After a shortened regular season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, three Union County boys basketball teams will represent the area in the postseason.
At the 3A level, Weddington earned the No. 2 overall seed in the west region classification after going 13-0 in the regular season. Head coach Gary Ellington’s team will open up the 3A tournament with a home game against Hunter Huss on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m.
The Warriors were the top scoring team in the Southern Carolina Conference in 2021, averaging 70.1 points per game while allowing 37.3 per game.
The Warriors have three players currently averaging over 10 points per game. Junior A.J. Cook leads the way at 13.8 points per game while shooting 43.8% from 3-point range this season. Fellow junior Chase Lowe averages 13.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game, while senior Brock Bowen averages 11.1 points per game.
Hunter Huss went 9-4 in the regular season and is led by sophomore Jameen More, who has averaged 19.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. The winner of this game will play the winner of Central Cabarrus and Kings Mountain on Thursday night.
Qualifying for the 3A tournament thanks to a an-large bid is Monroe, which earned the No. 16 spot in the west region and will play No. 1 seed West Rowan on the road Tuesday night. The Falcons went 13-1 in the regular season and are among the top scoring teams in the state, averaging 78.7 points per game.
Monroe, meanwhile, enters the 3A state playoffs at 9-3 overall. The Redhawks losses this season have come to Weddington and Charlotte Catholic (twice), both of which are in the 3A tournament. Head coach Johnny Sowell’s team was led in the regular season by junior Shaleak Knotts, who averaged 16.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Sophomore Khamoni Robinson (10.5 ppg) is also averaging double-figures.
If Monroe wins Tuesday, it will play the winner of A.C. Reynolds and Cox Mill on the road Thursday night.
Forest Hills earned an at-large bid into the tournament after finishing the regular season 10-2. The Yellow Jackets were tied with West Stanly for the top spot in the Rocky River Conference earlier this week, but head coach Matt Sides’ team dropped the tie-breaker game with the Colts, 63-54, on Friday.
Forest Hills is the No. 15 seed in the 2A west region and will face No. 2 seed R-S Central High (Rutherfordton) in the first round Tuesday night. The Hilltoppers went 12-1 in the regular season and enter the state playoffs on an 11-game winning streak. R-S Central has four players averaging at least 10 points per game, and all are juniors. Leading the way is junior Tyrese Miller, who is averaging 15.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game this season.
The Yellow Jackets are looking to advance to at least the regional finals for the fifth straight season. Last year, Forest Hills started the season 29-0 before falling to Shelby in the west regional final.
If the Yellow Jackets win, they’ll play the winner of Patton and Shelby on the road in the second round.