Albemarle women take lead in YVC with win over North Stanly
Published 1:48 am Tuesday, January 31, 2023
The women’s basketball teams of Albemarle and North Stanly met for the final time in the regular season Monday night at Pfeiffer University.
Albemarle, ranked sixth in the 1A West and on a five-game win streak, needed a victory to take sole possession of first place in the conference.
North saw a six-game losing streak end last Thursday in a three-point loss at Union Academy. The loss was especially costly when the team’s leading scorer, Shalyn Bell, was ejected after the game was over, bringing an automatic two-game suspension.
Albemarle scored 18 of the first 20 points of the game and went on to a 72-36 win over the Comets. It was the second time this season the Bulldogs have beaten North by 30 or more points, with the previous win coming in the West Stanly holiday tournament.
Amari Baldwin led four Bulldogs (15-4, 6-1 YVC) with 18 points while Jordyn Crump came off the bench to add 14 points. Nyleiah White scored 12 of her 13 in the first half and Bianca Robinson scored eight of her 11 in the second half.
Freshman Lexie Brown led North (17-3, 6-2) with 11 points, including nine in the second half, while Karlye Stamper scored nine second-half points, finishing with 10 for the Comets.
Albemarle’s pressure defense and transition offense led to an 18-2 run to start the game. The Bulldogs led 27-6 after one quarter and 41-8 at halftime, outscoring the Comets 14-2 in the second period.
The last time the two teams took the court, the Comets got a one-point win, and Baldwin had the ball in her hands in the final seconds, missing a layup.
“I knew I had to come in more focused because last time it was in my hands,” Baldwin said.
The sophomore guard said she felt like the pressure got into North’s heads, which led to the win. She said the loss to North was motivation for the team heading into Monday’s game.
Robinson said North’s forwards shut down the Albemarle forwards early on so the Bulldogs’ frontcourt “had to play like 10 times more aggressively. The more aggressive they got, the more we had to get. We did what we needed to do and dominated.”
Albemarle head coach Eric Davis noted in the last two games, the Bulldogs’ defense allowed an average of 20 points in the two wins.
“We’ve really been focused on competing,” Davis said. “In the last game (with North), the refs dictated a lot of the pace. Before we could do anything else, we had four in foul trouble.”
However, on Monday night, he added, Albemarle “did a good job of sharing the ball. We’re still young, so they are still learning. Overall, our big message is to compete on every possession.”
On having balanced scoring, Davis said, “that’s what we want is to be balanced. That way, you can’t really focus in…our guards can shoot really well, so it’s just a matter of them being confidant.”
The win puts the Bulldogs in first place, a half-game ahead of the Comets and Union Academy in the standings. Albemarle has three regular-season conference games left, including Friday’s home game with Union Academy.
North has two games left in the regular season, taking on Mount Pleasant this Friday and Union Academy a week later on Feb. 10.