Three outstanding players with strong supporting casts lead their respective teams into the second round of the NCHSAA basketball playoffs tonight.
The Overhills boys (20-6), seeded seventh in the East 4-A, host No. 10 Knightdale (18-7) at 7 p.m. The Jaguars feature junior guard Zavian McLean, who is averaging 23.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.5 steals.
Overhills had a first-round bye while the Knights advanced with a 60-42 win over Pine Forest, a common opponent.
The Jaguars downed the Trojans 83-54 at Pine Forest on Jan. 8 as McLean had 29 points. The second meeting was closer with McLean scoring 24 in a 75-68 win at Overhills on Feb. 9.
HC banks on Banks
Senior guard Maliah Banks is averaging 16.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 4.7 steals for the Harnett Central girls (21-4), who visit Eastern Guilford (23-3) for a 6 p.m. tipoff tonight.
The Lady Trojans, the No. 15 seed in the East 3-A, played at home in the first round and got past West Brunswick, 54-47, as Banks had 28 points on 10 of 21 field goal shooting, including two of six beyond the arc and six of 11 at the line.
Eastern Guilford, the No. 2 seed, put a 64-21 whipping on West Johnston on Tuesday night. Central beat the Wildcats, 57-28, at home on Dec. 1 and took a 52-44 win at West on Dec. 8.
Defense produces offense for the Lady Trojans when they are playing at peak efficiency.
Midway girls at East Bladen
Midway’s girls (23-2), No. 12 in the East 2-A, visit former Four County 2-A/1-A Conference foe East Bladen (26-1), the No. 5 seed, tonight at 6 p.m.
Senior guard Leah Williams leads the Lady Raiders with 20.9 points per game, 4.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 4.0 steals. J.J. Sankey is averaging 13.9 points and 4.5 steals for Midway.
East Bladen’s lone loss was at Red Springs, 43-35, on Dec. 8. The Eagles subsequently avenged the setback, 48-32, at home on Jan. 19.