By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
Sunday, February 9, 2014 —
The Albemarle Bulldogs varsity basketball teams had a tough three-games-in-three-nights stretch after hosting West Montgomery on Tuesday.
Albemarle traveled to Union Academy on Wednesday for a Yadkin Valley Conference West matchup, then rematched with the Warriors in Mt. Gilead on Thursday evening.
The Bulldogs have three games left in the regular season. Albemarle travels to North Moore on Monday, then plays two YVC West games the remainder of the week. The Bulldogs host Queen’s Grant on Tuesday and North Stanly on Friday.
Albemarle 66, West Montgomery 45
The Bulldogs outshot the host Warriors in the game and got another balanced effort from the team’s starters in the road win on Thursday.
Bryan Blanton led the Bulldogs (18-1) with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, and Laquavius Ratliff added 11 points, hitting all five of his shots in the game.
Andre Ridenhour added 10 points for the Bulldogs.
Leon Horne finished the game 4-of-8 from the field and led the host Warriors (4-13) with 10 points.
As a team, the Bulldogs were 26-of-56 overall (46 percent) while West Montgomery hit 18-of-52 from the field (35 percent).
Albemarle also shot more free throws than West, hitting 10-of-19, while the Warriors were 4-of-8.
West Montgomery did top Albemarle in the rebound category, besting the Bulldogs 28-26 on the glass.
A 11 18 14 23 66
WM 14 8 6 17 45
A – Bryan Blanton 16, Laquavius Ratliff 11, Andre Ridenhour 10, Ellis 9, Autry 6, Harris 5, Swaringen 4, Sellers 3, Lilly 2.
WM – Leon Horne 10, Absher 8, Drake 7, Simms 6, Nicholson 5, Parter 4, J. Horne 3, Young 2.
West Montgomery 64, Albemarle 52
Albemarle had won 13 games in a row after having suffered its last defeat on Dec. 13, 2013, in a four-point YVC West loss to Gray Stone.
West Montgomery brought that streak to a halt Thursday night, building a solid lead in the middle two periods and earning a 12-point win over the Bulldogs.
Akela Branch led the Bulldogs (17-3) with 19 points and 16 rebounds, but shot just 6-of-18 in the game.
Kyleigh McLendon added 11 points for Albemarle, hitting 3-of-14 from the field, and Tiffani Currie just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Melanie Horne and Danasia Dumas each had 17 points to lead the Warriors (10-2). Horne had a double-double with 16 rebounds as well.
As a team, West Montgomery outrebounded Albemarle 56-36 and shot slightly better percentage wise from the field and the free throw line. The Bulldogs were 19-of-69 overall (27.5 percent) and 12-of-21 at the free throw line (57.1 percent), while the Warriors hit were 25-of-85 overall (28.2 percent) and were 9-of-15 at the foul line (60 percent).
A 6 9 16 21 52
WM 7 18 22 17 64
A – Akela Branch 19, Kyleigh McLendon 11, Currie 9, Hudson 6, Montigue 5, Williams 2.
WM – Melanie Horne 17, Danasia Dumas 17, Jasmine Diggs 12, Brynn Hinson 10, Burchette 4, Steele 2, Waddell 2.
Albemarle 61, Union Academy 43
A big fourth quarter from the Bulldogs’ big man in the post lifted the team to a road win on Wednesday.
Lee Autry led the Bulldogs with 23 points, including nine in the fourth. Autry was 8-of-10 from the field and 7-of-10 at the free-throw line.
Bryan Blanton added 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field.
“It was a really good road victory,” Albemarle head coach Al Andrew said.
“It was a very physical game. Lee Autry was unstoppable in the fourth quarter.”
A 9 14 16 22 61
UA 9 10 16 8 43
A – Lee Autry 23, Bryan Blanton 11, Ridenhour 8, Baldwin 6, Sellers 4, Ellis 3, Ratliff 2, Swaringen 1.
Albemarle 70, Union Academy 40
The Bulldogs kept their half-game lead in the Yadkin Valley Conference West standings with a blowout win Wednesday at Union Academy.
Akela Branch posted her 20th double-double of the season, leading Albemarle with 26 points and 16 rebounds. She has had double digits in points and rebounds for 24 straight games, dating back to her junior season.
Kyleigh McLendon added 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field.
Albemarle was 32-of-61 from the field (50 percent) while Union Academy hit 17-of-63 (27 percent). The Bulldogs outrebounded the Cardinals 42-26.
A 22 19 8 21 70
UA 8 8 12 12 40
A – Akela Branch 26, Kyleigh McLendon 12, Currie 8, Smith 8, Williams 6, Montigue 6, Bowman 2, Hudson 2.
UA – Savannah Fox 16, Linsey Starnes 10, Lunn 6, McNulty 6, Sidders 2.