Five area teams are still alive in the playoffs

***Click here to view a complete postseason schedule for the rest of the week***

The spring sports season is coming to a close and five area teams hope it culminates with a state championship. Here is a look at the remaining teams.

New Hanover baseball

The top-seeded Wildcats are used to making deep postseason runs. They have played in back-to-back state championship series (4A in 2017 and 3A in 2018) and are the defending 3A state champs. Through three playoff games, New Hanover has outscored its opponents 26-1. The Wildcats will host No. 4 Terry Sanford at 7 p.m. Friday at Buck Hardee Field.

How they got here

First round

No. 1 New Hanover 9, No. 32 Union Pines 0

No. 4 Terry Sanford 5, No. 29 Topsail 1

Second round

No. 1 New Hanover 10, No. 16 Gray’s Creek 0 (5 innings)

No. 4 Terry Sanford 10, No. 20 Eastern Wayne 1

Third round

No. 1 New Hanover 7, No. 8 Southeast Guilford 1

No. 4 Terry Sanford 14, No. 12 Hunt 4 (5 innings)

A look at Friday’s game

A berth in the 3A East Regional championship series is on the line when the Wildcats (23-1) and Terry Sanford (24-2) square off. The teams met in last year’s Regional series with New Hanover winning in three games.

The Wildcats will likely start senior Alex Sniffen, who is 7-0 with a 0.15 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 47 innings. Sniffen pitched a no-hitter in the second round against Gray’s Creek. Ace Blake Walston (11-0, 0.25 ERA) isn’t available to pitch.

Alex Sniffen is 7-0 with a 0.15 ERA. [Tim Hower/Coastal Preps]

Terry Sanford does has its ace available. UNC signee Davidjohn Hertz enters the contest with these impressive numbers: 8-0 with a 0.28 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 50 2/3 innings.

Both offenses have been impressive. New Hanover has a team batting average of .329 with 37 doubles, 7 triples and 5 home runs. Kyle Smith is hitting .554 with 11 extra-base hits, including home runs in back-to-back games. Jac Croom (.385 average) and Walston (.405 average) set the table for Smith and Alex Sniffen (.351 average).

The Bulldogs are hitting .393 as a team with 47 doubles, 9 triple and 9 home runs. High Point signee Justin Ebert leads the way with a .521 average, 8 doubles and 4 home runs. Sophomore Hunter Wiggins (.490 average), junior Jackson Deaver (.422) and senior Marcus Sanchez (.405 average) have also been instrumental in Terry Sanford’s success.

Hoggard softball

For the second year in a row, the Vikings are in the fourth round of the NCHSAA 4A playoffs. Last season, Hoggard fell to eventual state champion Jack Britt. On Friday, they will try to reach the East Regional championship series when they travel to top-seeded South Central at 7 p.m.

How they got here

First round

No. 1 South Central bye

No. 4 Hoggard bye

Second round

No. 1 South Central 8, No. 16 Middle Creek 7

No. 4 Hoggard 4, No. 13 Lumberton 3

Third round

No. 1 South Central 10, No. 8 Jack Britt 3

No. 4 Hoggard 6, No. 5 South View 4

A look at Friday’s game

The winner of Friday’s game reaches the 4A East Regional championship series and will take on the winner of No. 2 Heritage/No. 3 Holly Springs in a three-game series beginning next week.

Hoggard (16-7) has relied heavily on senior leader Jesse Mathis, who has a 1.60 ERA and 238 strikeouts in 144 1/3 innings in the circle. At the plate, Mathis is hitting .343 with 10 doubles and 17 RBI.

Sophomore shortstop Icess Tresvik blasted a pair of home runs, including a grand slam, in the third round. Over the past six games, Tresvik is hitting .652 (15-for-23) with 11 RBI. Freshman Sydney Short, who had a walk-off single in the second round, is hitting .373.

Icess Tresvik is hitting .652 over her last six games. [Tim Hower/Coastal Preps]

All three of South Central’s (22-3) losses came to conference opponent D.H. Conley, which is the top seed in the 3A bracket. The Falcons have outscored their opponents 300-64 and enter with a .396 batting average along with 38 doubles, 10 triple and 13 home runs.

Pitt Community College signee Amya Evans is one of the most dangerous hitters in the state. She enters with a .513 batting average, 8 doubles, 2 triples, 8 home runs and 61 RBI. Seniors Marrisa Roach (.519 average), Anna Mewborn (.474 average) and Madison Deanes (.469 average) have also put up some big numbers.

Sophomore Isabel Moore will get the start for South Central. She is 21-3 with a 2.10 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 140 innings.

Hoggard girls soccer

Top-seeded Hoggard is back in the fourth round of the NCHSAA 4A playoffs for the fourth time in six seasons, but none of those have resulted in trips to the state championship. The Vikings lone trip to the title game came in 2010 when they were defeated in penalty kicks by North Mecklenburg. Hoggard will host No. 20 Apex at 6 p.m. Friday with a berth in the East final on the line.

