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Two long H.S. basketball playoff streaks end, but county strength intact

Two long H.S. basketball playoff streaks end, but county strength intact

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The trimmed version of this year’s NCHSAA state basketball playoffs meant only three Burke County teams qualified for the postseason, ending some notable streaks.

The Freedom boys and East Burke girls had their streak of playoff seasons snapped at 14 apiece, both having qualified each year from 2007-20 dating back to near the end of their time at the 4A classification.

Those two programs have made a combined 11 regional appearances in that span, all since 2012. The Freedom boys in 48 seasons all-time have finished below .500 just twice, and on just one of those occasions, were more than two games below .500.

The Draughn boys’ streak of playoff seasons also ends, for the Wildcats at a program-record four.

If the playoffs were set up as in a normal season in 2021, the six county teams that finished above .500 each would likely have earned spots, headlined by undefeated seasons from the Freedom girls (their second straight) and the Patton boys.

The Draughn girls were on the cusp of a bid until the season’s final day but lost a three-way draw for one spot.

The Freedom and EB boys both got only 14 games combined and never got to see what might have come of the second half of a conference season.

The two county teams that failed to get to .500 even finished hot. The EB girls won their last two, including a 41-point turnaround from an earlier loss to the same opponent, and the Draughn boys won three of their last four and four of their last six.

Paul Schenkel is the sports editor for The News Herald. He can be reached at pschenkel@morganton.com.

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