Update: Game start will be at 6 pm
By Richard Taylor
The Ocracoke boys varsity basketball team, regular season Atlantic 5 Champions, will host Chatham Central Tuesday at 6 p.m., in the first round of the East bracket of the state high school playoffs.
The Dolphins heart-breaking 75-73 double-overtime loss to the Bear Grass Bears in last week’s conference tournament in Columbia has no effect on the state playoff seedings. Conference tournaments do not count in the state rankings, which were released Sunday by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association in Chapel Hill.
The Dolphins are seeded ninth in the East 1A bracket. Chatham Central, of Bear Creek in southwestern Chatham County, is seeded 24th in the East 1A.
The Dolphins, ranked 485th in the state, finished their season with a 15-9 overall and 11-2 Atlantic 5 Conference record. As the only public school in their conference, Chatham Central finished third in the Central Tar Heel conference with a 13-9 overall and 11-3 conference record. The Bears are ranked 383rd in the state.
Dolphins Coach David Allewalt, on Peter Vankevich’s Friday WOVV radio show “What’s Happening on Ocracoke,” said the Dolphins had put last week’s loss to Bear Grass behind them and are ready to play anybody in the post-season.
“If we play a team from far away, then we’ll have an advantage due to their long (bus and ferry) ride to get here, in addition to our home court advantage,” he said.
Allewalt and Ocracoke Athletic Director Adam Burleson spent Sunday afternoon watching a YouTube video of Chatham Central’s 66-64 triple-overtime win over Chatham Charter on Feb. 5.
“From the one game I saw they have a really nice packed in zone,” Burleson said Monday. “I’m hoping our guys can hit from the outside and open it up for Cole (Gilbert) and Perry (Austin) from the inside. If we can control the ball and hit the boards, then I think we have a good shot at it.”
The Cape Hatteras Hurricanes won the other two conference tournament games. The Girls’ varsity won convincingly beating Bear Grass 59-15. They will play the Pender Patriots, Burgaw County Tuesday in the first round of the state playoffs. The boys’ JV also won their tournament with a 37-33 wins against Bear Grass which concluded their successful season, (15-8 overall and 11-1 in conference play.
Last year’s conference tournament champion Dolphins won their first round state playoff game, defeating Union High of Rose Hill 68-57, before a large, enthusiastic home crowd. In last year’s second round, Ocracoke lost 57-44 to East Carteret in Beaufort. The Mariners are seeded 29th in the East this year, having lost many players from last year’s team.
Bill Cole, “the Voice of the Dolphins,” will call Tuesday’s game on WOVV, 90.1FM and wovv.rocks, at 6p.m.