By David Rogers. BOONE, N.C. — As luck would have it, the No. 3 seeded Watauga men’s basketball will get another shot at No. 6 seeded Hibriten, in Lentz Eggers Gym on Tuesday, Feb. 14, with tipoff at 6:30 p.m. in the first round of the Northwestern Conference tournament. The winner advances to the semifinal round against the No. 2 seed, Alexander Central, based on results from regular season play.
Watauga (12-12 overall, 5-5 NWC) split with the Panthers in the regular season, winning 70-63 at home on Jan. 12 and losing, 62-51 in Lenoir on Feb. 3, in what turned into a controversial foul fest (56 fouls called, 71 free throws, 5 players fouling out).
In the upper bracket of the men’s conference tourney, No. 4 South Caldwell takes on No. 5 seed Ashe County on Feb. 14 in Hudson, with the winner advancing to face Freedom on Feb. 16 in the semifinals.
All semifinal and final games (men and women) will be played at Freedom, the semis on Feb. 16 and the finals on Feb. 17.
Watauga WBB earns bye into semifinals
In the women’s tournament, by virtue of its tying for a share of the regular season championship title and a No. 2 seed, Watauga earned a bye into the semifinals and awaits the first round winner on Feb. 14 between No. 3 Ashe County and No. 6 South Caldwell. The Watauga semifinal will be played at Freedom, on Feb. 16, at 4 p.m.
In the upper half of the women’s bracket, on Feb. 16, No. 1 Hibriten will play the Feb. 14 tilt between No. 4 Alexander Central and No. 5 Freedom. As with the men’s semis and finals, the women’s semifinals and championship games will be played on Feb. 16 and Feb. 17, in Morganton.