North Stanly women’s basketball falls in second-round road playoff game

(Sports Editor’s Note: Jeff Rollins of The Digital Courier contributed to this story.)

North Stanly’s women’s basketball went on the road Thursday night in the second round of the 2A state playoffs and ran into an offensive juggernaut in the East Rutherford Cavaliers.

The Cavs outscored North in every quarter and advanced to the Sweet 16 with an 88-54 win.

Shalyn Bell had a huge night for the Comets (21-5) with 30 points and 11 rebounds, while Lexi Brown added 10 points.

Jada Whitesides led four in double figures for East Rutherford (27-2) with 28 points. Alaiah Flack added 15, while Destiney Hicks and Alayna Watkins scored 11 and 10, respectively.

Whiteside scored 16 of her points from the free-throw line while Watkins and Hicks combined for nine steals and eight boards.

North jumped out to a 10-5 lead, forcing an early Cavs timeout, but Hicks said she helped motivate her team.

“I was just trying to be that person to lead the team as a senior,” Hicks said. “If we lose,lose, we are done so if we don’t have that energy, we aren’t going to be able to play like we should play.”

Hicks couldn’t quite find her shot against the Comets so she quickly realized her talents were needed elsewhere.

“My shot wasn’t really falling in the inside like last game and I couldn’t make layups so my goal was to just give it to the people who were scoring and hitting their shots,” Hicks said.

She dished out pass after pass to Whitesides, Kadence Vanover and freshman guard Alaiah Flack, who combined for six 3-pointers to take a 29-15 lead at the first buzzer.

Whitesides came out firing in the second quarter, putting up 12 of the Cavaliers’ 21 points. East led 50-32 at halftime and outscored North 38-22 in the second half.

The Cavs connected on 14 3-pointers and 30 free throws in the win. North had two makes from the three-point arc and was 18-of-26 at the foul line.

North Stanly head coach Regan Allen-Perry said while the result was not the outcome the team wanted, she was “so proud of the girls and how hard they have worked this season. Even once the game was over, the girls were already talking about what we can do to improve for next year.”

Paris Bennett is the lone senior graduating for the Comets, who finished with 20 wins for the first time since the 2011-12 season. Allen-Perry is 39-7 in two seasons as North’s head coach.

NSHS 15 17 8 14 – 54

ERHS 29 21 18 20 – 88

Scoring Summary

North Stanly

Shalyn Bell (30), Lexi Brown (10), Paris Bennett (8), Karlye Stamper (6)

East Rutherford

Jada Whitesides (28), Alaiah Flack (15), Destiney Hicks (11), Alayna Watkins (10), Kadence Vanover (9), Faith Smith (5), Zilah Dewberry (5), Taniyah Cash (3), Kendall Roberts (1), Bella Bridges (1)