By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
Sunday, December 15, 2013 —
In high school basketball games on Friday night, Albemarle hosted East Montgomery while South Stanly hosted South Davidson.
East Montgomery 50
The offensive numbers for the Albemarle girls’ basketball team have increased significantly this season.
After averaging 49.2 points per game last season, the Bulldogs’ scoring average has shot up nearly 10 points including Albemarle’s 74-50 home win Friday night over East Montgomery.
The 74 points scored by the Bulldog girls is the most that Albemarle (3-1) has scored in a game in five seasons, pulling the team’s average to 62.0 points per game this season.
Kyleigh McLendon led the Bulldogs with 31 points on 12-of-25 shooting, adding five steals as well.
Bulldog center Akela Branch posted a double-double with 26 points and 14 rebounds along with four blocked shots. Branch was 11-of-23 from the field and 4-of-7 at the free-throw line.
Ashley Greene had the touch from the outside for East Montgomery (0-6), leading the Eagles with 16 points.
With the game tied 5-5 midway through the first quarter, the Bulldogs went on a 9-0 run over the next two minutes to lead 14-5 with 3:02 left in the opening period.
The Eagles responded in the second, limiting the Bulldogs to 2-of-12 shooting in the second quarter while pulling to within a 22-22 halftime tie.
Albemarle opened the third quarter with a 9-2 run, all on three-pointers from McLendon, over the first 2:18 of the period but the Eagles again narrowed the gap to one with 3:34 left in the quarter.
The Bulldogs pulled ahead for good in the third as a Nigeria Smith three-pointer sparked a 9-0 run over the next two minutes.
“East Montgomery played physically and did a good job of defending Akela on the baseline,” Albemarle head coach Eric Davis said.
Davis also talked about the defensive efforts of Albemarle in the game, saying that he was confident in the team’s ability to score in transition after getting steals on defense.
For the game, the Bulldogs had 21 steals, led by Tiffani Currie who hadseven steals.
Albemarle’s YVC-West opener with Gray Stone was moved to Monday due to final exams at Gray Stone.
EM 9 13 15 13 50
A 16 6 24 28 74
EM – Ashley Greene 16, Kiana Harris 10, Hassell 8, Watts 8, Harrell 5, Kellis 3.
A – Kyleigh McLendon 31, Akela Branch 26, Currie 6, Smith 5, Hudson 4, Howard 2.
South Davidson 61
South Stanly 49
The Bulls fell to 0-6 with a 61-49 home loss to South Davidson.
Anna Gardner led the Wildcats (7-1) with 22 points adding four assists and three blocks.
South Stanly travels to Union Academy on Tuesday.
SD 17 18 18 8 61
SS 4 14 17 14 49
East Montgomery 27
The Bulldogs’ efforts at home against East Montgomery saw the entire team score at least one point in the game as Albemarle’s bench had a big night in a 76-27 blowout win over the Eagles.
Lee Autry led three in double figures for Albemarle (2-0) with 17 points, while Gavin Watts led the Eagles (1-4) with 11 points.
Leading 9-8 with 2:59 left in the first, Albemarle went on a 9-0 run and led by seven after one period.
The pressure defense in the second used by the ‘Dogs prevented East from hitting from the field. The Eagles were 0-of-11 in the second as Albemarle built a 20-point lead.
In the second half, the starters for the Bulldogs played the first five minutes as head coach Al Andrew went deep into the bench for the remainder of the game.
EM 11 3 9 4 27
A 18 16 21 21 76
EM – Watts 11, Smith 8, Little 4, Hassell 3, Elliott 1, Simmons 1.
A – Lee Autry 17, Andre Ridenhour 12, Kani Sellers 10, Blanton 8, Ratliff 8, Baldwin 6, Nivens 5 Harris 3, Ellis 3, Sellers 3, Lilly 1.
South Davidson 79
South Stanly 75
The Bulls rallied from a nine-point deficit to lead at halftime but the visiting Wildcats pulled ahead in the fourth for a 79-75 win.
SD 28 11 19 21 79
SS 19 23 19 16 75
SD – Shore 5, Davin Ball 14, Andrew Collins 12, Travis Gallimore 21, Hedrick 7, Hazelwood 8, Stevenson 6.
SS – Wes Smith 24, Harris 4, Dylan Starnes 10, Bernardo Granados 12, Smith 8, Malik Lomax 15, Johnson 8.