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7 area soccer teams qualify for state playoffs; Hickory, Hibriten will host 1st-round matches

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Ali Rose

Hickory’s Ali Rose, 4, kicks the ball as Hibriten’s Reagan Cline, 18, defends in a file photo from March. The Red Tornadoes and Panthers will both host opening-round matches when the state girls soccer playoffs begin on Monday.

CHAPEL HILL — Seven of the 11 girls soccer teams in the Hickory Daily Record‘s coverage area spanning Catawba, Caldwell and Alexander counties were selected to compete in the state playoffs, with the North Carolina High School Athletic Association releasing the brackets for all classifications on Friday morning.

In the 3A West bracket, 13th-seeded Hickory (13-6-1) will host 20th-seeded Forestview (11-7) in Monday’s opening round. If Hickory wins and fourth-seeded East Lincoln (15-3-3) tops No. 29 West Rowan (9-9-1) in the first round, the top two teams in the Western Foothills 3A Conference will face off for the third time this season in Thursday’s second round.

Fifth-seeded Hibriten (15-4-1) is the only other area team that will host a first-round game. No. 28 Franklin (9-12) travels to Lenoir for Monday’s 3A playoff opener.

No. 17 St. Stephens (13-5-2) visits 16th-seeded Crest (13-5-1) in Round 1, while 21st-seeded Fred T. Foard (10-4-5) travels to No. 12 Asheboro (14-4-2) in 3A West action.

Three area teams will have road matches in the opening round of the 2A playoffs, as No. 22 Bandys (12-3-3) visits No. 11 Jay M. Robinson (9-7-1), No. 23 Newton-Conover (12-7-2) travels to No. 10 Forest Hills (15-3-1) and No. 26 Maiden (12-5-1) visits No. 7 Hendersonville (16-4). If Newton-Conover and Maiden are both victorious on Monday, the Catawba Valley 2A Conference rivals will battle for the third time after splitting a pair of regular-season meetings.

Look for a full preview of the first-round matches involving all teams from area conferences in Monday’s edition of the HDR.

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