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Beyond the Scoreboard: High school basketball regular season ends this week

reynolds boys.jpg
North Buncombe (11-3, 15-5) has a one-game lead over Reynolds (16-4, 10-4) with two games remaining in Western Mountain Athletic 3A play. One Black Hawks win and one Reynolds loss will clinch the crown for North Buncombe, which hosts Asheville on Tuesday and plays at Enka on Friday night. (Photo credit: Isaiah Pruett)

With the high-school basketball regular season entering its last week, teams are readying for conference tournaments and then the playoffs, which begin Feb. 20 and culminate with the state championship games March 10.

Some regular-season titles have been settled, while others are going down to the last game and will be decided with head-to-head matchups.

Following is a look at the public-school conferences and their tournaments.

Western Mountain Athletic 3A

BOYS - North Buncombe (11-3, 15-5) has a one-game lead over Reynolds (16-4, 10-4) with two games remaining. One Black Hawks win and one Reynolds loss will clinch the crown for North Buncombe, which hosts Asheville on Tuesday and plays at Enka on Friday night.

GIRLS - Erwin (15-6, 13-1) and Tuscola (16-4, 13-1) are tied for first and will play Friday night for the championship. Erwin won their earlier meeting, 71-50, last month.

The conference’s eighth and ninth seeds play at the higher seeds at 2 p.m. Saturday, with the winners playing their way into the conference tourney.

The WMAC Tournament is Feb. 12-16 at Erwin High, with the finals on the 16th.

Mountain Six 2A

BOYS - Pisgah (14-7, 7-2) and Hendersonville (15-6, 7-2) are tied for first with one game remaining, and Franklin (14-6, 6-3) is a game behind.

The top three places in the league will get settled after Tuesday’s games - the Bears play at Brevard, Hendersonville hosts East Henderson and Franklin hosts Smoky Mountain.

GIRLS - Smoky Mountain (20-1, 9-0) has wrapped up the regular-season title, with Pisgah (14-7, 7-2) second and East Henderson (15-7, 5-4) third.

The top two seeds get first-round byes in the tourney, while the other four teams will play first-round games Friday at the higher seeds.

The semifinals are Feb. 13 and finals are Feb. 16 and will played at Franklin High.

Western Highlands 2A/1A

BOYS - The Mountain Heritage boys (17-1, 9-0) play at Avery County (18-4, 8-1) for the championship Tuesday night. The Cougars won the first meeting, 66-48, at home.

GIRLS - Mountain Heritage (20-1, 9-0) has wrapped up its seventh straight crown, well ahead of Mitchell (16-4, 4-3) and Owen (15-5, 3-3).

The top two seeds get byes into the tournament, and the remaining four boys and four girls teams play at the higher seeds in the first round on Feb. 12. Semifinals (Feb. 15) and finals (Feb. 16) will be played at Madison High.

Smoky Mountain 1A

BOYS - Cherokee (14-3, 10-0) has clinched the title, comfortably ahead of Hayesville (17-6, 8-4).

GIRLS - Each have one more conference game remaining after their Tuesday night showdown, but the title will likely be settled Tuesday night when Murphy (10-0, 21-1) plays at Cherokee (12-5, 9-1). Murphy beat the Lady Braves, 77-74, just 10 days ago.

The conference tourney begins Thursday at Murphy, with the finals set for Feb. 16.

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