ALBEMARLE — While the North Stanly boys’ and girls’ teams, as well as the West Stanly boys’ team, began the NCHSAA basketball state playoffs with high hopes last week, all three squads were eliminated by their first-round opponents on Feb. 23.
The eighth-seeded North Stanly boys (11-3, 8-0 Yadkin Valley Conference) — who entered the state 1A bracket with the mission of extending their 11-game winning streak — suffered a 74-67 overtime loss at home to ninth-seeded Pine Lake Preparatory (15-2, 14-1 PAC 7 Conference).
The conference champion Comets rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to outscore the Pride 24-15 in the third quarter and ended regulation tied 59-59 tied but were outscored 15-8 in the overtime period.
Pine Lake Preparatory advanced to the second round of playoff action where it fell 61-60 to Mitchell (10-6, 7-3 Western Highlands Conference).
In the girls’ 1A bracket, the No. 14 Comets (7-4, 6-2 YVC), were defeated 64-35 by third-seeded Hiwassee Dam (9-5, 5-1 Little Smoky Mountain Conference). The Eagles surged to a 21-11 lead in the first quarter and didn’t look back, cruising to a 29-point victory.
Hiwassee Dam was knocked off in the second round of the tournament by Mitchell (16-0, 10-0 WHC) in a 64-57 loss two days later.
The YVC announced its conference accolades for the season Feb. 27, and North Stanly was well-represented, starting with Comet head coach George Walker being named YVC Coach of the Year.
Comets Dyson Bell (named overall Player of the Year), Stefan Harris, Clay Hatley and Doug Smith were selected to the All-Conference team, while Cooper Hogan was added to the honorable mention All-Conference team. On the girls’ team, Comets Alexis Goode and Mary Beth Bowers were both awarded All-Conference honors.
Eighth-seeded West Stanly Colts (11-2, 8-1 Rocky River Conference) hosted the ninth-seeded Atkins Camels (13-2, 12-1 Western Piedmont Conference) in the boys’ 2A bracket on Feb. 23, and the conference co-champion Colts’ postseason ended with a 68-53 loss to the Camels.
In its second-round game, Atkins was defeated by Hendersonville (16-0, 10-0 Mountain Six Conference) in a high-scoring 89-82 finish.
Six Colts were represented when the RRC announced its conference accolades for the season on Feb. 27. West Stanly’s Austin Medlin (named overall Player of the Year), Caleb Ferree, Jake Bartell and Trevor Kelly were selected to the All-Conference team, while Jordan Manshack and Tayshawn Haygood were added to the honorable mention All-Conference team.
“Congratulations to my guys receiving recognition for All Conference and Honorable Mention All Conference,” West Stanly head coach and RRC Coach of the Year John Thompson posted on his Facebook page. “Great basketball players and even better young men. Four all conference, including player of the year and two honorable mention. Very proud!”