If you like sequels, then the VHSL state basketball tournament semifinals are for you.
Fourteen of the 24 semifinal contests across all six classifications and both genders will be rematches of regional championship games, including two clashes involving local squads.
Eastside and J.I. Burton will play for the sixth time this season and a little more than a week after Burton prevailed 63-62 over the Spartans in the Region 1D boys finals. Wise County Central and Ridgeview will face off for the fourth time this season and Central eked out a 49-46 victory over the Wolfpack in the Region 2D girls title game.
The final four field is full of defending state champions as well.
Gate City (Class 2), John Marshall (Class 3), Lake Taylor (Class 4), Varina (Class 5) and South County (Class 6) all won state last season and are still alive to defend their titles.
On the girls side, Parry McCluer (Class 1), Wise County Central (Class 2), Lord Botetourt (Class 3), Princess Anne (Class 5) and Cosby (Class 6) can reclaim their crowns.
Former Southwest District member Carroll County plays Pulaski County in a Class 4 girls semifinal contest that might interest some folks from far Southwest Virginia.
Carroll County’s star player is Madi Dalton, the daughter of former Coeburn High School and Clinch Valley College (now the University of Virginia’s College at Wise) star Christy Gray Dalton.
Meanwhile, Pulaski County’s head coach is Bradley Sutphin, who held the same position at George Wythe from 2010-2013. Patrick Henry graduate Nancy Olinger Quesenberry is an assistant coach for the Cougars.
The following is a brief look at the semifinal games involving local squads:
Eastside (25-4) vs. J.I. Burton (22-7), Tuesday, 8 p.m. UVa-Wise’s Prior Center: Eastside holds a 3-2 edge in the season series. The Spartans won 74-72 on Jan. 2, 59-57 in overtime on Feb. 9 and 85-80 in double overtime on Feb. 15. J.I. Burton’s wins came on Jan. 22 by an 83-66 count and on Feb. 23 by a 63-62 margin.
Gate City (25-3) vs. Radford (28-0), Tuesday, 7 p.m, Pulaski County High School: Gate City recorded a 67-48 win over Radford in last year’s state quarterfinals as Zac Ervin (22 points) and Jon “Spider” Sallee (seven points, 11 rebounds) made major contributions for the Blue Devils. Radford was led that night by Quinton Morton-Robertson’s 25 points. All three of those guys will be on the court again Tuesday.
Honaker (26-2) vs. Parry McCluer (24-4), Tuesday, 7:45 p.m., Roanoke College’s Cregger Center: Honaker will be the fifth regional champion that Parry McCluer has played this season. The Blues have a win over Region 2D champ Wise County Central, while losing to Spotswood (Region 3C), Lord Botetourt (Region 3D) and William Fleming (Region 5D).
Wise County Central (24-4) vs. Ridgeview (21-8), Tuesday, 6 p.m., UVa-Wise’s Prior Center: These teams have combined for the last five state titles in the VHSL’s second-smallest classification. Ridgeview won it all in 2016, while Central was triumphant in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018.