Basketball season has almost ended for high school students here in Rutherford County. Four of the five tourney teams were eliminated last week in the playoffs. East Rutherford's Men were the only ones left coming into the week.
East Rutherford downed R-S Central without a problem in the first round, then took care of Hendersonville and Walkertown on the road. If they were to win Tuesday 3/5 at East Lincoln, then it's on to Hickory for the Western Regional Finals.
Isaiah Lathan, Christian Walker and Antonio Ledbetter have really been playing well this postseason. Lathan and Walker have three consecutive double-doubles in points and rebounds, but if they are going to beat East Lincoln, they will have to slow the pace way down or score with them.
R-S Central Men (17-10) wanted to reach the playoffs, but like I said, East Rutherford ended that. It's sad for seniors like Elijah Carson, Jacob Knox and Dee Williams. Carson could take over games at times. Knox progressed a lot over the last four seasons as a ball handler and three-point specialist. Williams did a number of little things right, but rebounding was his strong point. Considering what they lost in the previous year, the Hilltoppers managed to finish third in the conference, beat East Rutherford and Mountain Heritage once. They definitely overachieved, but that goes to show hard work and solid coaching can make a huge difference.
Thomas Jefferson (9-15) ended the year at Starmount by losing in the 1A west playoffs. They lose the heart and soul of the team in Scotty Camper who averaged over 20 points a game. Sadly, Nomi McMullens and Matthew Minder also ended high school basketball careers last week.
East Rutherford Ladies (22-4) took care of Lexington in a tough game at home in the first round, but the second round got even tougher at home. North Surry knocked off East in the second round 35-34. East loses two seniors off this team as Osha Makerson and Brooklyn Henderson's high school careers end. Makerson led the team in a lot of categories and Henderson was a mainstay from 3-point land.
R-S Central Ladies downed South Rowan in the first round 80-62 following Jada Logan's 28-point effort. However, Central (17-11) fell 62-61 after surrendering a 12-point second half lead at Wilkes Central.
Maddie Gillie and Jada Wilkins both found double-digits in scoring for both playoff games. The good news is that Central only loses two players.
Logan, who will now go to USC Upstate to play college basketball was a joy to watch. Nobody gave more than 100 percent effort than Logan did in the playoffs for Central's ladies. Logan averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in the postseason.
Molly Martin, who played an integral role off the bench also played in her final game as a Lady Hilltopper.
Baseball, Softball and Women's Soccer are now in play. You will hear about those sports as the next few weeks progress.
Is has been an uneventful last couple of weeks, the racing isn't terrible, but nothing to really inspire the auto racing world either. Drafting a little more involved even on 1.5-mile tracks, which is a positive. Right now, Penske Racing has stole the last two races as Phoenix is up this weekend. I will take Kevin Harvick for the win this weekend, but Kyle Busch nor Chase Elliott will be easy to beat.