ROCKINGHAM — The good news is three schools from the Southeastern Conference will qualify for the state 4A playoffs.
The bad news is it looks like it might be an early exit from the postseason for those squads.
Only two SEC girls basketball teams currently have a winning record — Lumberton and Richmond Senior — and another is flirting with .500 as conference play starts tonight.
To make matters worse, the SEC is a combined 1-20 against 4A opposition this season and 26-35 overall.
Lumberton is 9-4 and sports the league’s lone win against a 4A opponent, a 66-51 victory over Pine Forest. The Pirates finished third in the annual Robeson County Shootout, falling in the semifinals to Dillon (S.C.) 47-36 before stopping Red Springs 38-30 the next day.
Richmond is 6-3 overall and is the only SEC team that hasn’t faced a 4A school this season. The Raiders were the Robeson County Shootout runners-up as Dillon won the title with a 59-39 victory.
Purnell Swett has a 4-5 record, not including Thursday’s contest with 1A West Columbus. The Rams are 0-2 against 4A schools, dropping both contests against Pine Forest by a combined 65 points.
Pinecrest is 3-7 on the season and is 0-4 versus 4A competition. The Patriots finished second in their Holiday in the Pines tournament, losing to Middle Creek 38-32 in the championship game. Pinecrest has lost to Jack Britt twice and Hoggard by an average of 23 points a game.
Scotland is 2-5 overall, not including its game Thursday with Seventy-First. The Scots are 0-3 against 4A teams, losing by 16 to Seventy-First earlier this season, falling by 16 against South View and by 22 to Laney.
Hoke has faced the most 4A schools this season — eight — losing all of them and has a 2-11 record. The Bucks have been swept by Jack Britt, E.E. Smith, Seventy-First and South View.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.