LUMBERTON — Seven basketball teams from Robeson County will play in the first round of the state playoffs Monday night, continuing their seasons in hopes of reaching regional play in Fayetteville.
Three Rivers champion Fairmont (17-5) is the fifth overall seed in the 2A East and hosts East Bladen (13-10) in defense of their regional berth. Should the Golden Tornadoes stamp their ticket again, they’ll have to beat the winner of Holmes-North Pitt on Wednesday night before a third-round battle with Kinston or potentially Red Springs.
Kinston, led by five-star 2015 forward Brandon Ingram, won a state title last season and ousted Fairmont one game short of the championship.
Glenn Patterson’s Red Devils (17-6) managed a No. 12 seed and welcome Franklinton (14-8) in the first round. Red Springs is expected to be without shooting guard Jaqwan McLaurin who broke his hand in Friday’s win over St. Pauls.
“That’s a big loss for us because he has really stepped it up at both ends of the floor,” Patterson said. “We’ll probably have to bring up one of our junior varsity kids to fill that spot.”
Lumberton’s boys, after winning three straight games to get in, will play at Garner.
Fresh off his 400th career win, Danny Graham and Lumberton’s girls (15-8) will make the short trip to region rival South View in the first round. Red Springs (12-11) garnered the area’s highest girls seed at No. 9 and play host to Carrboro Monday night.
As a wild-card invite, St. Pauls (10-13) was the last team selected in the 2A girls bracket and travels to unbeaten and top-seeded Reidsville. South Robeson travels to Winston-Salem Prep.
Reach Brad Crawford at 910-272-6111 or on Twitter @MrPalmettoSDS.