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Albemarle men open basketball season with big road win

The Albemarle men’s basketball team got its season off to a strong start last week in a non-conference matchup at Covenant Classical.

Albemarle point guard M.J. Raye had a huge night as the Bulldogs cruised to an 78-41 road win.

Raye, a junior, led Albemarle (1-0) with a double-double of 40 points and 10 assists, adding five rebounds and three steals as he adds to his career point total which went over the 1,000-point mark last season.

Regarding the win, M.J. said “I trust my teammates and believe in my brothers. I love playing basketball with them.”

Omare Price just missed adding a double-double of his own for the Bulldogs finishing with 10 points and eight assists, while Ali Currie added eight points, four rebounds and two steals.

Albemarle shook off a slow start trailing 5-0 early and outscored the Warriors 24-2 over the remainder of the first period. The Bulldogs built the lead up steadily throughout the game, leading 46-21 at halftime and outscoring the Warriors 32-20 in the second half.

Camarie McNeil helped spark the team in the first quarter with four steals in a row, converting each one into points. Head Coach Marc Raye said McNeil is “the ‘Dennis Rodman’ of the team,” adding “he is a magnet to the ball defensively and his rebounding is off the charts.”

Coach Raye said he got big minutes from all of his players in the game including great bench support from Malachi Gatewood, Tyqueese Ranking, Tyquan McDonald and Miles Gregory.

The Bulldogs’ game Tuesday at Cabarrus Charter has been cancelled, so Albemarle will next take the court Friday at Uwharrie Charter to open Yadkin Valley Conference play.