Stanly basketball teams play first-round matchups

Published 7:17 pm Thursday, February 29, 2024

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Tuesday saw seven Stanly basketball teams play in the first round of the NCHSAA state playoffs, with several advancing to the next round Friday.

1A Women’s Playoffs

Albemarle, the No. 4 seed in the Western Region, had no troubles advancing with a 73-19 win versus Mountain Island Charter.

Amari Baldwin led Albemarle (23-3) with 24 points while Jasmine Brown added 18. Kai Spencer and Jordyn Crump added nine each for the Bulldogs.

Albemarle outscored the Raptors (8-15) 32-8 in the first quarter and led 56-16 at halftime. The Bulldogs shut out Mountain Island in the third quarter 15-0.

The Bulldogs will face fellow YVC opponent Union Academy for a fourth time Friday night. The 13-seeded Cardinals advanced with a 64-47 home win versus No. 20 Leadership Academy.

Bishop McGuinness 71, Gray Stone 17

The Knights (8-16) were eliminated in a road loss to the No. 2 ranked Villains.

Bishop (23-4) outscored Gray Stone 33-7 in the opening quarter and led 55-9 at halftime.

2A Women’s Basketball

For the first time in recent memory, two Stanly teams will face off against each other in a postseason basketball game Friday when North Stanly hosts West Stanly.

North, the No. 7 seed in the 2A West Region, won its first-round game against fellow YVC opponent Mount Pleasant 44-30.

The Colts, seeded 10th in the West, advanced in the playoffs with a 57-39 win over 23rd-seed McMichael.

North Stanly won both matchups this season versus West. The Comets won at home Dec. 14, 57-42, then at West Jan. 25, 62-44.

1A Men’s Basketball

South Stanly 66, East Wilkes 50

The Bulls came very close to having six players with 10 or more points in a balanced effort as South pulled away in the third period for the win.

Cohen Whitley led South (23-4) with 14 points with Drew Gaddy adding 13, Gavyn Miller 12 and Jaxon Valler 10. Keith Murphy had nine for the Bulls and Ethan Gaddy finished with eight.

Whitley and Drew Gaddy had four assists each in the win while Valler led South with nine rebounds. Murphy added eight boards for the Bulls.

Leading 27-21 at halftime, the Bulls outscored East Wilkes (10-15) 17-5 in the third quarter to lead 44-26.

The Bulls host No. 23 Mountain Island Charter (11-13) Friday night at 6. The Raptors won at No. 10 Hiwassee Dam 82-73.

2A Men’s Basketball

Bandys 58, North Stanly 56

The Comets (18-9) came up just short of having a home doubleheader with the women’s team.

In a game that came down to the final seconds, the No. 23-seeded Trojans came away with a two-point upset win over the tenth-seeded Comets.

Jack Williamson led North with 25 points, hitting 7-of-17 from the field and 9-of-10 at the foul line. Williamson led the Comets with six assists and eight rebounds.

In the final minute with Bandys (16-10) leading 56-54 and running the clock out, North’s Jalen Walker nearly came up with a steal and breakaway, but the ball went out of bounds.

Seconds later, Bandys inbounded the ball at halfcourt and Bandys junior forward Christian Etter was fouled. Etter dribbled to the hoop and appeared to attempt a layup, drawing a technical foul.

Williamson sank two free throws, with the technical giving North a chance to take the lead. After running the clock down to under 12 seconds, Walker drove the lane.

His shot went off the backboard, and as Etter pulled down the defensive rebound, sophomore guard Brady Swett broke for the other end of the court, getting behind North’s defense. Etter hit Swett in stride with a long pass, and Swett laid the ball off the glass to give Bandys the lead.

After a timeout, North had one second left and tried to get the ball in bounds, but the pass was knocked out by Bandys at midcourt. With .5 seconds on the clock, North inbounded the ball at halfcourt to Williamson, but his shot from about 23 feet out missed, giving the visitors the win.

North head coach George Walker said this season was a great one for the Comets.

“I’m proud of everything we accomplished with this group. I’m going to miss Jacob (Smith) and Jay (Jackson) as they graduate, but we return a lot and the JV team won the league. (We have) a lot to look forward to (next season),” Walker said.

Newton-Conover 80, West Stanly 58

The Colts’ season wrapped up Tuesday night with a loss on the road to the No. 3 seeded Red Devils (21-7).

West Stanly finished the season 12-14 overall, finishing fifth in the 2A/3A Rocky River Conference standings.

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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