ELIZABETHTOWN — The luck of the draw or just the way it should be? East Bladen’s Lady Eagles were given the No. 1 seed overall in the state’s Class 2-A East playoffs on Saturday and will play home games right up until the Eastern Region championship.
East Bladen was part of a trio of teams, along with Kinston and North Pitt, that had a chance at the No. 1 seed. But the 27-0 Lady Eagles got the slot in a drawing, while 25-1 Kinston took the No. 2 seed and 24-1 North Pitt got No. 3.
“We were hoping to get the No. 1 or No. 2 seed,” said East Bladen coach Patty Evers, whose team was ranked No. 1 in the state all season long by NCPreps.com.
The Lady Eagles will open the state playoffs Tuesday by hosting No. 32 St. Pauls, 9-15, a Three Rivers Conference team they defeated twice in non-conference action.
“I’m really happy with the bracket, but you really never know who could pose problems in the playoffs,” Evers said. “I told the team (Saturday) that this is what we’ve played for all season — we’re 0-0 and want to be 6-0.”
Along with Kinston and North Pitt, Evers said 23-1 Bertie is another team that stands out in the East bracket. But if there is one team that Evers wouldn’t mind seeing on her home court, it’s Kinston. The Lady Vikings upended East Bladen last season at the Eagles Nest, ending the Lady Eagles’ season at 26-1 in the third round of the playoffs.
“I’d love another shot at them at home,” said Evers.
Other area girls teams in the playoffs:
— Clinton, 22-5 and the No. 11 seed in Class 2-A, will host No. 22 North Johnston, 12-13.
— Midway, 13-11 and the No. 26 seed in Class 2-A, will travel to face No. 7 T.W. Andrews, 20-6.
— Red Springs, 17-8 and the No. 8 seed in Class 2-A, will host No. 25 East Duplin, 14-12.
— Wallace-Rose Hill, 15-8 and the No. 8 seed in Class 1-A, will host No. 25 Cape Hatteras, 11-11.
— Whiteville, 9-10 and the No. 27 seed in Class 1-A, will travel to face No. 6 Northampton, 18-3.
— South Robeson, 17-9 and the No. 16 seed in Class 1-A, will host No. 17 Ocracoke, 15-10.
— East Columbus, 19-4 and the No. 7 seed in Class 1-A, will host No. 26 Kestrel Heights, 11-11.
— Lakewood, 19-7 and the No. 10 seed in Class 1-A, will host No. 23 Perquimans, 12-13.
— Lumberton, 22-2 and the No. 4 seed in Class 4-A, will host No. 29 Jack Britt, 11-13.