Three Rivers Basketball Tournament 1st Round Set

Once East Columbus and Fairmont completed play Saturday afternoon at Fairmont, the Three Rivers Conference basketball tournament brackets could be finalized. The tournament seeds and match ups follow.


#8 South Robeson @ #1 East Columbus

#7 St. Pauls @ #2 Red Springs

#6 West Columbus @ #3 Whiteville

#5 South Columbus @ #4 Fairmont


#8 South Robeson @ #1 Fairmont

#7 East Columbus @ #2 Whiteville

#6 West Columbus @ #3 St. Pauls

#5 South Columbus @ #4 Red Springs

The conference tournament results do no count toward a team’s record attempting to make the playoffs as an at-large team. However, if a team other than the regular season champion wins the conference tournament, they make the playoffs. They are seeded after the regular season champions and before any qualifying at-large teams.

These teams appear to have state playoff berths.


East Columbus (1A regular season top seed)

Red Springs (2A regular season top seed)

South Columbus (2A at-large)

Fairmont ((2A at-large)

Whiteville (1A at-large)


Fairmont (2A regular season top seed)

Whiteville (1A regular season top seed)

St. Pauls (2A at-large)

Red Springs (2A at-large)

The West Columbus girls are currently a “bubble” team at 7-13. The West Columbus boys appear to fall just short at 7-12. The Vikings were unable to reschedule a game a non-conference game with a winless Green Sea-Floyds, SC team that could have possibly provided an eighth win. East Columbus boys needed an eighth win to be under consideration. The Gators fell to West Columbus at home on Friday and at Fairmont Saturday afternoon.

Skill Development rules less restrictive number-wise


West Columbus girls soccer coach Marc Edge talks with soccer prospects after a skill development session last week.

The NCHSAA made a significant rule change for the 2016-17 high school sports seasons. The rule limiting the number of athletes allowed to participate in out-of-season workouts was abolished. The rule had stated a specific maximum number of players could work out at any one time. Typically the number was one less than a team. Baseball’s maximum was eight and volleyball’s five to give two examples.

Coaches may now work with an unlimited number of athletes. In exchange, the number of “dead” periods was increased. Dead periods are dates in which no skill development may take place. Generally, these dead periods coincide with the opening of sports seasons. February 13 through April 1, 2017 is a dead period. This allows athletes to try out for spring sports teams without the pressure of missing skill development workouts in an out-of-season sport.

One additional limitation placed on the skill development sessions is the length of time a session may last. Sessions are limited to 90 minutes.

Weight training does not fall under the skill development category. Weight training is allowed anytime except on the final five days of each semester.

All four Columbus County high schools’s athletic hopefuls have been taking advantage of the new rule and several warm days this winter to prepare for the upcoming spring sports seasons.