The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

January 7, 2013

Bulldogs sweep at East Mont.; Wildcats sweeps Knights; South loses at West Mont.

By Charles Curcio and Dan O'Neal

Monday, January 7, 2013 — Yadkin Valley Conference play returned for the teams representing Stanly County in the conference on Friday night.

Both Albemarle and South Stanly went on the road to Montgomery County, while Gray Stone hosted South Davidson.


Albemarle 79

East Montgomery 45

The pressure defense that the Albemarle  boys’ basketball sometimes employs is most efficient when the Bulldogs can get points in transition to go along with creating turnovers.

In the middle two quarters of Albemarle’s road game Friday at East Montgomery, the Bulldogs’ pressure combined with solid shooting from the field helped secure the team’s seventh straight win of the season 79-45 in Biscoe.

Andre Ridenhour came off the bench to lead Albemarle (7-1, 3-1 YVC) with 13 points as five reached double figures. Alvin Currie and Trey Nivens each contributed 10 points each off the bench, while starters Deon Christian and Bryan Blanton each scored 12 and 10, respectively.

Brandon Reza’s touch from the three-point arc helped him to lead East Montgomery (6-6, 3-3) and all scorers with 17 points.

Albemarle built a five-point lead after one quarter, then opened the second period with an 8-0 run over the first 1:42, getting turnovers off of a full-court press and converting them into points.

East Montgomery cut Albemarle’s lead to 12 points, but a final flourish from the Bulldogs gave Albemarle a 38-24 lead at the halftime break.

In the third quarter, Albemarle’s defensive pressure went up several notches and kept East scoreless for four minutes while scoring 13 points in a row. The Eagles hit just 1-of-7 in the period while the Bulldogs were 11-of-20 and put the game out of reach with a 29-point quarter.

“We came out in the second half with defensive energy; our good defense turned into offense,” Albemarle head coach Al Andrew said.

The head coach also made a reference to his team’s energy on defense as similar to those employed by former Pfeiffer head coach Dave Davis, whose teams used a pressure defense for much of the game to create transition offense.

Andrew also talked about the development of the team, saying “people do not understand how difficult it is for the kids to transition from football to basketball. You can’t speed up the process.”

The Bulldogs look to keep their seven-game win streak alive Tuesday at Gray Stone.

A    18    20    29    12    79

EM    13    11    2    19    45

A –  Andre Ridenhour 13, Deon Christian 12, Bryan Blanton 10, Alvin Currie 10, Trey Nivens 10, Williams 9, Autry 7, Dumas 3, Ellis 3, Crowder 2.

EM – Brandon Reza 17, Little 9, Pegues 1, Lancaster 5, Morrison 1, Durham 2, Baldwin 8, Scott 2.

South Davidson 48

Gray Stone 44

A gymnasium can increase in volume when South Davidson comes to play. Gray Stone Day is also not a crowd who can keep silent when cheering their kids on. It certainly got super loud Friday night, especially in the fourth period, when the Wildcats and the Knights gave the partisan crowd much to scream about with scoring going back and forth and both squads putting up a lot of fight and hustle.

For one with super-sensitive ears, plugs would have been very much needed.

The setting for loudness was most appropriate, as both teams were not only seeking their first conference victory, but also their first win of the 2012-13 campaign.

Though the Knights over a nine-point deficit at halftime and had a great opportunity on their final possession to win the game or send it to overtime, a stolen pass by South Davidson's Andrew Collins had him taking it in for a lay-up, enabling the Wildcats to win and leaving the Knights winless.

Every time South Davidson slightly widen ed their lead in the final period, three-pointers by Reid Huckabee, Alex Wang, and John Latimer resulted in the Knights cutting into the lead as well as tying the score. The stolen pass and the break away lay-up made for a bittersweet ending to a loud and spectacular contest.

“It was a tough one to lose,” Knights head coach Myron Harrington said.

The Knights (0-11, 0-6) were led by Alex Wang, who led all scorers, with 18 points and John Latimer added 11.

South Davidson (1-10, 1-5) was led by Chris Stevenson with 11 points.

Gray Stone will host Albemarle on Tuesday.

SD    8    17    4    19    48

GS    9    7    9    19    44    

SD –  Chris Stevenson 11, Shore 8, Collins 7, Ball 6, Gallimore 6, Hedrick 6, Hazelwood 4

GS – Alex Wang 18, John Latimer 11, Huckabee 6, HillJennings 4, Lantz 3, Singletary 2

West Montgomery 57

South Stanly 53

The South Stanly boys’ basketball squad entered Friday’s game at West Montgomery with a chance to move into a tie for second place with Albemarle and sending the host Warriors to fourth place.

In a close game, the visiting Rebel Bulls could not get the big shot that they needed late in a 57-53 road loss.

Michard Richardson led the Bulls (4-7, 3-2 YVC) with 17 points.

Dreshawn Little paced the Warriors (6-5, 5-1) with 18 points.

Struggles from the free throw line plagued South Stanly in the game. The Bulls were 10-of-25 from the foul line in the game.

The game was tied in the third before a West run helped the Warriors build an eight-point lead.

