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Albemarle ends four-game losing streak, tops North Stanly

The Albemarle men’s basketball team made it two victories in the last three outings against North Stanly and stopped a four-game slide Friday with a 17-point win over the Comets at Pfeiffer University.

DeSean Horne scored 17 of his team-high 19 for Albemarle (2-4, 1-1 YVC) in the first half while Brandon Christian added 12 points for the Bulldogs.

North (2-2, 2-1) was led by Bryson Childress with 22 points with Carson Lowder returning to the lineup to add 10.

Ali Currie glides to the basket for a layup attempt for the Bulldogs in the second half of Friday’s game. (Photo by Charles Curcio)

The Comets were without center Nalik Veasley, who was ejected from last Thursday’s loss to West Stanly for bumping into an official. North also was short a starter with freshman Dyson Bell out due to illness.

North Stanly had not been limited to 42 points or less since a 41-29 win versus Union Academy on Feb. 1, 2013, a span of 149 games. The Comets finished the game 16-of-56 overall (28.6 percent) including 5-of-24 (20.8 percent) on 3-pointers. North was 5-of-16 from the foul line, including 3-of-11 in the fourth quarter.

Albemarle finished 22-of-50 overall (44 percent) and was strong at the foul line hitting 12-of-16 overall, including 10-of-12 in the fourth.

Koby Poole’s bucket with 1:09 left in the opening period put the Comets up 13-7 before Horne scored five points in the final 50 seconds to get the Bulldogs within a single point.

Horne scored 12 of Albemarle’s 18 second-quarter points as the Bulldogs took a double-digit lead. Childress tried to get North within single digits with a layup at the buzzer which counted on a goal-tending call, putting the Comets behind at halftime 29-21.

North went four minutes without a bucket in the third quarter as Albemarle got back up by double digits early in the period and led by 12 after three, 37-25.

Early in the fourth, the Comets got within seven on a Lowder three and a Childress bucket, but Albemarle got buckets from Brandon Christian and Cameron Williams to match North’s offense.

The Comets battled back to within seven with 3:08 left on another Lowder three, but Christian answered for Albemarle with a two-handed dunk at the 2:51 mark.  Down the stretch, Malachi Baldwin and Marc Raye Jr. knocked down free throws when North was forced to foul. A late 8-0 Albemarle run put the game out of reach for North.

“The kryptonite for us has been missing free throws at the end of the game. In the last week since we played North Rowan, we have worked on free throws,” Albemarle head coach Marc Raye said.

Noting North was down two players in the game, Raye added: “I would rather have a win with everyone having all their pieces so no one can say we won because they didn’t have certain players. At the end of the day, I’m happy with our effort.”

Horne talked about the win saying: “Coach (Raye) said at halftime we weren’t leading by that much and we had to go out and play tight defense on (Childress)…we had to go out and contest shots.”

The Bulldogs will be on the road for two games before the Christmas holiday. Albemarle goes to North Moore on Tuesday and West Stanly on Thursday.

North Stanly faces the Colts at home Monday and goes to 3A Concord the next night.

NS 13 8 4 17 42
A 12 17 8 22 59

NS – Bryson Childress 22, Carson Lowder 10, Poole 4, Clark 2, Hogan 2, Hunt 1, Watkins 1.
A – DeSean Horne 19, Brandon Christian 12, Baldwin 6, Raye Jr. 6, Williams 6, Quarles 5, Currie 3, Little 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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