The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

January 21, 2013

S. Stanly loses narrowly to N. Moore; Gray Stone girls fall on buzzer-beater

By Charles Curcio and Dan O'Neal

Monday, January 21, 2013 — The varsity basketball squads of South Stanly and Gray Stone had Yadkin Valley Conference home games on Friday night.

Albemarle’s road games at North Rowan were cancelled Friday night and rescheduled for Jan. 31. The Bulldogs return to action Tuesday at South Davidson.

Girls’ Basketball

North Moore 50

South Stanly 43

The South Stanly girls’ basketball team had one of their best offensive quarters that the Bulls have had this season in the opening period of Friday night’s home contest against YVC opponent North Moore.

Scoring 20 points and hitting 8-of-14 shots from the field, the Bulls used solid ball movement to beat the trapping defense of the Mustangs and get easy layups.

Eventually, however, the pressure of the North Moore offense limited South’s looks at the basket over a 12-minute stretch and elevated the visiting Mustangs to a 50-43 win.

Chesley Culp led the Bulls (2-12, 1-7 YVC) with 15 points while Clancy Russell reached double figures with 10 points.

Jalisa Davis scored 11 of her game-high 21 points for North Moore (9-5, 5-3) in the first quarter to help the Mustangs keep pace with the hot-shooting Bulls.

Clancy Russell scored eight points in the opening period on layups after the Bulls avoided the trapping defense in the halfcourt and found the senior forward open several times at the basket.

North Moore countered South’s offense in the first quarter with a barrage of three-pointers. The Mustangs were 7-of-19 overall in the opening period and hit 4-of-11 from behind the arc, overcoming an eight-point South lead to pull within two points at the end of the first.

Leading 26-20 with 1:56 on the clock on a Rachel Nance bucket, North Moore finished the period with seven straight points, taking a one-point halftime lead.

The third quarter saw the Mustangs limit South to just 2-of-7 from the field while outscoring the Bulls 15-4 in the frame for a 12-point lead.

South trailed by as much as 14 points in the final period but rallied to pull within seven in the final seconds of the matchup.

“We had a great first quarter, but the third quarter and the pressure just killed us,” South head coach Larry Honeycutt said.

“I’m proud that the girls have not stopped playing hard; they are a good group to coach.”

South Stanly will be back on the court Friday night at East Mont-gomery.

NM    18    9    15    8    50

SS    20    6    4    13    43

NM –  Jalisa Davis 21, Dunmyer 8, Brewer 7, Sheffield 6, Martin 4, Loutz 3, Little 1.

SS –  Chelsey Culp 15, Clancy Russell 10, Nance 7, Whitley 5, S. Russell 3, Smith 2.

East Montgomery 55

Gray Stone 53

According to a youth basketball link on the Internet, one point can make a difference with regard to victory or defeat. There will be those who agree with such a statement whereas others will disagree.

The Gray Stone girls’ basketball squad will most certainly agree as a missed free throw with 6.5 seconds led to East Montgomery’s Ashley Greene taking the inbounds pass and throwing up a prayer from 24 feet out at the buzzer, leading the Eagles to a two-point win.

This game featured two teams who were in the lower tier of the Yadkin Valley Conference, which brought about much determination for both squads to rise to the higher tier. There were no wide margins at all as the Lady Eagles and the Lady Knights kept pace with each other for all four quarters although the third frame did end with East leading by seven.

But back came Gray Stone as they went on a 9-2 run during the first three minutes of the final period on key baskets by Erin Ansbro and Kate Sullivan along with a gorgeous give and go from Alley Deese to Kendall Taylor, putting the Knights ahead by four at the 2:48 mark of the fourth.

During the final stretch of the contest, with the Lady Knights aggressively guarding the inbounds pass at the 1:48 mark, an East Montgomery player called a time out after exhausting all their time outs, putting Catherine Harward on the foul line where she made one of two technical foul shots, making for a 49-48 Gray Stone lead.

From there, Deese scored on a lay-up at the 1:11 mark increasing the lead to 51-48. Shortly thereafter, a Hannah Watts free-throw tied the score at 52 with less than a minute to go in the game.

