By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
Friday, January 25, 2013 —
The Rocky River Conference schedules for the teams of North and West Stanly reached the halfway point on Tuesday night when the Colts hosted the Comets.
West Stanly hosts Monroe on Friday night while the Comets travels to Piedmont.
North Stanly 52
West Stanly 34
In a game where both teams are struggling to make shots from the field, the contest at the free-throw line can make all the difference in the world.
Such was the case in Tuesday’s girls’ basketball game between visiting North and host West when the Comets used their touch at the foul line to improve to a game over .500 in the RRC standings with a 52-34 road win.
Jenni Speight led three in double figures for North Stanly (11-5, 4-3 RRC) with 17 points, including 10-of-13 at the free-throw line. Gentry Grubb added 15 points, including three makes from behind the three-point arc, and Jenna Huff also had 15, including 9-of-11 at the foul line.
Sarah Talley led the Colts (6-10, 1-6) with 15 points including four three-pointers.
As a team, the Comets hit 22-of-28 from the line (78.6 percent), while West Stanly was 7-of-14 at the line (50 percent).
Both teams had difficulties scoring from the field, especially in the first half. After hitting 4-of-10 from the field in the first quarter, North went 0-of-11 in the second quarter and was outscored 14-6 by the Colts in the second.
West overcame a 1-of-9 start in the first period to hit 4-of-11 in the second, including 10 points from Talley.
The Colts led 22-17 with 6:04 left in the third after Talley scored five points in the first two minutes, but the Comets responded to tie the game 24-24 on a Grubb 3 at the 3:21 mark of the period. North finished the period with an 8-0 run to lead 32-24 after three quarters.
West narrowed the gap to two with back-to-back three pointers from Courtney Moses and Devin Fincher as the Colts trailed 32-30 with 6:45 on the clock. North scored the final 11 points of the game, including four straight free throws by Huff after a personal and technical foul were assessed to West Stanly in the final minutes of the game.
“West outworked us on the boards early, but as the game progressed, we played better,” North head coach Greg Speight said.
Speight also credited the play of Hailey Chandler who came off the bench and “gave us good minutes doing the dirty work” referring to her rebounding and playing solid defense.
NS 11 6 15 20 52
WS 3 14 7 10 34
NS – Jenni Speight 17, Gentry Grubb 15, Jenna Huff 15, Beadle 2, Poolos 2, Chandler 1.
WS – Sarah Talley 15, Fincher 6, Moses 3, Wilson 3, Morgan 2, Webb 2, Chapman 1, Furr 1, Rushing 1.
West Stanly 74
North Stanly 47
With three other teams entering play on Tuesday night with four losses in the Rocky River Conference, the host West Stanly boys’ varsity squad needed a win to keep pace with those teams.
After a slow offensive start in the first quarter, the Colts shot 50 percent or better the next three periods and went on to a 74-47 win over North Stanly.
Hunter Martin led a solid effort off the bench for the Colts (6-10, 3-4 RRC) with 17 points, including five made three-pointers. Starter Charlie Eudy added 11 points in the paint and Baron Whitley had 11 as well, including three makes behind the arc.
Kasey Caulder paced the Comets (4-12, 1-6) with 11 points, including a perfect 7-of-7 at the foul line. Tyler Burris added 10 points with two trifectas and 2-of-2 at the foul line, and Elijah Green had 10 points as well for North Stanly.
With their 74 points in Tuesday’s win, West Stanly posted their highest point output of the season. The Colts hit 23-of-47 from the field (48.9 percent) including topping 50 percent in the final three periods, and connected on nine three-pointers. West also hit 17-of-25 free throws (68 percent).
Martin’s 17 was a big part of the Colts’ advantage in the game in points off the bench. West Stanly’s reserves scored 35 points in the game, including Colby Grubbs’ six points in the final period. North’s bench contributed 10 points, including nine from T.J. Smith and a point from T’Zaddi Sylvester, both of whom have started this season but were coming off the bench due to injuries.
The Comets struggled from the field in the game, hitting 13-of-43 shots (30.2 percent) but were solid at the foul line, hitting 16-of-22 (72.7 percent).
North Stanly kept the game close early in the second quarter, pulling to within two on a Greene bucket a minute into the frame, but West Stanly answered with a 11-1 run over the next five minutes to lead by double figures with 2:34 left in the second, forcing a Comet timeout.
The Colts finished out the second period with a 7-0 push in the final minute, including back-to-back threes from Martin to lead 32-13 at halftime.
North Stanly got as close as 15 points several times in the second half but West Stanly pushed the lead ahead each time enroute to the victory.
“Both teams were sloppy in the first quarter and tried to do too much,” West Stanly head coach John Thompson said.
“I challenged our defense, which helped our offense to get good looks in the second quarter.”
Thompson also said that West Stanly “was the most unselfish we have been all season” in Tuesday’s win, which the West coach added was a big win despite the spirited efforts of the Comets on the road.
“North Stanly is young and I thought we had a chance to pull away early, but they did a good job of fighting back,” Thompson said.
The win puts West Stanly ina tie for fifth place with Central Academy, with both teams a half-game behind Forest Hills in the Rocky River Conference standings.
NS 6 7 17 16 47
WS 9 23 17 25 74
NS – Kasey Caulder 11, Tyler Burris 10, Elijah Greene 10, Smith 9, Misenheimer 6, Sylvester 1.
WS – Hunter Martin 17, Charlie Eudy 11, Baron Whitley 11, Hill 9, Helms 8, McCormick 7, Grubbs 7, Hathcock 4.