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League play begins in hoops, NFL playoffs underway

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High School Basketball

R-S Central (10-4) won twice this week on the men's side and could have a couple of more wins had some situational stuff not occurred late in games.

Ty Watkins, Jacob Knox and Elijah Carson continue to lead the Hilltoppers with Dee Williams and Trei Gray making headway as role players. Aaron Cuthbertson and Tyrese Miller have also been stepping up in big moments lately, so that should boost the confidence as they start league play this week. They host Shelby on Friday 1/11. They hit the road for South Point 1/18 and East Gaston 1/22.

As for the Central ladies (7-7), they got a big victory against Patton as Nikya Lynch had one of her best games of the season. As for the guys, the ladies also have three leaders in Jada Logan, Jada Wilkins and Maddie Gillie. I believe 6-4 is realistic for both the guys and gals in conference play, but not a guarantee.

East Rutherford (10-1)

I think we are about to find out how good East really is within the next couple weeks. The potential is there, but the schedule hasn't been good to them so far this season. Although, two legit wins with one coming against North Gaston and the other against Westside are proof of the ability.

The Cavs are still 8 or 9 deep with Christian Walker leading the way. Isaiah Lathan has been solid in the post as of late with Owen Chapman contributing from three-point land. Quay Logan is the motor behind the madness and Jayden Waddell may be the most athletic. They host South Point (1/11), visit Chase 1/18 and host a huge match up with Shelby on 1/22.

As for the Cavalier ladies (11-1), they maybe winning, but scoring has been a bit of a problem. Well, not Osha Makerson as of late, but they have to get more consistent as league play starts. Brooklyn Henderson with Jazmine and Jayla Twitty are stepping up at times, but with Shelby, R-S and East Gaston as threats, it won't be as easy as it was a year ago for East.

In the NFL, just eight teams remain and here is a look at the weekend games.

Eagles at Saints

Nick Foles is back at again for the Eagles, who have come alive in recent weeks. If there is a blowout this week, it stands in this game. Philly got in and beat one of the better defensive teams in the league last Sunday. I'm sorry, but I am not a believer in the Eagles this year. The Saints have too many weapons and a solid pass rush. Saints 40-20.

Cowboys at Rams

The Cowboys barely survived at home, but they have a completely different set of problems ahead with the Rams. The Rams have Gurley-man and enough wide receivers to make any defensive coordinator have nightmares. While the Cowboys have got better, they will have to score, but it won't be enough this weekend. Rams 35-20.

Chargers at Patriots

The AFC could be under upset specials. New England may be the toughest out in the postseason no matter what year it has become.

The Pats haven't lost at home all year. I really want to pick San Diego and they could since they play extremely well at home. Patriots 30-20.

Colts at Chiefs

The Colts are running the football well and playing just as well defensively as anyone left in the playoffs. I know the Chiefs have fallen a number of times in the postseason at home in the past. However, the Chiefs are healthy and boost a huge home field advantage. I could see the upset happening, but I have to go Chiefs 31-28.

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