The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

February 20, 2014

Yadkin Valley Conference West Basketball Notebook

By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor

Thursday, February 20, 2014 — The basketball teams that represent Stanly County in the Yadkin Valley Conference West wrapped up their regular seasons as well as kicked off an abbreviated conference tournament with games on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

The tournament continues at 6 tonight with the boys’ semifinal matchups.

Top-seeded Albemarle takes on fourth-seeded Gray Stone, who reached the tournament having won a coin toss with Queen’s Grant after the two teams finished tied at 3-7 in conference play.

In the other matchup host North Stanly, the No. 2 seed, takes on third-seeded Union Academy at 7:30.

Wednesday’s Games

Albemarle 58, Union Academy 36

After having secured the first regular-season conference title for the first time in a number of years, the Albemarle Bulldogs opened play in the Yadkin Valley Conference tournament on Wednesday against No. 4 seed Union Academy.

Because of the wintry weather last week and the need to play conference games on Monday and Tuesday, the tournament was shortened to four teams and two rounds, with semifinal games being played at North Stanly and the finals scheduled for Friday at Pfeiffer University’s Merner Gymnasium.

Akela Branch, continuing her trend of posting double figures in at least two categories in every game this season, did just that as the senior helped lead the Bulldogs to a 22-point win over the Cardinals (10-13).

Branch led the Bulldogs (20-3) with 26 points and 26 rebounds, while Kyleigh McLendon added 10 points.

The Bulldogs knocked down 15 free throws and connected 20 times inside the three-point arc in the victory.

With the win, Albemarle faces North Stanly for the third time this season and the second time in this calendar week. The Bulldogs won 58-39 at North on Jan. 22 and won 67-48 on Monday.

UA    9    8    9    10    36

A    17    19    5    17    58

A – Akela Branch 26, Kyleigh McLendon 10, Currie 8, Davis-Hill 6, Montigue 2, Williams 2, Howard 1, Joseph 1, Donnally 1, Smith 1.

North Stanly 38, Gray Stone 22

The No. 2 seeded North Stanly Comets faced off with No. 3 Gray Stone in the second game of the semifinal matchups on Wednesday evening.

Despite being kept to their third-lowest point total of the season, the Comets contained Gray Stone to its second-lowest point output of the season in a 16-point win over the Knights.

Two seniors reached double figures to lead North Stanly (14-8).

Gentry Grubb led the Comets with 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting from the field, while Dana Beadle just missed a double-double with 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

As a team, North Stanly shot 26 percent from the field (13-of-50) and 10-of-17 at the free-throw line.

GS    4    6    10    2    22

NS    9    10    8    11    38

NS – Gentry Grubb 13, Dana Beadle 11, Almond 5, Chandler 3, Smith 3, Hogan 2, Scott 1.

Tuesday’s Games


Albemarle 85, Queen’s Grant 51

The Bulldogs entered Tuesday’s regular-season finale with the Queen’s Grant Stallions having claimed the YYC West regular-season title 24 hours earlier with a home win over county rival North Stanly.

The Bulldogs closed out a perfect conference record and honored seniors Bryan Blanton and Andre Ridenhour with a 34-point win over the Stallions.

Lee Autry led four in double figures for Albemarle (21-1) with 15 points.

“Our defense was outstanding in the second quarter,”Albemarle head coach Al Andrew said.

“We forced turnovers and made shots.”

QG    9    8    17    17    51

A    15    30    18    22    85

QG – Jace Weir 18, Duane Goodman 17, Patrick Tape’ 13, Dixon 3.

A – Lee Autry 15, Terrace Ellis 13, Kani Sellers 11, Andre Ridenhour 10, Blanton 9, Swaringen 7, Baldwin 7, Nivens 5, Harris 4, Ratliff 4.

North Stanly 89, South Stanly 62

The Comets bounced back from Monday’s loss to the Bulldogs and posted three in double figures in a road win over the Rebel Bulls.

Luke Gibson led North with 14 points, including four three-pointers  in a huge second quarter for the Comets.

Senior Terrance Smith led South (2-21, 0-10 YVC-W) with 14 points while senior Wes Smith added 12 and junior Dylan Starnes had 10.

NS    15    26    22    26    89

SS    13    10    20    19    62

NS – Caulder 8, Jai-Len Harris 12, A.J. Atkins 12, Humphrey 6, Luke Gibson 14, Misenheimer 7, Burris 6, Blalock 3, Reid 4, Turner 6, Almond 7, Medlin 4.

SS – Johnson 6, Terrance Smith 14, B. Granados 5,     Liveman 2, Wes Smith 12, Dylan Starnes 10, G. Granados 4, Craig 2, Lomax 7.


Albemarle 79, Queen’s Grant 28

The Bulldogs wrapped up the regular season on Tuesday night with a  home win over the winless Stallions.

Akela Branch posted her fourth  triple-double of the season for Albemarle with 19 points, 20 rebounds  and 10 blocks. Tiffani Currie and Kiana Davis-Hill each added 11 points for the Bulldogs.

QG    5    4    8    11    28    

A    21    27    17    14    79

A – Akela Branch 19, Tiffani Currie 11, Kiana Davis-Hill 11, Howard 8, McLendon 8, Smith 8, Burleson 6, Bowman 3, Joseph 2, Donnally 2, Williams 1.

North Stanly 47, South Stanly 37

The Comets wrapped up the regular season with a 10-point road win over the Rebel Bulls.

Aaliyah Scott led three in double figures for North with 13 points.

Chelsey Culp paced the Bulls (6-16, 3-7 YVC-W) with 12 points and Gabby Benjamin added 11.

North jumped out to a fast 5-0 lead on a Weslyn Almond three-pointer and a Grubb basket and never trailed, opening up a double-digit lead in the second quarter with an 8-0 run midway through the period.

Trailing by 14 in the fourth, a 9-0 South run pulled the Bulls to within five 36-31 with 4:31 left, but North answered with five quick points enroute to the win.

NS    7    17    10    13    47

SS    2    10    10    15    37

NS – Aaliyah Scott 13, Dana Beadle 11, Gentry Grubb 10, Chandler 7, Almond 5, Smith 1.

SS – Chelsey Culp 12, Gabby Benjamin 11, Nance 4, Allen 3, Lisk 3, Curlee 2, Whitley 2.