ECH boys, girls in lacrosse playoffs

May. 01, 2013 @ 10:15 PM

Five area teams have qualified for the 32-team state boys’ lacrosse tournament.

The field, which includes all four attendance classifications, features a pair of area top seeds — East Chapel Hill and Jordan — which will host opening round games Friday night.

Conference 5 champion ECH (13-2) will host Conference 1 No. 3 seed Wilmington New Hanover (7-6) at 7 and Conference 4 champ Jordan (13-2) will host Conference 5 No. 2 Holly Springs (11-5) at 6:30.

Also hosting Friday openers will be Conference 5 No. 2 seed Chapel Hill (11-4), and Conference 4 No. 2 seed Riverside (10-6). Chapel Hill will host Conference 3 No. 3 Raleigh Millbrook (11-5) and Riverside will host Conference 1 No. 2 New Bern (14-3). Both games will be at 7 p.m.

The only area team that will open on the road is Conference 5 wild card entry Cedar Ridge (8-7) which will play at Conference 1 No. 3 seed Raleigh Broughton (14-2), also at 7.

Because most schools in the state do not field lacrosse programs — boys or girls — conference affiliations differ from those of other sports at the same schools, thus the “numbered” conference affiliations.

ECH GETS BYE

In the 24-team state girls’ lacrosse tournament, only one area team qualified — Conference 4 champion East Chapel Hill (12-2). The Wildcats, among the state title favorites, received a first-round bye and will host a second-round game Tuesday at 7 p.m. against the winner of Friday’s Conference 1 No. 2 seed Wilmington Ashley (11-3) vs. Conference 2 wild card Cary Panther Creek (9-6).

The Wildcats are led by high scoring midfielder Sydney Holman (92 goals, 31 assists in 14 games). Holman is a UNC recruit. Joining Holman in the scoring column is fellow midfielder Cassie Watters (27 goals, 20 assists). Watters is headed to Presbyterian in the fall. Elon signee Bailey DeMuth and star goalkeeper Reilly Johnson are other Wildcat stalwarts.

JORDAN’S BAD ‘GET’

Every high school tennis team hopes against hope to see a “wild card” entry pop up on the visitor’s line in the state dual-team tennis playoff bracket. In a watch-what-you-wish-for moment for the ages, PAC-6 4-A runner-up Jordan, a No. 2 seed in the playoffs, got just that.

And the Falcons might just wish they could pass.

In one of the seeding oddities of all time, the state’s top-ranked team, Raleigh Broughton, somehow managed to wind up in a three-way tie with No. 2-ranked Raleigh Wakefield and No. 4-ranked Raleigh Millbrook atop the Cap Eight Conference.

Under tiebreak rules, Broughton lost consecutive coin flips and wound up third, outside the top two seeds from the conference that automatically make the playoffs. Thus Broughton is a wild card entry and will remain on the road throughout the playoffs.

So, on Tuesday at 4 p.m., No. 2 Jordan will technically be the home favorite over Broughton, a wild card. Picture this in terms of March Madness — the No. 1 team in the nation gets a First Four 16th seed.

Pity the number one seed that draws that winner. So, too, feel for the No. 2 Falcons when the Caps come to town Tuesday.

TRANSFER CHANGES

The N.C. High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors voted Wednesday — and passed — a new statewide transfer policy for high school athletes that institutes a 365-day sit-out period if a post-eighth grade transfer takes place without a bona fide change of residence.

However, the board left a tractor-trailer-wide hole in the policy, stating that transfers within the same local educational agency (LEA) — basically a school district, the sort of transfer least likely to entail a “bona fide” change of residence — continue to be governed by the LEA. The exact wording: “The LEA may create criteria for immediate athletic eligibility for transfers within the LEA.”

Inter-LEA transfer eligibility would be decided by a special NCHSAA Transfer Committee.

Hillside athletic director Bobby Hill said he’d be taking a long look at the policy when he speaks to fellow athletics officials in Chapel Hill today.

“I’m reserving my opinions until I talk to my colleagues and find out what the board’s thinking was on this,” Hill said.