Albemarle, North Stanly women’s basketball teams face off Tuesday

Published 4:25 pm Monday, January 22, 2024

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Two top-ranked high school women’s basketball teams will face off Tuesday night at Pfeiffer University.

Albemarle and North Stanly, who have battled each other for supremacy in the 1A/2A Yadkin Valley Conference the past several seasons, face off at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs will be designated the home team.

This season, the Bulldogs and Comets have only one loss on the season and are ranked highly by MaxPreps in their respective regions. Albemarle is fourth in the 1A West and North is 12th in the 2A West.

Albemarle (13-1) leads the YVC standings with a 4-0 mark and the team is on a 10-game win streak. The Bulldogs have posted wins versus Trinity and Chatham Charter, and won the Mount Pleasant holiday tournament with victories versus Parkwood (75-25), Mooresville (61-22) and Sun Valley (73-60).

Amari Baldwin, the team’s leading scorer at 26.7 points per game, passed the 1,000-point career plateau this season and through Friday’s win at Gray Stone, 72-24, has 1,312 points. Baldwin, a junior, is third overall in Albemarle women’s basketball history in points, trailing Kyleigh McLendon (1,654) and Akela Branch (1,805). She also averages 6.8 steals and 4.9 rebounds per game.

The Bulldogs also have junior forward Bianca Robinson, who averages nearly a double-double this season with 16.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, and senior forward Kai Spencer (9.2 ppg).

Albemarle’s only loss was to former conference foe North Rowan 87-72. The Cavaliers are ranked ninth in the 1A West standings.

North Stanly (12-1) is led by junior forward Shalyn Bell, who leads North in points per game (22.2), rebounds (16.4), steals (4.0) and blocks (3.2). This season, Bell became the 14th Comet women’s basketball player to score 1,000 points and set a school record with 42 points in a win versus Monroe.

Senior guard Gia Dunlap is in double-figures per game in points (10.2) and leads North with 4.2 assists per game.

Head coach Regan Allen-Perry also noted the play this season of sophomores Lexie Brown (G, 6.9 ppg, 2.7 apg) and Shy’mani Baskins (C, 3.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg).

“We are a deep team with a lot of young talent…while we are young, we have great leadership in Dunlap and Bell,” Allen-Perry said.

This season, North relaunched a tradition with the tip-off tournament to begin the schedule, posting wins in the round-robin format versus Anson County (60-23), Gray Stone Day (56-16) and Monroe (74-19).

The Comets opened this season 10-0 before losing at home to Union Academy to open conference play.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. 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 won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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