Four teams from county advance to playoffs

Two boys’ teams, two girls’ vie for state title

The regular season and conference tournaments are over, meaning the one-and-done playoff season has begun for North Carolina high schools.

Two of Moore County’s three boys’ teams, and two of the three girls’ teams will be in action this week after receiving bids from the NCHSAA. Each school in the county has at least one team representing it as teams around North Carolina begin vying for the state title.

Here’s a team by team look at the county boys’ and girls’ teams.


North Moore saw its season end with a 80-35 loss to Northwood in the Mid-Carolina Conference Tournament The Mustangs finished 6-17, 2-14 in conference play, which put them in eighth place.

The Mustangs lost their last five games of the season and didn’t receive a playoff bid. Junior Colby Pennington scored 21 of the team’s 35 points in the final game, pulling down 7 offensive rebounds. He finished the year as North Moore’s leading scorer and rebounder.

Union Pines also lost in its conference tournament to fall for the fifth straight game However, the Vikings will get a chance to snap the skid this season, as they received a bid to the NCHSAA playoffs.

Union Pines fell to Southern Lee, 72-51 to drop to 10-14 on the year, 2-10 and eighth place in the Sandhills Conference. Kingsley Donaldson scored 14 and Trent Hilburn 12 in the loss.

Now, the Vikings will have a tough challenge in the 3A state playoffs. They received a 32-seed and will open against the top-seeded Swansboro Pirates, who are 25-1 on the year.

Pinecrest went 1-1 in its conference tournament to head into the playoffs at 13-10, 7-7 in the Sandhills. The fourth-place Patriots beat Scotland, 74-46, then fell to Richmond, 85-73. They’ll open as the 22-seed in the 4A playoffs, against No. 11 Laney.


Pinecrest closed its season with a loss to Lee County in the conference tournament, 59-43. The Patriots were 7-16, 5-7 in the Sandhills, which put them in fifth place. With two season-closing losses and four in the last five games, Pinecrest was not selected for the state tournament. Aniya McGregor had 12 points, 5 rebounds and 7 steals in the season-ending loss.

North Moore lost three straight games and six of its last seven, but the Mustangs will get a chance to continue their season in the 1A playoffs. North Moore lost to Northwood, 65-18 in the conference tournament to fall to 8-16, 3-14 in the Mid Carolina Conference, which puts it in eighth place. The Mustangs received a 30-seed and will face No. 3 East Columbus and its 21-1 record to open their 1A run.

Union Pines split two games in the conference tournament to enter the playoffs at 14-11, 7-5 and third place in the Sandhills. The Vikings beat Hoke County, 52-34, then fell to Scotland, 49-34. Now, Union Pines heads to the 3A bracket with the 28-seed. The Vikings will face No. 5 Franklinton, who is 23-1.

By North State Journal Staff

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