High-SchoolNorth-Carolina: Hough

N.C. Week 12 POWERADE baseball rankings

May, 31, 2012
After games on Saturday, May 26

The teams that were talked about for most of the season as contenders are not the same teams that remain standing as the state championship series kick off this weekend.

None of the squads that made up the top 10 entering the playoffs (Week 9) are alive, but there's still plenty of good baseball on tap. Middle Creek held off Richmond to advance to the Class 4A state title series against Hough, while Weddington, which cracked the top 10 earlier in the year after beating then-No. 1 Providence, enters its first championship series against CB Aycock. All-State pitcher Alex Bostic leads Weddington with a 10-0 record, 125 strikeouts, 0.98 ERA and seven home runs to go with a .404 batting average.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Middle Creek (Apex) 24-7 (NR)
Mustangs, winners of 15 of their last 17 games, advanced to Class 4A state title game by beating Richmond in best-of-three series. They will face Hough for the crown.

2. Weddington (Matthews) 25-6 (4)
Reached the Class 3A championship for the first time after sweeping North Buncombe. Next up: CB Aycock for the title.

3. Hough (Cornelius) 23-10 (NR)
Swept East Forsyth to advance to this weekend's Class 4A championship against Middle Creek.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina baseball rankings.

Two new teams in final North Carolina football regular season rankings

October, 31, 2011
Believe it or not, it's been 11 weeks since Mallard Creek and Butler faced off in a makeshift championship game for the season opener. Now it's playoff time and plenty of teams have emerged with the Mavericks and Bulldogs as prime contenders the state crown.

Leesville Road and Havelock entered the final regular season rankings with dominant performances to cap their undefeated regular seasons. Leesville Road easily downed previously ranked Wake-Forest Rolesville to win the Cap 8 title, but it lost QB Austin Berrios to a knee injury on the game's opening kickoff, potentially making the road to a state title a bit tougher. Havelock, which beat Burns earlier this year for its signature win, appears to be the favorite in 3A after outscoring opponent by an average of 48.6 to 14.3.

The rankings will return after the postseason for one final evaluation of the season, but stay tuned to ESPNHS North Carolina for playoff updates.

Click here for a full playoff pairing list from the Charlotte Observer.

Nationally, Mallard Creek moved up to No. 20 while Butler stood pat at No. 32 in the POWERADE FAB 50.

Here are the final regular season rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 10-0 (1)
Jela Duncan scored five touchdowns as the Mavericks beat Hough, 51-14, and won their third straight I-MECK title. The No. 2 seeded Mavericks will begin the 4AA playoffs against South Mecklenburg.

2. Butler (Matthews) 9-1 (2)
The Bulldogs beat Independence, 38-26, to earn the No. 3 seed in the playoffs. They will host Hoke County this week in the 4AA playoffs.

3. Scotland 10-0 (3)
The Fighting Scots continued their dominance, beating previously ranked Richmond, 42-7. Top-seeded 4A squad will take on Harnett Central in first round of playoffs.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina football rankings

Scotland, Porter Ridge move up in Week 10 NC football rankings

October, 24, 2011
Results as of Sunday, October 23

As we head into the final week of the regular season, there's some movement in the North Carolina football rankings.

The first comes as Scotland leapfrogs Greensboro Page into the No. 3 spot. The Pirates did their part by winning again (a 21-0 victory against Dudley), but the Fighting Scots have proven invincible against a tougher schedule. Scotland will get another test when it faces Richmond in the finale, but in the last two weeks, they've outscored solid Hoke County and Lumberton squads by a count of 82-7. Hard to ignore that sort of dominance.

The second shake-up comes lower in the rankings, as Porter Ridge overtook Richmond for the No. 8 slot. Ever since the Raiders fell to Hoke County, they've struggled to fully bounce back, winning their last three games against Purnell Swett, Lumberton and Pinecrest by an average margin of nearly four points. Mind you, the Raiders won their first five games by nearly 30 points each.

On the other hand, Porter Ridge has been nothing short of impressive during its 9-0 run, winning all but one its games by at least 24 points. The Indians will face a formidable opponent in Sun Valley this week, but their performance up to this point deserves a bump up in the rankings.

Nationally, Mallard Creek stood pat at No. 21 and Butler moved up to No. 32 in the POWERADE FAB 50.

Here's how this week's state rankings shake out (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 9-0 (1)
Mavericks D led the way in 42-0 win against West Charlotte, scoring on two of its four forced turnovers. Next up: Hough.

2. Butler (Matthews) 8-1 (2)
Riley Ferguson threw four touchdowns as the Bulldogs racked up 504 yards in a 52-14 win against South Meck. Next up: rival Independence.

3. Scotland (Laurinburg) 9-0 (4)
The Fighting Scots move up a spot after passing yet another stiff test with a 35-7 win against Lumberton. Next up: No. 9 Richmond.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina rankings

Myers Park, Hough play to a draw

August, 31, 2011
Myers Park and Hough, two of the state's top soccer squads, met on Tuesday, but the outcome did little to settle the question of who's best.

The teams played to a 1-1 draw in a contest filled with missed opportunities, according to this Charlotte Observer article. Myers Park struck first, with All-State senior forward Erick Suarez assisting on a David Swain goal. But Hough tied the score soon after on a Tanner Roberts shot in the box.

The Mustangs (2-0-1) had a great chance to pull away with 11 minutes left, when Suarez drew a penalty in the box. But his ensuing shot flew high and off the crossbar, leaving the No. 13-ranked school in the POWERADE FAB 50 knotted up with Hough (2-1-1).

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.