NEW LONDON — Over the weekend, North Stanly released the bracket pairings for its upcoming 2021 Comet Christmas Classic boys’ basketball tournament that it will be hosting Dec. 28-30.
The Comets (5-4, 2-1 Yadkin Valley) will square off in Tuesday’s first round at 8:30 p.m. against 3A West Region opponent Montgomery Central (2-5, 0-0 Mid-Piedmont) — with the winner advancing to play either South Stanly (0-10, 0-3 Yadkin Valley) or Piedmont (3-5, 0-0 Southern Carolina), which play at 7 p.m.
In the other half of the first-round bracket, Gray Stone (0-5, 0-3 Yadkin Valley) and West Stanly (5-4, 0-0 Rocky River) will meet for the first time this year (5:30 p.m.) as both teams look to snap a string of consecutive losses. The team that advances from that pairing will challenge the winner of a 4 p.m. game between Concord (6-2, 1-1 South Piedmont) and Mountain Island Charter (2-4, 0-0 Catawba Shores).
The second-round matchups are scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and the tournament championship is slated to begin at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.
As the tournament hosts, the Comets have an opportunity to make a splash in front of a large crowd and build momentum heading into the new year’s schedule — North Stanly most recently beat winless South Stanly 83-50 and is 2-2 in its last four contests. North Stanly previously suffered a 79-64 loss at Concord, left Gray Stone with an 87-48 win and fell victim to Robinson in a 67-42 road loss.
South Stanly and Gray Stone will both enter the Christmas tournament hoping to notch their first win of the season. The Bulls have been outscored 645-490 throughout their 10 games, while the Knights have been outscored 348-186 in their five games.
West Stanly was set to face 4A West Region opponent Sun Valley on the road Tuesday night. Heading into that game, the Colts had dropped three out of four after starting the season with a 4-1 record. The Colts fell victim to Montgomery Central in a 62-47 road loss, left Mount Pleasant with a 65-57 loss, defeated South Stanly on the road 63-53 and lost to Piedmont at home 51-37.
The 2021 Comet Christmas Classic will also feature a losers’ bracket schedule set for the final two days of the tournament that will determine matchups in third-place, fifth-place and seventh-place games.