It’s crunch time in TRC basketball

Fairmont’s boys visiting Red Springs highlights Friday night Three Rivers Conference action. A Fairmont win would virtually assure, barring three consecutive upsets next week, the GoldenTornadoes another Three Rivers Boys title. Shiquan Conyers and the South Columbus Stallions took some of the luster off tonight’s match up by defeating Red Springs 51-49 Wednesday night. Conyers scored 28 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out seven assists. Confers was a remarkable 18 of 21 from the free throw line in the game.

Another contest that holds huge playoff implications is West Columbus at Whiteville in girls action. Whiteville, St. Pauls and East Columbus are each 9-6 in TRC play and trail 9-5 West Columbus by one-half game for third place. Although some projections have four 2A TRC teams making the playoffs, a third place finish definitely solidifies a team’s playoff possibility. West Columbus and East Columbus are battling for what appears to be the lone 1A playoff berth from the conference.

A West Columbus girls win would be huge because East Columbus is hosting conference-leader East Bladen. Not the overwhelming powerhouse of the past several seasons, the Eagles still have been hard to beat, losing just once in 20 games. West Columbus still has two games with second-place Red Springs and finishes the season by hosting East Columbus.

The South Columbus and Whiteville boys both appear to be in a situation where they need to win out and have St. Pauls fall in the Bulldogs’ final three games. It is impossible for the Stallions and Wolfpack to both win out. They face each other on the final night of regular-season play. Whiteville, South Columbus and South Robeson are also in a battle to escape seventh place and face a conference tournament play-in game on Saturday following completion of the regular season on Friday.

Fairmont’s girls are still alive for a possible sixth-seed in the conference tournament, but trail the three teams tied for fourth by 2 and 1/2 games. Fairmont has missed one of the league’s top players, Kiara Page, the last two weeks. Page suffered a leg injury against South Columbus.