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.

Matchups

1 New Hanover vs. 24 Sanderson
12 Panther Creek vs. 4 Millbrook
3 Green Level vs. 6 Garner
7 Cardinal Gibbons vs. 2 Richmond
1 Myers Park vs. 9 Independence
5 North Meck vs. 4 Mount Tabor
3 Weddington vs. 11 Chambers
7 Grimsley vs. 2 Lake Norman

Must-See Games:

3 Weddington vs. 11 Chambers

I think this is a very interesting matchup to watch, as both teams bring a strong force to the floor. Chambers has the talent to go on the road and secure a win, as Maurio Hanson continues to be a focal point down in the paint, while Markus Kerr and Tarris Bouie hope to step up big-time on the road. But they will have to find a way to slow down the duo of Grant Hamilton and KJ Younger, along with a coaching staff that knows what it takes to win. It will be a hostile crowd, and we will see if Chambers can pull off an impressive road victory or Weddington continues through the playoffs.

7 Grimsley vs. 2 Lake Norman

Two physical teams that have plenty of power and playmakers, these are two teams that have the firepower to secure a victory. Grimsley will have to figure out how to slow down Lake Norman offensively, both inside and out as they average nearly 76 points per game and is dangerous at home. Lake Norman has a balanced scoring impact and depth, but Grimsley has players like Nick Keith and Richard Goods that have the talent to go on the road and win.

12 Panther Creek vs. 4 Millbrook

Out east, this is the matchup that I would have my eyes on because I do believe that this is a “toss-up” type of game. Both teams are strong, both teams have depth and strong guards, both teams can score the ball offensively, and they really match up well statistically. Colt Langdon has continued to play at a high level and Panther Creek will have to find a way to slow him down. Panther Creek though has proven that they can go on the road and make noise.

Player Matchups to Watch:

Richard Goods (Grimsley) vs. Trent Steinour (Lake Norman)

Goods is a physical and dominant figure down in the paint that is putting up impressive numbers in the paint and on the boards. He can be a physically dominant presence but will have his hands full against one of the top big men in the state in Trent Steinour. Steinour brings size and length, and has incredible skill to be a load both offensively and defensively. I believe this is the matchup that could determine the outcome in this game.

Isaiah Evans (North Meck) vs. Shamarius Peterkin (Mount Tabor)

This is another matchup that I can’t wait to see. Isaiah Evans is Isaiah Evans; he is a prolific scorer from all levels and uses his length really well to finish at the rim, rise over defenders, and plays with a ton of confidence. Peterkin is a long, explosive, athletic guard that has been putting on a show this season, and seems to be hitting his mark at the right time. This is an intense matchup that is worth the ticket.


The first round of games are completed and several teams continue their season as 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.

Matchups

1 New Hanover vs. 17 Knightdale
8 Lumberton vs. 24 Sanderson
5 Chapel Hill vs. 12 Panther Creek
13 Clayton vs. 4 Millbrook
3 Green Level vs. 14 Wakefield
6 Garner vs. 11 Laney
7 Cardinal Gibbons vs. 10 Overhills
15 Riverside-Durham vs. 2 Richmond

1 Myers Park vs. 16 Ardrey Kell
8 Watauga vs. 9 Independence
5 North Meck vs. 12 South Meck
20 Mooresville vs. 4 Mount Tabor
3 Weddington vs. 19 Butler
27 Marvin Ridge vs. 11 Chambers
7 Grimsley vs. 10 Davie
15 East Forsyth vs. 2 Lake Norman

Most Interesting Games to Watch

5 Chapel Hill vs. 12 Panther Creek

These two teams have had tremendous seasons, and have proven themselves tough outings.  Well, one of them will be going home after this game. Panther Creek, the No. 12 seed, has proven to be a team that can make a run, as they excel offensively in averaging 72ppg. They have a good balance inside and out while having strong guard play. But Chapel Hill is a tough defensive team led by their leader David Mirikwe. This should be a fun one to watch.

13 Clayton vs. 4 Millbrook

Millbrook, led by one of the top players in the state in 2025 Colt Langdon, have tested themselves all season long as they prepared for a run at a title. They can hurt you in a variety of ways, have pesky guards, and once again a leader in Langdon. But Clayton is an intriguing team that has their own weapons, as Justice Mitchell has led the way averaging a double-double but they also have Liberty commit Andrew Grimes.  Could they make a statement on the road?

6 Garner vs. 11 Laney

Both of these teams have been racking up wins this season and have proven to be tough outings.  Garner has weapons at their disposal with players like 2025 Cam’ren Reyes, 2024 Tayshaun Whitner, and several others, as they have proven they can be a tough offensive team on the court. But Laney is one of those teams that has proven themselves all year long, but many aren’t talking about them. They hope to open some eyes on the road, as they are 8-1 in true road games this season. Sneaky game to watch out for.

7 Grimsley vs. 10 Davie

This may be the most interesting matchup throughout the second round in the 4A Division because this is a toss-up in my mind between two very good teams that have a chance to make a run. Their stats are nearly equal, they both have strong presences down low in Richard Goods and Jackson Powers, and they have guards that can produce.  The two teams have a lot of similarities in a lot of ways, but one will be heading home after this matchup.

Players to Watch:

2024 Tyler Showalter (Butler): If Butler wants to pull the upset on the road, Showalter is going to have to have one of his best games of the year. Averaging 22.3ppg and 9.0rpg, Showalter has the size that can allow him to operate from multiple levels.  Butler will need everything from him against Weddington.

2025 Jaiden Shephard (Lumberton): Not many people may be talking about Shephard but when you dive into his season, he has been quite impressive averaging 13.0ppg, 14.0rpg, 3.0apg, 2.3spg, and 1.4bpg to help lead his team. His team had a fight in the first round and now takes on a tough, scrappy Sanderson that took down New Bern in the first round.

2025 Justice Mitchell and 2025 Andrew Grimes (Clayton): This is an underrated duo here in North Carolina that I believe more people should be watching. They bring size and a big duo that is nearly averaging 40ppg combined and can be strong on the boards. Both will have their hands full against Millbrook, but if they play at a high level, watch out for Clayton.