How they got here

First round

No. 1 Hoggard bye

No. 20 Apex 3, No. 13 Ashley 2

Second round

No. 1 Hoggard 2, No. 17 Cardinal Gibbons 0

No. 20 Apex 2, No. 4 Holly Springs 1

Third round

No. 1 Hoggard 1, No. 8 Laney 0

No. 20 Apex 2, No. 21 Apex Friendship 0

A look at Friday’s match

Hoggard reached the 4A East final in 2015 and 2017, so if that trend continues they should be headed back again this year.

The Vikings (23-2) have been dominant so far, outscoring their opponents 125-8 with 19 shutouts. When teams are able to get by the talented back line, they are forced to try to score on senior goalkeeper Blair Barefoot. That hasn’t been an easy task, as the Lenoir-Rhyne signee has a goal against average of 0.22.

Blair Barefoot has allowed only three goals in 1,075 minutes. [Tim Hower/Coastal Preps]

Offensively, the Vikings are led by senior Erin Willis (32 goals and 13 assists) and sophomore Ainsley Norr (26 goals and 23 assists). Kaitlin Neighbour has 12 goals and 11 assists and Maggie Stephens has chipped in 10 goals and 5 assists.

Apex (12-7-1) opened the playoffs with an upset victory at Ashley before taking out No. 4 Holly Springs. The Cougars are led by senior Sara Moushegian and sophomore Laurel Ansbrow.

Cape Fear Academy boys lacrosse

For the fourth straight year, the Hurricanes are in the NCISAA Division II title game. They won it all in 2017, but came up short in their two other appearances. No. 2 CFA will play at top-seeded and defending state champs SouthLake Christian Academy at 10 a.m. Saturday

How they got here

First round

No. 1 SouthLake Christian Academy 17, No. 8 Arendell Parrott Academy 4

No. 2 Cape Fear Academy 18, No. 7 Cary Christian School 5

Semifinals

No. 1 SouthLake Christian Academy 15, No. 4 Asheville School 6

No. 2 Cape Fear Academy 11, No. 3 St. David’s School 10 (OT)

A look at Saturday’s game

Saturday will be a rematch of last year’s championship game, which SouthLake Christian Academy won by a 17-14 score.

Cape Fear Academy (14-4) picked up a dramatic overtime victory over St. David’s School on Tuesday by getting goals from five players. Senior Henry Murtagh has been the offensive catalyst this season. He has 87 goals and 28 assists. Classmate Preston Meehl has 21 goals and 62 assists, while freshman Colin Moore (25 goals and 7 assists) and junior Caelin Bahner (22 goals and 8 assists) have also provided solid play.

Henry Murtagh has scored 87 goals this season. [Tim Hower/Coastal Preps]

The Hurricanes’ defense is anchored by senior Reed Sweyer, who averaged 12.1 ground balls per game. Freshman goalkeeper Owen Johnson has a save percentage of .648.

SouthLake Christian Academy (11-4) has all four players back that scored in last year’s title game as well as goalkeeper Jack Harrison. Senior Luca Lutzel (51 goals and 22 assists) and freshman Matthew Lutzel (48 goals and 23 assists) are the team’s primary offensive weapons, although senior Zach O’Bryan has contributed 35 goals and 29 assists.

Cape Fear Academy boys tennis

It’s been three years since Cape Fear Academy played for a state title. During that time, Carmel Christian has claimed back-to-back-to-back championships. The teams will square off at 10 a.m. Saturday at Salem Academy with the NCISAA Division II title on the line.

How they got here

First round

No. 1 Carmel Christian School bye

No. 2 Cape Fear Academy bye

Second round

No. 1 Carmel Christian School 5, No. 8 Carolina Day School 0

No. 2 Cape Fear Academy 5, No. 7 Coastal Christian 0

Semifinals

No. 1 Carmel Christian School 5, No. 4 Asheville School 0

No. 2 Cape Fear Academy 5, No. 6 Cary Christian School 1

A look at Saturday’s match

The teams met earlier this season with Carmel Christian School (16-2) coming away with a 9-0 home victory on April 5.

Landon Scharf plays No. 1 singles and doubles. [Tim Hower/Coastal Preps]

Senior Alec Strause, a Christopher Newport commit, is the Cougars No. 1 singles player and plays No. 1 doubles with Matt Gooch. Seventh grader Gabe Avram, senior Rob Gruber, eighth grader Sam Halvorsen and freshman Reed Hilton round out the singles lineup.

Cape Fear Academy (13-3) has dropped just one court in a pair of playoff victories. In order to put some pressure on Carmel Christian School, the Hurricanes will need to win at least one of the three doubles courts.

CFA’s singles lineup is as followed: senior Landon Scharf, seventh grader Hayes Gilbert, seventh grader Algernon Butler, sophomore Evan Das, sophomore JR Johnston and freshman KJ Kernan.