North women rally late, lose at East Rutherford in third-round game

Published 3:45 pm Friday, March 8, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The North Stanly women’s basketball team found itself down 20 points at halftime of Tuesday’s third-round playoff game at East Rutherford.

North rallied to tie the game in the waning minutes of regulation, but the host Cavaliers scored the final five points to eliminate the Comets from the postseason, 49-44.

Shalyn Bell had another big game for North (21-6) with 24 points and 12 rebounds. The junior forward added five blocks, four steals and three assists.

Shy’Mani Baskins led North with six steals, adding six rebounds, while Karlye Stamper had eight rebounds to go with five points. Gia Dunlap added three points and five rebounds for the Comets, and Lexi Brown scored eight and pulled down four boards.

North Stanly trailed at halftime, 31-11, but rallied in the third quarter to outscore East Rutherford (27-2) 20-7.

In the fourth, the Comets got the game within one possession in the final minutes. Bell hit two free throws with 1:42 left in the quarter to pull within one point, 44-43.

Later, North got a stop on defense, then Brown was fouled at midcourt with 1:20 on the clock. Brown hit a free throw to tie the game, 44-44.

In the final minute, an old-fashioned three-point play from Taniyah Cash lifted the Cavaliers to the win.

“The girls gave it everything they had,” North head coach Regan Allen-Perry said. “Take away the second quarter and we win that game. They could have quit in the first half, but they didn’t; they kept fighting.”

The Comets coach said her team’s efforts “speaks to the girls and the season as a whole: no matter the situation, they never gave up. All season, the girls pushed one another to get better and held each other accountable on and off the court.”

North graduates Dunlap, Stamper, Millie Barfield and Tsion Steele from this year’s team which reached the 20-win level for the third straight season.

“As a coach, I am the most proud of that. High school sports only last four years, but I hope they are able to take what they learn and apply it to life,” Allen-Perry said.

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.

email author More by Charles