Wildcats to play at noon Saturday in Raleigh in basketball title game

Eastern Randolph hopes to add state-championship hardware to the West Region prize claimed Saturday. (PJ Ward-Brown/Randolph Record)

RAMSEUR – Eastern Randolph’s bid for its first state championship in boys’ basketball comes in the Class 1-A final at noon Saturday at Reynolds Coliseum on the North Carolina State campus in Raleigh.

The Wildcats (29-2) meet East Region champion Wilson Prep (26-7) in the title game.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced game times and sites for the eight championship games – four for boys and four for girls – on Sunday afternoon.

Eastern Randolph is coming off two comeback victories, winning Tuesday night at South Stokes in the regional semifinal and then Saturday afternoon’s West Region final with a 21-point second-half rally for a 62-59 decision against Bishop McGuinness at Morganton Freedom.

Wilson Prep, a 63-57 winner against Bertie in the East Region final, will meet Eastern Randolph for the first time.

Wilson Prep will be going for its second state title in three years. The Tigers won the Class 1-A championship in 2021 by defeating Lincoln Charter 65-58 in a game at Providence Grove to conclude the pandemic-altered season.

That was the only previous appearance in a state final for Wilson Prep. Anthony Atkinson Jr. remains as the team’s coach, while Johnny Thomas is in his first season with Eastern Randolph.

The Eastern Randolph/Wilson Prep matchup is the first of four games at Reynolds Coliseum, followed by the Rocky Mount/West Rowan (Class 3-A girls), Chatham Charter/Bishop McGuinness (Class 1-A girls) and Northwood/Central Cabarrus (Class 3-A boys).

At the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, the slate looks like this: Panther Creek/Lake Norman (Class 4-A girls) at noon, followed by Farmville Central/Reidsville (Class 2-A boys), Seaforth-Salisbury (Class 2-A girls) and Richmond Senior/Myers Park (Class 4-A boys).

By Bob Sutton