The playoffs continue as we now head into the third round of games. There are PLENTY of interesting matchups to watch here, as we get into the really exciting part of the NCHSAA playoffs. We break down the matchups and what to watch for.


1 Farmville Central vs. 9 Southwest Onslow
21 Southeast Alamance vs. 4 Northwood
14 Fairmont vs. 6 Heide Trask
7 Hertford County vs. 2 Goldsboro
1 Reidsville vs. 8 Shelby
12 West Stokes vs. 4 Pine Lake Prep
3 Newton-Conover vs. 6 Randleman
23 Bandys vs. 2 Salisbury

Must-See Games

7 Hertford County vs. 2 Goldsboro

An interesting matchup to watch out for. Goldsboro continues to prove that they are one of the top teams in the 2A but has faced some battles. Hertford County has been playing extremely well on both sides of the ball. Both teams should be able to showcase their offense, as this could be a very tight game with how these two teams are playing.

12 West Stokes vs. 4 Pine Lake Prep

Pine Lake Prep made a statement in the second round against Walkertown but now gets a tough test at home against West Stokes. If you are looking for a fun matchup to watch, Robert Magner vs. Cam Edmonds could be one to watch as they both lead the way and can be strong offensive weapons.

3 Newton-Conover vs. 6 Randleman

If you are looking for another tight game in the 2A Division, I would have my eyes on Newton-Conover welcoming in Randleman. These two teams are very similar statistically and have strong weapons at their disposal. Javier Lineberger continues to lead the way for Newton-Conover, but Tyshaun Goldston is looking to make a statement on the road.

Players to Watch

2025 Sherrod Henderson (Heide Trask): Henderson has been a huge part to his team’s success this year, and has been playing strong in the playoffs. The 6’3 prospect plays bigger than listed and is racking up the double-doubles, coming off an impressive 19pts, 13rebs showing. An underrated prospect who will need to continue to play at a high level for his team to make an even deeper run.

2024 Keveon Rodgers (Hertford County): Hertford has been playing at a high level, and though Rimiez Williams has been the leader offensively, Rodgers is one that I would have my eyes on. Last outing, nearly finished with a triple-double, and if he can continue to be a force offensively and impact the game in other ways, he gives his team a chance on the road.

2025 Tyshaun Goldston (Randleman): We spoke about Goldston above and he has been playing at an extremely high level towards the end of the season. If Randleman wants to have a chance at securing a road victory, Goldston is going to have to play at a high level again, showing his athleticism, physicality, and overall impact.

The first round of games is complete, and several teams continue their season while others unfortunately came to an end. There were several tight games in the first round and now we take a look at the second-round games, with quite a few topics to look at.


1 Farmville Central vs. 17 Northeastern
8 East Carteret vs. 9 SW Onslow
5 South Granville vs. 21 SE Alamance
13 North Johnston vs. 4 Northwood
3 West Bladen vs. 14 Fairmont
6 Heide Trask vs. 11 Martin Co.
7 Hertford Co. vs. 10 Franklin Academy
15 Washington vs. 2 Goldsboro

1 Reidsville vs. 16 Lincolnton
8 Shelby vs. 9 Monroe
5 Patton vs. 12 West Stokes
13 Walkerton vs. Pine Lake Prep
3 Newton-Conover vs. 19 Trinity
6 Randleman vs. 22 East Gaston
7 North Surry vs. 23 Bandys
15 Lincoln Charter vs. 2 Salisbury

Most Interesting Games to Watch

3 West Bladen vs. 14 Fairmont

Interesting matchup to look out for, as both teams have been really strong on the season and these two split their matchups this season with Fairmont taking the last game. Now, they meet up again for the third time. Fairmont brings a balanced attack offensively, with Landon Cummings and Issac McKellar leading the way and Josiah Billings attacking the boards. But they will have to slow down Chase Williams, a strong physical forward who can be an absolute force.

15 Washington vs. 2 Goldsboro

Two premier programs here in North Carolina met once back in January with Goldsboro taking the narrow win 68-62. Both teams bring strong weapons to the court with Amari Latham doing it all for Goldsboro and having a huge year, but Chaise Smith and company have a ton of offensive firepower to take home the win. Should be a fun one to watch.

1 Reidsville vs. 16 Lincolnton

Reidsville certainly has the looks of making another championship run, as they have been impressive throughout and they have one of the best duos in the country in Dionte Neal and Kendre Harrison. But I’m eager to see what 2027 LJ Smith, who leads the state in scoring at 32ppg, can do against this powerhouse. 

13 Walkertown vs. 4 Pine Lake Prep

Pine Lake Prep has had a strong season overall and they are led by experienced seniors, including 2024 Robert Magner who scores, rebounds, and facilitates.  This is a team that certainly has the talent to make noise; they are a high IQ, team-first mentality type of team. But 2024 Jaylen Wilkerson and Walkertown is a very dangerous team that can score, bring balance, and is strong on the boards. This is a toss-up type of game.

Players to Watch:

2024 Shamel Baker (East Carteret): The guard has been consistent throughout his career, and he is having yet another big season in which he is averaging 25.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 5.6apg, and 3.3spg.  He is the clear leader for this team and will have to play at a high level in an intense matchup.  He would love nothing more than to continue his season as a senior.

2025 Marcel Freeman (North Johnston): North Johnston will have their hands full when going up against Drake Powell and company at Northwood on the road.  They will be facing an uphill battle, but if they have any chance of knocking them off, Freeman will need to have a huge game much like he has had all season long (25.8ppg).

2024 Myron Mckoy (Heide Trask): The senior guard is looking to make another statement and lead his team to the third round.  This is a 5’9 guard who can be an offensive weapon (20.3ppg) but also plays much bigger than listed, making an impact on both the offensive end and defensive end. Scrappy, do-it-all guard who hopes to lead the way against Martin County.

2027 LJ Smith (Lincolnton): We spoke about Smith above, and though Lincolnton will have their hands full against Reidsville on the road, this will be a HIGHLY interesting matchup for the scoring freshman. Averaging 32ppg this season, what will he be able to do and will he be able to find success?