(7) Ravenscroft

Ravenscroft is one of just three teams in the triangle who have a first-round bye and will play the winner of North Raleigh Chrisitan and Charlotte Latin in round two. They’re also just one of two teams in the triangle to receive a top-eight seed. They will be the favorites regardless of who they draw, having beaten NRCA twice in the regular season, by 20 and 28 points, and having beaten Charlotte Latin by 10 in their lone matchup. Should they move to the quarterfinals they’ll play 2-seed Covenant Day. Covenant has been one of the hottest teams in the state since mid-December, finishing the year on a 17-2 run after starting 4-5, and would be the presumptive favorites in that game. Jackson Rein should be able to create some matchup problems for Covenant’s bigs as he can space the floor and attack closeouts at a quality level. Chance Gladden will be the most productive player on the floor but what it’ll ultimately come down to is if the Ravenscroft supporting cast can match up with the deep stable of Covenant guards/wings defensively.

Cary Academy

Cary Academy is one of just three teams in the triangle who have a first-round bye and will play 8-seed Charlotte Country Day in the 2nd round on Thursday night. They beat CCDS in overtime earlier this season, 63-53. The Chargers will have a severe size advantage over the Buccaneers, with both Wyatt DeGraaf (6’10”) and Aidan Rousseau (6’6″) being taller than CCDS’ biggest player (6’4″). CCDS came out white hot to start the year, moving to 10-1 before dropping the aforementioned matchup with Cary Academy and they come into this matchup on a five game losing streak. Should they win on Thursday, the Chargers will face Cannon School in Concord who is the top overall seed in 4A.

Durham Academy

Durham Academy has a favorable matchup against a young Charlotte Christian team that they beat 49-43 back in November. Charlotte Christian comes into Tuesday night on a 10 game losing streak while the Cavaliers have gone 6-6 in their last 12. DA has been remarkably consistent this year, only having one winning streak (4) and one losing streak (3) longer than two games. They’re led by a relatively young core of JJ Wilcox, Josh Dorsette, PJ Jeffries, Quin Frasher, and Amare Burrus, all of whom are either sophomores or juniors. They play a balanced and unselfish brand of basketball which allows them to avoid upsets and sneak up on better teams (evidenced most recently by their 15-point win over Cary Academy a couple of weeks ago). Should they win on Tuesday, they’ll travel to 6-seed Wesleyan Christian on Thursday for round two. Wesleyan won their regular season matchup 70-64.

North Raleigh Christian

NRCA has struggled a bit since their program-defining win over Cardinal Gibbons at the Garner MLK Showcase. They’re just 4-7 since MLK day with none of those wins coming against TISAC opponents. Despite that, there’s reason to like the Knights to pull an upset in their first-round matchup with Charlotte Latin. The Knights are one of the youngest teams in the triangle, with two freshmen carrying a heavy offensive load. Should they win their first-round matchup they’ll have 7-seed Ravenscroft on Thursday night in round two.


(6) GRACE Christian

The Eagles are one of two teams in the triangle to earn a top-eight seed and are the highest of the two, coming in as the 6-seed in 3A. They have Arendell Parrott in the first round on Tuesday in a game that they’ll be the heavy favorites in. In the second round, they’ll have a fourth rematch with conference rival Wake Christian or a matchup with the Grace Christian Sanford. Either of those teams would make for a compelling rivalry game on Thursday night. Should they make it to Saturday, they’ll visit 3-seed Concord Academy in the quarterfinals. This GRACE team is more than equipped to make a deep run as they have the talent, athleticism, and experience to beat high-level teams. They’ve only lost to great teams and have proven that they can take care of business when they need to.

Wake Christian

Wake Christian has an intriguing first-round matchup as many of the players on their roster and Grace Christian Sanford’s roster have played or currently play for Strong Center in the spring and summer seasons. This makes it one of the more interesting first round matchups in any classification, especially considering the teams are pretty evenly matched in terms of talent. Should they win on Tuesday, they’ll travel to 6-seed and conference rival GRACE Christian for a fourth contest between them. They’ve yet to beat them, the closest they came being 11 points, but anything can happen in a win or go home game.

Cary Christian

Cary Christian has arguably the best chance of making the quarterfinals of any unranked team in 3A as they have Coastal Christian in round one and then (most likely) 8-seed Cape Fear Academy in round two. They’ve already beaten Coastal Christian this year, winning 57-46 last month. The issue they’ll have is their lack of size as Coastal Christian’s big man, Aidan Davies, had 26 points in their first meeting and Cary Christian had no answer for him. On the bright side, the Knights have one of the more dynamic guards in the classification in Andrew Neal who is averaging 23.6p, 5r, 4a, & 2.5s per game this season. Should they make it to the quarterfinals, they’ll play 1-seed High Point Christian.

St. David’s

St. David’s will travel to the 336 to play 7-seed Calvary Day in round one in a game against one of the more cohesive teams in 3A. The Warriors will have the size advantage with 6’8″ Preston Copeland inside having the potential to dominate against a guard heavy Calvary team. Calvary has one of the deepest backcourts of any team St. David’s has played this year so how Cooper Berkoff, Kazim Oladipo, George Coleman, and AK Proctor handle them will go a long way in determining the outcome. If they manage to pull of the upset, they’ll play Thales Apex or SouthLake Christian in round two before meeting 2-seed Forsyth Country Day in the quarterfinals.


Trinity Academy

The Tigers are one of just three teams in the triangle to have a first-round bye and will play the winner of Liberty Christian and Fayetteville Christian in round two. They’re better than their record implies as they don’t have any bad losses and have beaten some good teams, notably Gaston Day, Harrells Christian, Cary Christian (2), & St. David’s (2). They’ll matchup with 4-seed Trinity Christian in the third round where they’ll be undersized and less experienced. Trinity Christian comes into the playoffs on a 10-game winning streak and fresh off a conference tournament championship victory. Trinity Academy will have the best guard on the floor in Kam Prince and are known to execute at a high level so while they won’t be favored, there’s no reason to think they can’t pull it out.

Trinity School of Durham & Chapel Hill

TDACH went undefeated in RAAC play and won the conference tournament, earning them a matchup with Statesville Christian in round one and (should they win) Wayne Christian in round two. This team lives and dies with their uber-productive senior, Kyren Smith. Smith is averaging 27.7p, 7.7r, 4.1a, & 1.2s per game this year and has led the Lions to a 12-2 record since New Years. If he can continue his current level of play then they have the potential to make a run up until they meet Greenfield in round three.