By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
Thursday, December 5, 2013 —
In non-conference high school varsity games Wednesday night, West Stanly hosted former Rocky River Conference and county rival North Stanly.
West Stanly 40
North Stanly 36
The girls’ basketball teams of North and West Stanly have had markedly different starts to the season.
Visiting North Stanly was on a two-game win streak, having won road games at East Montgomery and a 55-37 win the day before at Mount Pleasant.
West Stanly was still looking for their first win of the season after losses at Northwest Cabarrus and at home versus Piedmont.
In a game decided in the final minute, the Colts earned their first win of the season and second straight over the Comets dating back to last season by the score of 40-36.
Courtney Moses led the Colts and all scorers with 13 points, while Abby Waggoner added 10 for West.
Aaliyah Scott and Weslyn Almond had nine points each to lead the Comets.
West Stanly (1-2) trailed by three after three quarters of play but stormed back in the final period, outscoring North Stanly (2-2) 15-8 in the final period.
The Comets struggled to hit shots from the field in the game, hitting on 12-of-45 overall (28.6 percent), while the Colts were 17-of-46 (37 percent). Free throw percentages favored the visitors, with North hitting 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) and West connecting on 8-of-20 (40 percent).
West held North to 1-of-9 shooting in the first quarter and built an 11-point lead into the second frame before the Comets finished the first half on a 9-0 run to trail by four at halftime 19-15.
In the third, North got back-to-back threes from Almond to tie the game, then pushed ahead in the final two minutes to lead by three.
The lead changed hands several times in the fourth quarter until Meredith Summers’ bucket with 2:51 left in the period put West up for good. North again shot 1-for-9 in the period and West hit three free throws down the stretch, including a Moses free throw with 5.0 on the clock to seal the win.
“I told the team before the game that we had a size advantage and we needed to take advantage of it. We did what we needed to do to win,” West Head Coach Wesley Kidd said, adding
NS 3 12 13 8 36
WS 9 10 6 15 40
NS – Scott 9, Almond 9, Grubb 8, Smith 5, Chandler 4, Fesperman 1.
WS – Courtney Moses 13, Abby Waggoner 10, Summers 4, Rushing 4, Chapman 4, McIlwaine 3, Barbee 2.
West Stanly 72
North Stanly 60
Entering Wednesday’s game, the North Stanly boys’ squad was on a three-game win streak, while West Stanly losses in their first two games.
Each team had one individual put in huge numbers, but a stronger second half shooting as a team and clutch free-throw shooting lifted the Colts to a 72-60 win over the Comets.
B.J. Hill had a monster night for West (1-2) with 32 points and 15 rebounds. Trey Barbee and Baron Whitley added 10 points each for the Colts.
A.J. Atkins gave a huge effort in the game for the Comets (3-1) with 29 points while Zac Almond added 10 points off the bench.
The two teams played evenly until late in the second quarter when West pushed ahead to lead by three points at the break.
West Stanly had a strong third quarter from the field, hitting 9-of-14 shots (64.3 percent) while limiting North to 5-of-16 shooting. The Colts posted an 8-0 run late in the period and got a three-point play from Hill in the final seconds to lead by 14.
In the fourth, four players for North fouled out and West took advantage of the free-throw chances, hitting 12-of-15 in the period to seal the win. For the game, West was 23-of-31 from the line (74.2 percent) and North was 14-of-26 (53.8 percent).
“We made a few adjustments defensively; they have two hard matchups in Atkin and (Stephen) Misenheimer,” West Head Coach John Thompson said.
Regarding the free throws, Thompson said “we have worked on our free throw; we are better shooters than we have showed at the line. We shot 100 free throws at practice Friday and are starting to get confidence.”
The two teams will rematch Monday at North Stanly. The Colts will next be back in action Friday at Piedmont.
NS 15 9 14 22 60
WS 13 14 25 20 72
NS – A.J. Atkins 29, Zac Almond 10, Misenheimer 7, Reid 4, Gibson 3, Blalock 3,
WS – B.J. Hill 32, Trey Barbee 10, Baron Whitley 10, Burgess 7, McCormick 7, Smith 2, Morgan 2, Eudy 2.