Can Burlington School make it three state championships in a row? First game on march to three-peat begins Saturday
By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
The Burlington School’s quest for a third consecutive state championship in boys’ basketball will begin as the No. 1 seed.
The Spartans were placed atop the Class 2-A bracket for the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association’s Class 2-A state playoffs when pairings were unveiled Sunday. They’ll receive two byes to Saturday’s third-round home game.
TBS (19-15) plays as an independent with a schedule that includes a chunk of out-of-state competition.
“We were challenging our team with the strength of schedule,” first-year coach George Marshall said Monday. “We feel prepared for challenges. It comes back to ways you challenge your team. This has been a season of transition with a new coach and a lot of new players.”
Burlington Christian Academy (16-7) is fresh off winning the Tri-TAC Conference regular-season and tournament championships. The Royals will receive a first-round bye and then play host Thursday to the winner of Tuesday’s Friendship Christian (9-13)/Rocky Mount Academy (13-8) game.
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See story on BCA conference title win from Friday night: https://alamancenews.com/bca-boys-roll-in-league-championship-game/
Thursday’s winner will go to No. 4 seed Trinity Academy (21-5) in Raleigh.
TBS awaits the survivor among the group of Carolina Day School (12-17), Statesville Christian (7-12) and Hickory Christian (12-8) for its first game of the tournament at 7:00 p.m. Saturday.
“There have been ups and downs,” Marshall said. “Last week was one of our best weeks this season overall with some of the growth of our team showing. A lot of work has gone into that.”
Much of TBS’s fate could depend on getting point guard Zion Walker healthy. He re-injured an ankle February 4 in a 52-45 overtime loss at home to Life Christian Academy of Chester, Virginia. That game included the Spartans’ shooting 12-for-31 on free throws.
Walker has missed the past three games. “He’s dying to get back out there and play,” said Marshall, pointing out that the guard has returned to practice.
The Spartans rely on Roxboro Person transfer Ty Outlaw, who had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in last week’s 72-62 victory against visiting Durham Jordan; former Eastern Alamance player Josh Randolph, who had 26 points last week against Central Carolina Prep; and Cummings transfer Kaden Hammond, who posted a team-leading 17 points in the Durham Jordan game.
TBS dropped its regular-season finale with Friday night’s 72-61 setback to New Life Christian. That snapped the Spartans’ only two-game winning streak since before Christmas.
In the girls’ bracket, The Burlington School (6-20) is home at 6:00 p.m. Thursday for a second-round game against Tuesday’s winner between Davidson Day School (6-11) and Carolina Day School (6-13). BCA’s girls (0-13) didn’t qualify for the tournament.