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West men improve to 4-0 with home win over North

A late fourth-quarter surge lifted the West Stanly men’s basketball team to its fourth straight win Thursday with a 10-point victory over North Stanly, 65-55.

Austin Medlin scored 14 of his team-high 23 points for West (4-0) in the second half, while Nick Parker added 19 for the Colts including 5-of-6 at the foul line. Hayden Greene reached double figures for West with 16.

Bryson Childress connected on five 3-pointers and led North (1-1) and all scorers with 28 points.

The Comets struggled from the 3-point arc in the game, hitting 7-of-26 from the 3-point arc (27.3 percent). North was 20-of-63 overall (31.7 percent) and 8-of-16 at the foul line.

West was 25-of-60 from the field (41.7 percent) including 6-of-19 on 3-pointers and 9-of-13 for foul shots.

North played Thursday’s game without starting senior forward Carson Lowder for an undisclosed reason.

Both teams struggled to score in the early moments of the game. North missed its first eight shots, while West hit just one bucket in the first four minutes. Tied 7-7, Parker scored five in a row in the final two minutes, but Childress answered with five points in the final 30 seconds, giving the Comets a 14-12 lead after one quarter.

The two teams battled back and forth in the second quarter with neither leading by more then three points. A Greene basket with 7.9 seconds left in the first half tied the game 27-27.

North broke the tie on a Koby Poole 3-pointer to start the third, but West answered with a 12-0 run over the next three minutes. The Colts then went cold from the field in the final three minutes allowing the Comets to respond with an 11-4 push to pull within two points after three quarters, 43-41.

A dramatic game saw more drama unfold in the fourth. One minute into the period, Childress went down hard on a play with an apparent injury to his left thigh. The senior guard got back up and continued to play.

Seconds later, North’s starting center, Nalik Veasley, picked up his fourth foul. As he walked past a referee near the scorer’s table, Veasley bumped into the ref, who assessed a technical foul, Veasley’s fifth personal. Parker sank both free throws for West.

North’s Koby Poole got a technical foul 30 seconds later, putting Medlin on the line for two more free throws. Medlin made both and the lead stretched out to eight points, 49-41, with 6:22 left in the game.

The Comets got as close as six with 3:14 left on buckets from Dyson Bell and Garrett Clark, but Parker scored and then assisted on a Medlin trey to stretch West’s lead to double figures, 59-48, en route to the win.

“I told the guys that in a rivarly game where both teams love competing against each other, you have to play hard and play with emotion. You just have to know when to pull those emotions back and keep your head,” West head coach John Thompson said.

“We got a couple of big offensive rebounds…that’s one thing we want to try to do,” the West coach added.

Talking about his team’s composure while winning Thursday, Thompson said “there is a lot of parity, a lot of solid teams around here…we have a challenging non-conference schedule. Having a game like this and being able to weather it, learn from it might make it easier down the stretch.”

West hosts East Rowan (3-1) on Friday night while North returns to conference play to take on South Davidson (0-4).

NS  14  13  14  14   55
WS 12  15  16  22   65

NS – Bryson Childress 28, Bell 6, Hogan 6, Poole 5, Clark 4, Veasley 4, Watkins 2.
WS – Austin Medlin 23, Nick Parker 19, Hayden Greene 16, Kelly 5, Huneycutt 2.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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