By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 —
BY CHARLES CURCIO
In the final round of the Tiger Holiday Classic at Mount Pleasant, the four Stanly County varsity basketball teams took on Cabarrus squads, including the final two games of the day for third place and the tournament title, respectively.
South Stanly 79
Covenant Classical 65
Entering Saturday’s seventh-place game at the Tiger Classic, South Stanly was on a 13-game losing streak, dating back to last season when the Bulls’ last win was on Feb. 12 over South Davidson.
The Bulls placed four in double figures and earned the first win this season for South 79-65 over Covenant Classical.
Wes Smith led the Bulls (1-10) with 26 points, 18 of which came in the first quarter as South built a five-point lead.
Dylan Starnes added 20 points, including 12 in the second half, and Malik Lomax scored nine of his 15 points in the final two periods as well. Bernardo Granados scored 10 points for South.
Ian Prince led the Warriors (5-7) with 18 points including 6-of-8 at the foul line, while Trevin Allen added 15.
South head coach Mike Crump said that all nine players in uniform for the Bulls on Saturday contributed to the win, adding that the press that South used built a lead as large as 26 points in the second half.
South plays at Albemarle on Jan. 7.
CC 16 19 16 14 65
SS 21 22 21 15 79
CC – Ian Prince 18, Trevin Allen 15, Probst 9, E. Prince 9, Justice 5, Hardee 5, Palmer 4.
SS – Wes Smith 26, Dylan Starnes 20, Malik Lomax 15, Bernardo Granados 10, Harris 2, Smith 2, Holt 2, G. Granados 2.
Central Cabarrus 68
West Stanly 66
The fifth-place game of the tournament was up second on the day and saw a dramatic finish at the end between West Stanly and Central Cabarrus.
West led by six with 1:44 left in the game but the Vikings rallied and held off the Colts in the end for a two-point win.
Ryan McCormick led West Stanly (3-8) with 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field along with 8-of-12 at the free-throw line.
Playing in his final game for West Stanly, N.C. State football recruit B.J. Hill finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Hill was also named to the Classic’s All-Tournament team.
Both players had chances in the final seconds to give the Colts the lead after Lavon Hightower’s three-pointer put Central Cabarrus (3-9) up by one point with 22 seconds left.
On the other end, McCormick missed a three, but Hill pulled down the offensive rebound. The senior then missed on a contested put-back and the Vikings tipped the ball out and were fouled, knocking down a free-throw with .5 on the clock.
West shot well in the game from the field, hitting 26-of-48 from the field (54 percent). The Colts were 4-of-15 from the three-point arc and 14-of-28 at the free-throw line.
“We played well against a good team but we just have not been in that situation enough to know how to finish the deal,” West head coach John Thompson said.
“We had a lot of guys step up tonight but we also had several make mistakes down the stretch. We just have to learn from it and get better.”
West Stanly hosts Providence Grove on Friday.
WS 18 7 30 11 66
CC 19 6 29 14 68
MP – Ryan McCormick 22, B.J. Hill 18, Trey Barbee 10, Whitley 9, Smith 6, Burgess 3. TEAM 2.
North Stanly 64
Mount Pleasant 52
In the third-place game, the Comets used a strong third-quarter effort to earn the third-place plaque over host Mount Pleasant with a 12-point win.
Stephen Misenheimer led North (8-2) with 14 points, Zac Almond added 13 points and A.J. Atkins, who was named to the All-Tournament team, scored 10 points.
North Stanly will host Union Academy on Jan. 7.
NS 9 16 22 17 64
MP 14 10 11 17 52
NS – AJ Atkins 10, Gibson 6, Stephen Misenheimer 14, Burris 9, Blalock 8, Reid 4, Zac Almond 13.
MP – Tristan Coggins 13, Bingham 1, Parker 8, Bashears 1, Jarrod Evans 19, Starnes 6, Gilmore 2, Thompson 2.
Concord First Assembly 73
The Bulldogs led by three points in the final period of Saturday’s championship finals, but First Academy rallied down the stretch and held off the Bulldogs in the final seconds for the win.
Lee Autry, who made the All-Tournament team, led the Bulldogs (7-1) with 19 points, hitting 8-of-12 from the field and 3-of-3 at the foul line, along with a team-high seven rebounds.
Shaun Thompson paced First Assembly (11-1) with 29 points.
Albemarle led by three with five minutes left but a 9-0 run by the Eagles put the Bulldogs down 67-61. The ‘Dogs rallied to pull within three late, and had a chance in the final seconds to tie but Shawn Baldwin’s three-point shot with three seconds left was a little long and the Eagles hit two free throws to seal the win.
“We had a great effort against a quality opponent. First Assembly made a couple more plays than we did. Hopefully, we can learn from this game,” Albemarle head coach Al Andrew said.
The Bulldogs play at Chatham Central Friday.
A 18 14 18 18 68
FA 14 17 22 20 73
A – Lee Autry 19, Trey Nivens 11, Andre Ridenhour 10, Blanton 8, Ellis 8, Baldwin 5, Ratliff 4, Sellers 3.
FA – Shaun Thompson 29, Charles Mineland 16, DJ Sadler 13, Mercer 8, Murr 5, Payne 2.