We're officially all-in for the playoffs, as the NCHSAA girls soccer tournament starts Monday.
And last week's playoff openers around other sports certainly had their share of dramatics. From big offensive rallies to shutdown defense, Southeastern North Carolina has its fair share of teams still alive in the baseball and soccer tournaments.
PLAYOFF SCORES & SCHEDULES: Click here for all the live updates and schedules for spring sports playoffs
Our Standout Performers list is compiled through information provided by coaches, statisticians and team parents directly to the StarNews or posted/emailed on MaxPreps or social media. Missing someone on this list? Make sure your coaches are sending information to email@example.com.
With that, here are our three finalists for Athlete of the Week. Voting is open through Wednesday.
VOTE HERE FOR ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Record setter, walk-off winner or team leader? Who's your pick?
Nathan Lau, Topsail boys track & field: The senior still hasn’t lost a meet yet this season in the discus and set the school record in the event for the third week in a row. He won the 4A East regional Friday at Hoggard at 177 feet, 10 inches, setting the regional record and beating second place by more than 25 feet. His throw is also No. 2 in North Carolina in 2022.
Bennett McNeill, Hoggard baseball: With the Vikings down to their final out of the season Tuesday in the opening round of the Class 4A baseball playoffs, McNeill flipped Hoggard from upset loser to shock winner against Southern Alamance. His two-out grand slam propelled the Vikings to an 8-6 win, and they backed it up with a 9-0 win vs. Cary on Thursday to make round three on Tuesday.
Pierce Underwood, Cape Fear Academy: Underwood hasn't had a nine-hole score over 39 in six weeks, and his 74 on Monday led the Hurricanes to a second-place finish at the NCISAA Class 3A state qualifier. CFA goes for its state championship this week.
Here are the rest of this week's standouts.
Korbin Pettigrew, Hoggard: Went 4-for-4 with a triple and four stolen bases Thursday in Hoggard’s win over Cary in Round 2 of the 4A playoffs. He also went 2-for-2 with a walk vs. Southern Alamance.
Tucker Bowyer, Hoggard: Struck out seven in a complete-game shutout vs. Cary.
Banks Hartman, South Brunswick: Had a double and four RBI in Round 1 of the state playoffs in an 11-0 win over Durham School of the Arts.
Aubrey Smith, South Brunswick: Hit a two-run homer and pitched all four innings of a rain-shortened 4-0 win over Fike in Round 2 of the state playoffs on Thursday. Also went 2-for-3 with a double vs. DSA.
Davis Hartman, Topsail: Went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI as the Pirates beat Rolesville 5-2 on Friday and advance to the third round of the state playoffs next week.
Jackson Moore, Topsail: Struck out nine in 5 2/3 innings vs. Rolesville in Round 2 of the state playoffs.
Lilly Smiley, Hoggard: Had two goals and three assists in the final two games of the season as the Vikings went undefeated in the Mideastern Conference and received the No. 1 overall seed in the 4A East playoff bracket. The Vikings open at home Tuesday vs. Richmond.
Maggie Stephens, Hoggard: Had three goals and an assist in wins over Topsail and West Brunswick.
Ellis Kelly, Hoggard: Had a goal vs. Topsail and two vs. West Brunswick.
Sarah Smith, Laney: Had three goals in the Bucs’ season finale vs. South Brunswick.
Reagan Landon, Laney: Had two goals vs. North Brunswick and added an assist vs. South Brunswick.
Andi Tolbert, Topsail: Went 2-for-3 with three RBI for the Pirates in their first-round playoff win over Ashley and also went 2-for-3 in a second-round loss to Cleveland.
Emmy Clark, Topsail: Went 3-for-3 vs. Ashley and 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI vs. Cleveland.
Allie Royal, Hoggard: Hit two homers – one of them a grand slam -- and drove in five runs in the Vikings’ first-round playoff win over Willow Spring.
Track & Field
NCHSAA Championships Qualifiers by School (placed in top 4 of event at regionals last Friday and Saturday)
Pender (1A): Boys--Christian Hayes (100, 200); Damonte Hill (100); Jadon Lee (400); Julius Yasir (400); Samuel Wheeler (800); William Berry (3,200); Da’Shaun McKoy (high jump, long jump, triple jump); Mecca Carr-Bordeaux (discus, shot); Ja’Vonte Brown (discus, shot); Chris Spencer (discus, shot); 4x100 relay; 4x200 relay; 4x400 relay; 4x800 relay. Girls--Grace Bordeaux (400); Laney Bullard (300 hurdles); Olivia Gurganus (high jump, long jump, triple jump); Mikayla Armstrong (discus, shot); 4x100 relay; 4x200 relay; 4x400 relay; 4x800 relay.
Trask (2A): Boys--John Roberts (1,600); 4x800 relay. Girls—Ainsley Heath (800, 1,600); Ty’nyia Wells (discus), 4x400 relay.
North Brunswick (3A): Boys--Brandon Moody (discus). Girls—Rachel Kemp (1,600, 3,200); Jasmine Colwell (shot).
South Brunswick (3A): Girls—Ellie Harrington (3,200).
Hoggard (4A): Boys--Andrew Wallace (800); William Holmes (800); Evan Pena (3,200); Luke Ward (3,200); Jackson Travis (high jump); Eli Theodoropoulos (triple jump); Ethan Panz (pole vault); 4x400 relay; 4x800 relay. Girls--Molly Parker (1,600); Ashlei Summers (3,200); Mollie Brinker (pole vault); 4x800 relay.
Laney (4A): Boys—Connor Powe (110 hurdles, long jump). Girls--Isabella Borelli (800); Olivia Bufalini (1,600, 3,200); Bailey Willard (discus, shot).
Topsail (4A): Boys—Tristin Reutter (300 hurdles); Nathan Lau (discus, shot). Girls--Kaitlyn Obremski (3,200).
New Hanover (4A): Boys—Rashawn Simon (long jump); 4x100 relay.
Cape Fear Academy: Finished second in the NCISAA state qualifier on Monday for this week’s state championships. Pierce Underwood (74), Stephen Chiavetta (75), William Wells (77) and Spencer Mill (83) had the qualifying team scores.
Hoggard: The Vikings tied for ninth in the NCHSAA Class 4A state tournament on Monday and Tuesday, with a team score of plus-82. John Logan (158, tie for 19th), Tate Bowyer (159), Maddux Cook (170) and Dylan Lewis (171) made up the four players for the state finals.
Ryan Jahr, West Brunswick: Shot 78-79—157 to tie for 19th at the NCHSAA 3A state tournament at Pinehurst No. 6.
Dylan Workman, Laney: Shot 82-84--166 at the 4A state tournament at Pinehurst No. 8 to tie for 44th.
Kyle McCarthy, Hoggard: Had five goals in Tuesday’s third-round 12-5 win over Broughton, and a goal and two assists in Thursday’s 15-8 state quarterfinal loss to Cardinal Gibbons.
Aidan Flynn, Hoggard: Had three goals and an assist vs. Broughton and a goal and two assists vs. Gibbons.
Dan Spears is the sports editor for the Wilmington StarNews, and Southeast Regional sports editor for the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at Dan.Spears@StarNewsOnline.com or on Twitter @DanSpears.
This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: Wilmington-area standout high school sports for May 9-15