By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
Friday, January 25, 2013 —
The Albemarle varsity basketball squads hosted South Stanly on Wednesday night for a Yadkin Valley Conference doubleheader.
In the opening game, the girls’ squads carried the drama of the outcome into overtime, while the boys’ game saw a huge second-quarter run keep Albemarle’s win streak alive.
South Stanly 47
The girls’ basketball game on Wednesday night would need an extra four minutes to decide the outcome.
In overtime, one Albemarle freshman showed the poise of a veteran player, knocking down two critical three-pointers that lifted the Bulldogs to a 50-47 win over South Stanly.
Kyleigh McLendon led Albemarle (4-10, 3-6 YVC) with 23 points including eight of the Bulldogs’ 10 points in overtime, shooting 7-of-14 from the field in the game.
Akela Branch had another double-double for Albemarle with 21 points and 21 rebounds, along with two blocks and three steals.
Chelsey Culp had a huge night for South Stanly (2-13, 1-8), scoring 23 of her game-high 25 points in the second half of play. Ashlyn Whitley showed the touch from outside for the Bulls, adding 15 points, 12 of which came in the first half.
Albemarle used a 7-0 run in the opening quarter to lead 15-6 before the Bulls rallied in the second period. Whitley scored eight of South’s 10 points in the second quarter and the Bulls rallied to tie the score 18-18 at the halftime break.
Neither team led by more than three points in the third quarter but it was South Stanly that started strong in the final quarter of regulation. Culp scored the first seven points of the fourth for the Bulls and South led 37-31 with 4:54 left in the fourth.
The Bulldogs rallied to take a one-point lead with 2:51 left on a McLendon three-pointer, and South answered to retake the lead 40-38 on two Culp free throws.
Tiffanie Currie nearly sent Albemarle to the win in regulation but her 22-foot bank-shot three pointer was well after the buzzer and the game went to ovetime.
The two teams exchanged the lead three times in the first two minutes of overtime, but it was the Bulls that led 47-45 with 1:38 left in the game on a coast-to-coast layup by Culp.
McLendon gave Albemarle the lead for good with a three-pointer with 36 seconds left on the clock. She and Currie each added a free throw in the final seconds for the final result.
“The girls did well in overtime; they settled down and played under control,” Albemarle head coach Elbert Branch said.
“If we just have patience on offense, we are fine; we didn’t lose our poise.”
Branch also said that his players played well as a unit and never got down on themselves in the game.
Albemarle is scheduled to host West Montgomery (7-3, 7-1) on Friday while South Stanly travels to East Montgomery (2-11, 2-7).
SS 8 10 11 14 7 47
A 15 3 11 11 10 50
SS – Ashlyn Whitley 15, Benjamin 6, Cheslea Culp 25, C. Russell 2.
A – Kyleigh McLendon 23, Akela Branch 21, Currie 3, Bruton 2, Davis-Hill 1.
South Stanly 42
Albemarle used their high-pressure defense to create shot opportunities and win their 12th straight game 79-42 over South Stanly.
Terrace Ellis led three in double figures for the Bulldogs (12-1, 8-1 YVC) with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting frome the field, including 4-of-5 from the three-point arc. Center Lee Autry added 11 points, including 5-of-8 at the foul line, and senior Delonte Crowder added 10 points.
Wes Smith paced the Rebel Bulls (5-10, 4-5) with 13 points and Terrance Smith added 10 points off the bench for South.
The Bulldogs got a big contribution off the bench in Wednesday’s win as Albemarle had 31 bench points in the game led by Crowder’s 10 points.
With the game tied 6-6 in the first quarter, the Bulldogs got a basket from Bryan Blanton and were able to set up their full-court press, creating steals and starting a 7-0 run for Albemarle which led to an 18-10 lead after one quarter.
In the second, South was 0-of-9 from the field as the ‘Dogs pressed and forced a great percentage of their 22 steals in the game in that period, outscoring the Bulls 24-3 in the frame.
Albemarle subbed five in and five out for much of the third quarter and went deep into the bench in the final period as well enroute to the win.
“I don’t know how well we ran our press tonight, but we were playing really hard and it snowballed,” Albemarle head coach Al Andrew said.
“We still have a long way to go, too.”
Andrew talked about the team’s win streak, saying that “you don’t get anything for streaks; there are no trophies.”
SS 10 3 10 19 42
A 18 24 18 19 79
SS – Wes Smith 13, Terrance Smith 10, Granados 8, Burris 4, Johnson 4, Harris 2.
A – Terrace Ellis 20, Lee Autry 11, Delonte Crowder 10, Christian 6, R. Baldwin 6, Williams 6, Blanton 5, Currie 4, Dumas 4, Ridenhour 4, Nivens 3.