NCHSAA 2-A State Championship
T. Wingate Andrews High School vs. Bandys High School
Reynolds Coliseum - Noon
Overall Record: 24-5
Head Coach: John Shearin
T.W. Andrews is making their first trip to the NCHSAA women's basketball game, coming in as a seven seed in the tournament. The Red Raiders have been able to put it all together at the right time, defeating Kinston in the regionals and Reidsville in the regional finals 54-31. They are led by Imani Watkins, who has been averaging 12.8 point per game for the Red Raiders. However, the Red Raiders also have October Campbell (12.3 ppg) and Brie Grier (11.0 ppg) to provide a balanced attack on the floor.
Starters: Brie Grier (Sr.), Mariah Sanders (Soph.), Destiny Timberlake (Soph.), Shamisha Farabee (Sr.), Imani Watkins (Sr.)
Overall Record: 31-0
Conference: Southern District Seven
Head Coach: Kyle Moretz
Bandys has been a dominate team all year long, coming in undefeated on the season. They have been in the championship game six previous times but this will be the first since 1994. Bandys continues their tradition this year, as they have made an appearance 19 times in the regionals. The Trojans are coming off a close encounter with Franklin, where they were able to defeat them 71-65 in double overtime. The Trojans finished ranked #1 in the NCPreps poll. They are led by Bandys all-time leading scorer Madi Story, who has been averaging 16.9 point per game. But, they have several others such as Antaijah Easter (16.1 ppg), Haleigh Lackey (12.8 ppg), and Sarah Goble (12.2 ppg), creating a dynamic offense on the floor for Bandys.
Starters: Rachel Hendershott (Sr.), Haleigh Lackey (Jr.), Antaijah Easter (Sr.), Sara Goble (Jr.), Madi Story (Sr.)
Kinston High School vs. North Rowan High School
Reynolds Coliseum - 2:30pm
Overall Record: 25-4
Conference: Eastern Carolina
Head Coach: Perry Tyndall
It is no surprise to see the Vikings here again in the championship game, as they will be going for their third in a row, after taking down Cuthbertson the last two times for the title. This is their 20th time being in the championship game and their sixth time in eight seasons. The Vikings, who come in as the #3 ranked team by NCPreps, took down Northside for the Eastern Regional crown 69-58. They will be led by one of the top juniors in the nation Brandon Ingram, who has been averaging 19.6 point per game and 9.0 rebounds, while shooting almost 53 percent from the floor. The Vikings also have Darnell Dunn, who made the all-regional team, and Andrew Lopez, who has been averaging 11.4 points and 2.5 assists per game.
Starters: Brandon Ingram (Jr.), Qwarri Ham (Sr.), Andrew Lopez (Sr.), Mykel Hart (Jr.), Darnell Dunn (Jr.)
Overall Record: 22-5
Conference: Central Carolina
Head Coach: Andrew Mitchell
The Cavaliers will be making their third trip to the championship game, coming in with a 2-0 record in the previous games (1986 and 2011). North Rowan were able to get the narrow win over previously unbeaten Smoky Mountain to earn the Western Title, 58-56. The Cavaliers, who were ranked #10 in the final NCPreps poll, are led by Michael Bowman, who scored 19 points against Shelby and was named MVP. Michael Conner has been averaging 16.7 points per game this season for the Cavaliers, while Jalen Sanders is another name to remember, as he has been consistent throughout the season.
Starters: Jalen Sanders (Soph.), Kenyon Tatum (Sr.), Michael Connor Jr. (Sr.), Michael Bowman (Sr.), Dalton Nelson (Sr.)