League tournaments last shot for some

Southern Carolina, Rocky River begin play Monday
Feb. 16, 2013 @ 04:37 PM

Nearly 300 Union County boys and girls basketball players begin play in their conference tournaments this week.

The Rocky River Conference opens Monday with four girls games at Monroe High, and the Southern Carolina Conference tourney plays at the higher before starting the semifinal rounds at Sun Valley on Wednesday. The next loss is their last for most of the teams with losing records.

The championship games are Friday, and then it's on to the state playoffs.

The hunted

The girls teams at Porter Ridge (20-3) and Monroe (21-1) both went undefeated in conference play.

The Pirates and Redhawks split their two meetings, and have a combined record of 23-0 against the rest of Union County.

Cuthbertson's boys are 30-1 in Rocky River Conference action since the start of the 2011-12 season (including last year's tournament).

The rest of the league would love to knock the Cavs out of the RRC tourney, but it's hard to imagine that happening if Friday's 35-point win over Piedmont is any indication — Monroe has the best shot.

Watch out for ...

... Monroe's boys split with Cuthbertson in the regular season, and the two could meet again in the finals. The Redhawks aren't as long as the Cavs, but compensate with their quickness.

... Forest Hills gave Monroe's girls the most trouble in the regular season, losing twice to the Redhawks by an average of six points.

... Porter Ridge's greatest challenge is beating Weddington three times in less than a month. The 4A Pirates won at their place by six, and the second meeting was decided by three (51-48). The 3A Warriors are 19-5, and four of their losses are to 4A schools.

Noteworthy finish

Parkwood's boys finished the regular season with a flurry.

The Rebels were 0-8 in the Southern Carolina Conference before beating Weddington and Anson by a combined three points last week.

It would have been easy for Parkwood's players to pack it in and ride out the season. Frankly, most athletes would have in their situation.

Instead, the Rebels enter the SCC tournament as a dangerous team playing their best basketball of the season.

It would be easy to look at Parkwood's 3-19 record and say first-year coach Jeff Lafave isn't doing a good job, but that would be flat wrong.

The youthful Rebels have stayed with it and made significant progress. Their wins over Weddington and Anson are the reward.

Lafave isn't doing a good job, he's doing a great job. He knows the game, and isn't afraid to look his players in the eyes and tell them what they're doing wrong.

Given time, I expect Lafave to whip the program back into shape.

Rocky River Conference Tournament

(at Monroe High)


Girls first round

No. 4 North Stanly vs. No. 5 Piedmont, 4 p.m.

No. 3 Forest Hills vs. No. 6 Central Academy, 5:30 p.m.

No. 1 Monroe vs. No. 8 Union Academy, 7 p.m.

No. 2 Cuthbertson vs. No. 7 West Stanly, 8:30 p.m.


Boys first round

No. 4 Forest Hills vs. No. 5 West Stanly, 4 p.m.

No. 3 Monroe vs. No. 6 Central Academy, 5:30 p.m.

No. 1 Cuthbertson vs. No. 8 Union Academy, 7 p.m.

No. 2 Piedmont vs. No. 7 North Stanly, 8:30 p.m.


Girls semifinals

Monroe/UA winner vs. Piedmont/NS winner, 6 p.m.

CHS/W. Stanly winner vs. FH/CATA winner, 7:30 p.m.


Boys semifinals

CHS/UA winner vs. FH/W. Stanly winner, 6 p.m.

Piedmont/NS winner vs. Monroe/CATA winner, 7:30 p.m.


Girls championship, 6 p.m.

Boys championship, 7:30 p.m.

Southern Carolina Conference Tournament


First round (at higher seed)


No. 6 Sun Valley at No. 3 Parkwood, 6 p.m.

No. 5 Marvin Ridge at No. 4 Anson County, 6 p.m.


No. 6 Parkwood at No. 3 Weddington, 7 p.m.

No. 5 Porter Ridge at No. 4 Anson County, 7:30 p.m.


Semifinals (at Sun Valley High)

No. 1 Porter Ridge girls vs. Anson/MR winner, 6 p.m.

No. 1 Marvin Ridge boys vs. Anson/PR winner, 7:30 p.m.


Semifinals (at Sun Valley)

No. 2 Weddington girls vs. Parkwood/SV winner, 6 p.m.

No. 2 Sun Valley boys vs. WHS/Parkwood winner, 7:30 p.m.


(at Sun Valley)

Girls championship, 6 p.m.

Boys championship, 7:30 p.m.