On the Lady Knights’ next possession, as they pushed the basketball up court, Harward was fouled with 6.5 seconds left, missing the first free throw and making the second. East inbounded the ball to Greene, who heaved the long shot and connected for the Lady Eagles win.

A telling statistic from the final period was the Knights’ free-throw shooting as Gray Stone was only 6-16 from the line.

Cat Harward paced Gray Stone (4-12, 1-8 YVC) with 14 points on 4 of 7 shooting from the field, all of which were threes along Erin Ansbro, who finished with 12.

Madison Crisco of East Montgomery (2-10, 2-6)  led all scorers with 18, going 7-of-7 from the charity stripe. Greene added 16 for the Eagles.

Gray Stone travels to West Montgomery on Tuesday night.

EM    14    10    16    15    55

GS    12    10    11    20    53

EM –  Madison Crisco 18, Ashley Greene 15, Harris 9, Watts 9, Hinson 2, Hassell 2.

GS –  Cat Harward 14, Erin Ansbro 12, Deese 7, Cadle 6, Taylor 4, Sullivan 4, Redman 3, Efird 2.

Boys’ Basketball

North Moore 65

South Stanly 60

The teams that finish in the top four in the YVC regular-season standings will automatically qualify to host a home game in the opening round of the postseason tournament, which made the boys’ game between North Moore and South Stanly on a chilly Friday night so important.

A win for the visiting Mustangs meant a season sweep over the Bulls as well as the first tiebreaker should the two teams finish tied at the end of the regular season.

In front of an enthusiastic crowd Friday night, the Bulls rallied to tie the game but fell at home to the Mustangs 65-60.

The backcourt combo for South Stanly had a huge night. Point guard Michard Richardson led the Bulls (5-9, 4-4 YVC) with 29 points while Bernardo Granados had the touch from the outside in the first half, finishing with 12 points.

Junior forward Quashan Davis was torrid in the clutch for North Moore (7-7, 5-3 YVC), scoring 15 of his game-high 35 points in the fourth quarter.

The Mustangs built a nine-point lead at the end of three quarters, hitting 13-of-28 shots in the middle periods while the Bulls were 8-of-28 over the same timeframe.

Trailing 55-44 with 4:19 left in the fourth, the Bulls went on a 10-2 run over the next three minutes, pulling to within three with 2:30 on the clock. Wes Smith hit seven points in the run.

South tied the game with 1:43 left on a Richardson three-pointer but it was Adam Bullard who gave North Moore lead with a bank-shot jumper in the lane with 53.2 seconds on the clock.

Smith hit a free throw to pull South within one, but Davis pulled down the rebound on a Smith miss on the second foul shot. The Mustang forward went coast-to-coast and scored swith 36.8 seconds left for a 63-60 score. The Bulls turned the ball over on their next possession and North Moore hit two free throws to seal the win.

“Our guys don’t quit, but we struggled defensively,” South head coach Mike Crump said, adding that the game “was there for the taking.”

NM    11    16    17    21    65

SS    11    11    13    25    60

NM –  Quashan Davis 34, Adam Bullard 14, Auman 8, Chisholm 6, Spivey 3.

SS –  Michard Richardson 29, Bernardo Granados 12, Smith 9, Burris 6, Johnson 4.

East Montgomery 76

Gray Stone 33

Though the Gray Stone Knights are a very young team and do not have the depth that most other teams in the Yadkin Valley Conference do have, it appears these young men refuse to make excuses.

This was evident that even through the fatigue and several missed field goal attempts, the Knights kept coming after their opponent, the East Montgomery Eagles.

After keeping the score close during the first quarter, East Montgomery would race to a 76-33 win.

If there was a player of the game award to be given, Knights center Sam HillJennings qualifies as he paced Gray Stone Day with 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting and retrieved several rebounds.

East Montgomery (7-8, 4-4) would be led by Demar Little, who led all scorers with 21 followed by sophomore Drew Lancaster with 14 points.

EM    13    26    16    21    76

GS    8    12    5    8    33

EM –   Little 21, Lancaster 14, Smith 9, Pegues 9, Chambers 7, Morrison 6, Scott 6, Baldwin 4

GS –  Sam HillJennings 13, Singletary 6, Mansfield 4, R.Huckabee 3, Wang 3, Latimer 2, Lantz 2