The N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A state girls soccer championship on Saturday between Cary Green Hope and Cornelius Hough is not the first time a national top ranking has been decided in the NCHSAA title game.
Best Blog covers the sports scene in and around Johnston County and Garner, including the Carolina Mudcats. The blog is compiled by D. Clay Best, the sports editor of The Smithfield Herald and the Garner-Clayton Record. For more updates on sports in the area, follow Clay on Twitter @dclaybest or become a fan of The Smithfield Herald or the Garner-Clayton Record on Facebook.
The N.C. High School Athletic Association stated at its most recent meetings that it would hold off on implementing the "pod system" or any other seeded format for other 64-team playoff brackets.
And for sure, there were certainly a few kinks to be worked out after an opening day of fiasco when the brackets were announced, most notably when the NCHSAA did not clearly state how it was going to select its wild-card teams. Click on that link for all that info.
But feedback on the pod system was, at least from those who have spoken to this writer, positive once the games began. First-round rematches were minimal - just 24 of 128 first-round games statewide, as my study showed.
And besides, many coaches have been chomping at the bit to have some sort of seeded playoffs.
Now, let's do the same for softball, baseball and girls soccer, and see what we find.
Wilson Beddingfield and North Johnston will play the ultimate rubber match this weekend. The two nearby schools will meet in the NCHSAA 2A prep softball eastern regional championship series, beginning Friday night in Wilson.
Beddingfield (24-3), which beat Swansboro 1-0 on Thursday night to advance to the best-of-three championship series, is the only team to beat North Johnston (26-1) this season.
Game 1 has a 7 p.m. start in Wilson on Friday, while North Johnston will host Game 2 and a potential Game 3 on Saturday. Saturday's game is set for noon with the third game following about 2:30 p.m.
Admission to each game of the series, as set by the N.C. High School Athletic Association, is $7. Admission would be charged for Game 3 as well if it is necessary on Saturday.
Wilson Beddingfield and Swansboro are still trying to get their fourth round NCHSAA 2A prep softball playoff game in. The winner advances to meet North Johnston in the eastern regional championship series this weekend.
North (26-1) has the home field advantage but, because of the issues two straight days of rain have caused in the other game and travel concerns for Swansboro, North will host Games 2 and 3 of the series on Saturday.
Here's the plan for both scenarios.
Former Clayton High football coach Glenn Nixon died Tuesday morning after battling brain cancer.
Rosters for this summer's N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star basketball game in Greensboro.
Includes Chapel Hill's Denzel Ingram, Garner's Dominique Reed and Millbrook's Shi'Chee Moore.
Robert F. Kanaby, the former executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, was in the area this week for the Durham Sports Club's annual award presentations.
Where we stand after Tuesday's edition of the second round NCHSAA Softball Playoffs. Some teams started and finished, others started but didn't finish and a couple never got started...
Perquimans (16-6) at Princeton (14-7)
Postponed until 6 p.m. on Thursday at Princeton (The winner meets Rosewood in the second round on Friday. Princeton would host if it wins Thursday.)
North Johnston 10, Eastern Randolph 0 FINAL in 5 innings
The Panthers (24-1) will host the winner between Bertie (19-2) and Bunn (11-9) in the second round on Friday.)
South Central Pitt (17-8) at South Johnston (21-5)
Postponed until 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (The winner visits Havelock (21-4) in the third round on Friday.)
Garner 2, Richmond County 1 FINAL in 9 innings
The Trojans host Fayetteville Britt (22-2) in the third round on Friday.)
West Johnston (18-5) at Purnell Swett (20-5)
Suspended after two innings with no score because of lightning and rain. The game resumes Wednesday at Purnell Swett at 5 p.m. (West goes to Wilmington Ashley (18-5) on Friday if it wins, while Swett would host Ashley if it won.)
NCHSAA boys and girls lacrosse, dual-team tennis, girls soccer, baseball and softball playoff pairings.
Brackets and locations of N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association playoffs in baseball, softball, girls soccer, 3A boys tennis, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse and track & field.