With the score 55-53 in the Warriors’ favor and under a minute left, South missed a layup after a steal that would have tied the game.

South Stanly hosts North Rowan (10-3, 6-0) on Tuesday night.

SS    16    17    10    10    53

WM    16    15    18    8    57

SS –  Michard Richardson 17, Johnson 8, Smith 9, Burris 8, Granados 7, Smith 4.

WM – McKenzie 2, Absher 4, Morse 4, Marshall 2, Caleb Drake 12, Cole 9, S. Little 6, Dreshawn Little 18.


Albemarle 57

East Montgomery 35

The Albemarle girls’ basketball team started competition in 2013 in a big way with a 57-35 win at East Montgomery.

Akela Branch and Kyleigh McLendon each had huge nights for the Bulldogs (2-8, 1-4 YVC). Branch had another double-double with 24 points and 18 rebounds, along with five steals and three blocks.

McLendon just missed an unconventional double-double with nine steals to go with her 19 points. She was also a perfect 4-for-4 at the foul line.

Tiffani Currie also added 11 points for the ‘Dogs.

Madison Crisco led the Eagles (1-9, 1-5) with 17 points.

With the game tied 4-4 early, Albemarle scored six in a row and led by four after one quarter.

In the second quarter, the Albemarle defense shut down the host Eagles from the field while building a 19-point halftime lead. East was 0-for-8 in the second period and 17.6 percent for the first half (3-of-17).

The Bulldogs led by as much as 23 points before the Eagles cut the lead to 11  after three quarters. East outscored Albemarle 12-1 over the final 4:48 of the period.

Albemarle’s best shooting performance of the night came in the final quarter as the Bulldogs were an even 50 percent from the field (8-of-16). For the game, Albemarle shot 23-of-67 overall (34.3 percent) and East was 12-of-46 (26.1 percent).

“Tonight was a good way to start the new year,” Albemarle head coach Elbert Branch said in regards to the team’s first YVC win of the year and second win in a row.

“The defense is stepping up, while the fast break was getting the ball and pushing it.”

As far as the team’s overall development, Branch said, “They’re starting to get it, building trust and getting confidence.”

The Bulldogs travel to Gray Stone (4-7, 1-5) on Tuesday.

A    14    16    8    19    57

EM    10    1    14    10    35

A –  Akela Branch 22, Kyleigh McLendon 19, Tiffani Currie 11, Bruton 2, Dick 2, Hinson 1.

EM – Madison Crisco 17, Henson 4, Harris 8, Hassell 1, P. Harrell 2, Watts 2.

South Davidson 56

Gray Stone 23

School is back in session after holiday cheer and retreat, which also indicates that the high school basketball season has resumed for the new year of 2013.

As the new year begins, it would have been a very respectable resolution for the Gray Stone Knights girls’ basketball team to knock off Yadkin Valley Conference leader South Davidson, who entered the contest undefeated in conference play.

Though the Knights displayed much hustle and toughness, and though they kept it close in the first quarter, the South Davidson  Wildcats widened their margin for the next three leading them to a 56-23 win at Gray Stone Day.

The first minute of the third quarter proved to be difficult as the Wildcats raced out to a 7-0 run paced by the “Madi factor” led by Madi Sigmon and MadiBeeson, prompting a Knights time out.

The Knights ended their scoring drought when senior forward Kendall Taylor scored on a 3-point play. However, the quickness and the smothering defensive pressure of the Wildcats proved to be too difficult for the Knights to overcome.

Gray Stone (3-7, 1-5 YVC) was led by Taylor with 8 points. The Wildcats (9-2, 6-0) were paced by Beeson with 14 and Madi Sigmon with 10.

“We played good in the first half even though we struggled on offense. South Davidson is a great team. They're quick and it was tough to keep up with them,” Knights head coach Robert Stack said.

SD    11    9    20    16    56

GS    7    4    8    4    23

SD –  Madi Beeson 14, Madison Sigmon 10, Grubb 7, L. Sigmon 6, Wall 6, Miller 6, Strother 4, H. Sigmon 3

GS – Taylor 8, Cadle 4, Redmon 4, Harward 3, Everhart 2, Ansbro 2

West Montgomery 51

South Stanly 32

Inconsistency on the offensive end of the court for the South Stanly girls’ basketball squad, according  to their head coach, led to the team’s fourth straight loss of the season, 51-32, at West Montgomery .

“We had problems with their size and quickness,” South head coach Larry Honeycutt said.

“We just couldn’t get any consistency on offense and really struggled to score in our halfcourt set.”

Turnovers plagued both teams as the Warriors had 20 and South had 18.

South got as close as nine points at 30-21 in the third quarter but could get no closer.

South hosts North Rowan (5-5, 5-1 YVC) on Tuesday.

SS    8    6    14    4    32

WM    13    15    14    9    51

SS –  Chelsey Culp 17, C. Russell 6, Whitley 5, Benjamin 4.

WM – Danasia Dumas 21, Latoya Cuthrell 13, Young-Waddell 6, Morris 4, Diggs 2, Lindsey 2, Burchette 2, Covington 1.