Albemarle basketball teams sweep Anson Christmas Tournament titles

Published 6:39 pm Saturday, January 1, 2022

Even before this week’s holiday basketball tournaments opened, the Albemarle varsity squads both played in and claimed championships in a two-day tournament hosted by Anson County last week.

Women’s Basketball

The Bulldogs opened the tournament with a 45-41 win over Christ the King High School of Huntersville.

Amari Baldwin, who would eventually be named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, led the Dogs with 23 points and added six assists, six steals and four rebounds.

Jasmine Brown added a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds while Kai Spencer led the team with 10 rebounds, adding six points and four blocks.

Head coach Eric Davis said it was a hard-fought physical game which was neck and neck the whole way.

“In the second half, I felt our defense and rebounding was the difference.”

The Bulldogs then faced the host Bearcats in the championship finals and won 55-33.

Baldwin finished with 23 points while Brown, who made the All-Tournament Team, added 20 points.

Men’s Basketball

The Bulldogs posted wins over Christ The King and Union Academy to claim the tournament championship.

Against the Crusaders, Albemarle trailed by 15 at halftime and by 14 heading into the fourth quarter. Ali Currie, the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, scored 14 in the final period to lift the Bulldogs to a 71-66 win.

Currie led Albemarle with 25 points while Omare Price added 13 points and Malakhi Gatewood had eight.

In the win versus the Cardinals, Albemarle got 25 points from Currie and 10 from Price in a 66-51 win. Price was named to the All-Tournament team.

Gatewood and Jabari Brooks each added eight points for the Bulldogs.

Winning the tournament “was a major point,” head coach Chauncey Bruton said, “because we’ve felt like we’ve had a chance to win every game this season, but in the tournament we learned how to finish the game.”

Even after winning the title, however, Bruton said the team’s general feeling was “unsatisfied.”

“We continue to walk back in the locker room feeling like we could have played much better, which is a cool mindset to see in a group of guys who understand we have much bigger goals this season,” Bruton said.

 

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 four times by the North Carolina Press Association.

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