North Stanly men’s basketball pulls into tie for first in YVC standings, tops South

Published 9:58 pm Wednesday, February 7, 2024

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North Stanly was the site Tuesday night for a battle between the two men’s basketball teams with the best overall records in the Yadkin Valley Conference.

The Comets came into the game trailing South Stanly for first place in the standings by one game.

North pulled away in the fourth quarter and pulled into a tie for first place with the Bulls in a 61-50 win.

Jack Williamson had a big night for North (16-5, 6-1 YVC) with 28 points, shooting 9-of-13 from the field. He was 4-of-5 from the three-point arc and a perfect 6-of-6 at the foul line. The junior made it a double-double with 10 rebounds.

Jalen Walker added 12 points for the Comets, hitting 7-of-10 at the free-throw line, while Gavin Helms and Jay Jackson scored seven each. Helms led North with 10 rebounds.

Drew Gaddy led three in double figures for South (17-4, 6-1) with 15 points, 10 coming in the first half. Cohen Whitley added 12 points, all coming in the third, and Gavyn Miller scored 11.

North had the advantage at the foul line, shooting 17-of-29 (59%) while South was 4-of-10 (40%).

South led 9-3 early in the first quarter, but a Williamson three from the corner in the waning seconds put the Comets up 13-12 after one period.

Tied at 22 midway through the second, North surged forward in the latter part of the first half, leading 29-24 at the break.

South kept the game close in the third as Whitley’s 3-pointer with 3.8 seconds left gave the Bulls a one-point lead, 43-42.

The fourth quarter could not have started better for the Comets. South missed its first 10 shots while North retook the lead with an 8-0 run over the first few minutes of the quarter.

South broke the drought with a Gaddy three at the 4:33 mark of the fourth, but the Bulls could not get closer than four as the Comets pulled away late for the 11-point win.

“We changed (defenses) on a few possessions…I thought we guarded a little better in the fourth quarter,” North head coach George Walker said.

Walker added Williamson’s layup off a backdoor cut to start the fourth gave the team a lot of momentum.

“(Tuesday’s win) shows our toughness, our grittiness to find a way to win. You’re not going to play great every possession, every night, but sometimes you’ve just got to dig deep and find a way,” Walker said.

With the win, North leads Mount Pleasant by a game for the guaranteed 2A conference seed into the state playoffs. The two teams play at Mount Friday; the Tigers won the earlier match at North, 79-68, despite the Comets leading by 14 earlier in that game.

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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