By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
Friday, February 8, 2013 —
The Yadkin Valley Conference regular season has two weeks left in it with teams looking to qualify for the five guaranteed berths into the state 1A playoffs.
In YVC games on Tuesday, Albemarle was at home against East Montgomery, South Stanly hosted West Montgomery and Gray Stone was on the road at South Davidson.
East Montgomery 45
The first time this season that the boys’ basketball teams of Albemarle and East Montgomery met on the court, the Bulldogs pulled away in the second quarter and earned a 34-point road win in Biscoe.
Tuesday’s rematch in Albemarle saw the visiting Eagles give the host Bulldogs a tough run for their money in the first half. However, East struggled to score in the third when the Albemarle pressure defense paid dividends and the Bulldogs went on to a 61-45 win.
Deon Christian led the Bulldogs (15-2, 11-2) for the second time in as many games, leading Albemarle with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 at the free-throw line.
T’Kyle Williams added 12 points for the Bulldogs hitting 5-of-9 shots in the game.
Ahmad Baldwin and C.J. Robinson paced the Eagles (10-10, 7-6) with 12 points apiece.
The Eagles handled the full-court pressure of the Bulldogs well in the first half and shot a high percentage, hitting 5-of-11 in the first quarter and 3-of-7 in the second frame. East also knocked down 8-of-10 free throws in the second period to lead by two points 28-26 at halftime.
In the third, Albemarle forced some turnovers and limited the Eagles to 3-of-15 shooting. The Bulldogs went on a 11-0 run over a four-minute span in the middle of the period and built a 12-point lead after three quarters.
Albemarle led by as much as 17 points in the final period as both teams eventually emptied their benches in the waning minutes of the game.
“It was a different game tonight; East Montgomery competed and did not just give us a win. It was a good win over a team with talent,” Albemarle head coach Al Andrew said.
“We were not as quick in the first half as we were in the second. We have not had as many close games, so we had to play smart in the second half.”
The Bulldogs continue conference play on Friday night, hosting Gray Stone.
EM 13 15 7 10 45
A 16 10 21 14 61
EM – Ahmad Baldwin 12, C.J. Robinson 12, Morrison 8, Pegues 5, Little 4, Durham 3.
A – Deon Christian 18, T’Kyle Williams 12, Ellis 8, Blanton 7, Currie 5, Nivens 4, Autry 4, R. Baldwin 2, S. Baldwin 1.
West Montgomery 83
South Stanly 65
The South Stanly boys’ basketball team got a balanced effort from their starting five on Tuesday night at home against West Montgomery.
South had four starters in double figures but the visiting Warriors also had four scorers in double digits as West Montgomery went on to the 83-65 win.
Bernardo Grandos and Michard Richardson led the Rebel Bulls (7-13, 6-7 YVC) with 15 points each. Wes Smith added 11 and Juwan Johnson had 10.
Caleb Drake led West Mont-gomery (9-9, 8-5) and all scorers with 23 points.
WM 14 17 26 26 83
SS 12 16 16 21 65
WM – Caleb Drake 23, Brad Absher 19, Cody McKenzie 14, Deshawn Nicholson 13, Ben Morse 10, Marshall 2, Sims 2.
SS – Bernardo Granados 15, Michard Richardson 15, Wes Smith 11, Juwan Johnson 10, Burris 7, Harris 7, T. Smith 5, Holt 2.
South Davidson 76
Gray Stone 70
The Knights fell to 0-20 this season with a six-point road loss at South Davidson (2-16, 2-10).
Gray Stone travels to Albemarle on Friday night.
East Montgomery 49
At one point recently this season, the Albemarle girls’ basketball team had a comfortable lead for sixth place in the Yadkin Valley Conference, nipping at the heels of North Moore for the fifth-seed from the YVC into the 1A state playoffs.
Challenging the Bulldogs for their spot in the standings is East Montgomery, who pulled into seventh place and narrowed the gap between the Eagles and the ‘Dogs to one game in the standings, rallying from nine points down Tuesday night for a 49-46 road win.
Kyleigh McLendon and Akela Branch led the Bulldogs (5-13, 4-9 YVC) with 18 points each.
Madison Crisco paced East Mont-gomery (3-19, 3-10) with 16 points and Kiana Harris added 13.
The Bulldogs led 9-6 in the first quarter but East hit a trio of three-pointers and went on a 11-3 run into the early part of the second quarter, taking a 17-9 lead.
Albemarle rallied in a huge third quarter to take the lead, hitting 7-of-13 from the field and outscoring the Eagles 18-5 in the period.
East immediately went on the offensive in the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run over the first four mintues as a Harris three-pointer tied the game 36-36 with 4:11 on the clock.
Albemarle led 40-39 with 2:11 in the game before East took the lead for good on another Harris three-pointer. Albemarle pulled to withing a point in the final minute but could not score at the free-throwline and East held on for the win. The Bulldogs were 6-of-16 from the charity stripe in the fourth.
EM 12 10 5 22 49
A 9 9 18 10 46
EM – Madison Crisco 16, Kiana Harris 13, Hassell 3, Watts 8, Greene 9.
A – Kyleigh McLendon 18, Akela Branch 18, Currie 5, Bruton 5.
West Montgomery 59
South Stanly 43
The South Stanly girls’ basketball team lost their home game Tuesday night to West Montgomery 59-43, but lost something more important in the game: the team’s leading scorer this season.
Chelsey Culp suffered an elbow injury on a layup attempt right before halftime and did not return to the game, but she should play in Friday’s game at North Rowan.
In her absence, Ashlyn Whitley stepped up in a big way, leading the Bulls (4-16, 2-11 YVC) with 24 points, leading a second-half rally.
Danasia Dumas led the Warriors (11-4, 11-2) with 19 points.
West Montgomery led by 15 at halftime and by as much as 27 at one point, but the Bulls fought back to cut the lead to 13.
“I thought we played great the second half especially since we did not have Chelsey on the floor. We really played hard to get back in the game,” South head coach Larry Honeycutt said.
WM 11 23 16 9 59
SS 7 12 10 14 43
WM – Danasia Dumas 19, Latoya Cuthrell 11, Johnson 9, Lindsey 9, Diggs 4, Burchette 3, Steele 2, Waddell 2.
SS – Ashyln Whitley 24, C. Russell 6, Nance 5, S. Russell 4, Culp 2, Benjamin 2.
South Davidson 72
Gray Stone 25
The Gray Stone girls suffered a 72-25 loss Tuesday night at South Davidson, falling to 5-14 overall and 2-12 in the YVC.
Madison Sigmon led South Davidson (16-2, 12-0) with 20 points while Madison Beeson added 16 and Larsen Sigmon had 13 points.
GS 6 4 0 15 25
SD 18 13 25 16 72