Hoke boys enter state playoffs

Girls team wraps season as spring sports begin

Salah Sutton scores in a game earlier this season. The senior now leads Hoke County into the state playoffs. (PJ WARD-BROWN/NORTH STATE JOURNAL)

Winter sports wind down as the basketball playoffs start this week. Meanwhile, spring sports begin their seasons as we have a one-week overlap between the seasons. Here’s a look at a busy sports week for Hoke County.

Boys’ basketball

The Hoke County boys’ team went 1-1 in its conference tournament and now heads to the NCHSAA 4A state playoffs.

The Bucks won three of their last four games and enter the state bracket with a 16-9 record. They were 7-6 in the Sandhills, good for third place in the regular season. Hoke received a 23-seed and opened the playoffs against Overhills, a 10-seed. That game took place after press time.

Senior Salah Sutton had a team-high 17 points, 4 assists and 4 steals in a 77-33 win over Lee County in the Sandhills Conference Tournament. He then led the way with 18 points in a 65-59 loss to Southern Lee in the next game.

Girls’ basketball

The Bucks’ girls team saw their season come to an end in the Sandhills Tournament. Hoke County lost to Union Pines, 52-34, in the opening game of the conference tourney. It was the third straight defeat for the Lady Bucks and dropped them to 4-19 on the year. They were 2-10 in the Sandhills, good for sixth place. The NCHSAA didn’t give a bid to the Hoke County girls, so the state tournament will start without them.

Spring sports

Hoke County baseball began its season on Tuesday, after press time, with a game at South View. The Bucks are coming off a 2-19 season last year and have a new coach in Lance Borman.

The softball team is already 1-0 on the season with a 14-4 win over Overhills on Monday. The Bucks are looking to improve on last year’s 7-16 season.

Girls’ soccer season opened last Thursday, as the Bucks fell to South View, 2-1. The Bucks’ girls will look to improve on last year’s 3-17-2 record.