside (9-4). These foes are familiar with each other. New Bern beat Hillside 12-0 in the season opener for both teams. That game was at Hillside. They’ll meet in the state quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday at New Bern for a shot at the Final Four, one game away from competing for the state championship.
Nas Forte-Ferguson and his Hillside teammates had a tough time getting to Seventy-First’s Loyd E. Auman Athletic Field Friday night, arriving 40 minutes before kickoff. But once they got on the field, Forte-Ferguson and company had no trouble finding the end zone and keeping Seventy-First out of it, winning 27-0.
The area's four remaining high school playoff entries pulled a perfecto Friday night, to move into the state quarterfinals where three members of the Big East 3-A Conference are among the last eight 3-AA programs standing. Southern will host Chapel Hill on Friday in one quarterfinal, Orange will host Northern Guilford in another, and Hillside will travel to No. 1 seed New Bern in 4-A in a rematch of the Hornets' season-opener.
Click on live links below for complete game-by-game reports:
Four area teams remain alive for Friday’s (Nov. 21) 7:30 p.m. second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs, but only one can be considered a favorite. Reigning state 3-AA champion Southern is that favorite, as the No. 1 seed hosts No. 8 Clayton Cleveland. Southern is one of three Big Eight 3-A Conference teams still alive after the first round of the playoffs, joining No. 6 seed Orange and No. 12 Chapel Hill, both of whom play on the road in 3-AA action tonight. In Fayetteville, 4-A No. 5 seed Hillside (8-4) will have its hands more than full when it travels to meet No. 4 Seventy-First (12-0).
Special teams play and a punishing defense that forced four turnovers propelled Hillside to a 42-28 win Friday over Fayetteville E.E. Smith and into the second round of the 4-A state playoffs.
Follow the links below to coverage of all 10 of Friday's area playoff games.
Southern 25, Cardinal Gibbons 6
Orange 21, Sanford Lee County 20
Northern Guilford 56, Northwood 26
Chapel Hill 42, Shallotte West Brunswick 14
Fayetteville Seventy-First 28, Riverside 0
Fayetteville Cape Fear 32, Northern 14
Bunn 15, South Granville 6
Bakersville Mitchell County 35, Granville Central 14
North Edgecombe 47, Kestrel Heights 0
Is there another state championship in the offing for our area high school football? We’ll know a little bit more after Friday's 7:30 opening round of 10 state playoff games in five classifications.
Reigning and undefeated 3-AA state champion Southern, fresh off a miraculous comeback win at previously undefeated Orange Friday night has earned the No. 1 seed in the 16-team state 3-AA football playoffs that begin Friday. ... Complete list of all area teams' playoff seedings and Friday night matchups ... Updates from preliminary brackets are many, including Granville Central losing home opener, seeding drops and opponent changes.
Hillside wrapped up another perfect PAC-6 4-A football season with a 57-0 thumping of Roxboro Person Friday on the road.
Reigning state champion Southern won the battle of the unbeatens Friday night, handing Orange its first loss of the season 27-23 en route to the Big Eight 3-A Conference championship and likely the No. 1 seed in the state 3-AA playoffs.
Click on live links below for complete Friday night football coverage.
Southern 27, Orange 23
Northern 34, Riverside 22
Chapel Hill 42, Cedar Ridge 30
Hillside 57, Roxboro Person 0
Northwood 31, Cardinal Gibbons 6
Granville Central 42, Northwest Halifax 0
South Granville 14, Roanoke Rapids 0 ...
Reidsville 56, Carrboro 6 ...
Northern Vance 36, Oxford Webb 19
Northern punted just once during a 48-0 win at Jordan on Friday. That particular boot was launched when Northern had reserves on offense while the mercy rule was in effect, triggered when Trevon Tapp returned the opening kickoff of the second half 87 yards for a touchdown to give the Knights a 42-0 lead.