With the high school basketball season now underway, here is a look at the varsity boys’ and girls’ teams at Stanly County’s five schools.
West Stanly Colts (Rocky River Conference 2A/3A)
2021-22 Records: 12-11, 7-3 (boys) — 7-19, 4-6 (girls)
Coach Dustin Pflugner has taken over the West boys’ team after the retirement of John Thompson, who coached the team for 12 years. Last year’s squad was runner-up to Monroe in the conference standings but won the conference tournament championship over Anson.
The Colts opened the season on Nov. 22 with a 76-72 home loss to South Stanly and will face Albemarle at home on Dec. 2.
On the girls’ side, fifth-year coach Chad Horn is hoping to rebound from a season in which his team lost 11 of its first 12 games, preventing the Colts from making a run for the RRC title.
On Nov. 22, the Colts began their nonconference schedule with a 35-33 home loss to Piedmont. The group will host Albemarle (Dec. 2) before traveling to North Stanly (Dec. 5) and Charlotte Latin (Dec. 9).
North Stanly Comets (Yadkin Valley Conference 1A/2A)
2021-22 Records: 19-8, 10-2 (boys) — 20-3, 10-0 (girls)
Both Comets basketball teams reached the state tournament last season.
For the boys, third-year coach George Walker and his team finished in second place in both the YVC standings and tournament. The girls, led by second-year coach Regan Allen, went unbeaten in conference play and also won the YVC Tournament.
With eight seniors, Walker’s group is in position to excel once again. The Comets started the year with a 71-40 road win at Central Academy and a 70-62 road win at Southwestern Randolph.
Allen’s group, while missing five players from last year, still has a solid core and will look to battle at the top of the YVC again. The Comets posted a 50-24 road win at Central Academy to kick off the season.
South Stanly Rebel Bulls (Yadkin Valley Conference 1A/2A)
2021-22 Records: 5-20, 4-8 (boys)
Sixth-year boys’ coach Sean Whitley — also South’s athletic director — already has a win in the bag with the Bulls’ season-opening victory over West. After winning just five games last season, the Bulls are looking to improve upon the previous campaign.
Junior Drew Gaddy, senior Joseph Misenheimer and senior Joseph Findlay should all see an increased role for the Bulls, whose season continues with Southwestern Randolph (Dec. 2) and West again (Dec. 8).
Like last year, the Bulls do not have a girls’ varsity team, opting only for a junior varsity squad.
Albemarle Bulldogs (Yadkin Valley Conference 1A/2A)
2021-22 Records: 11-13, 5-7 (boys) — 19-8, 7-3 (girls)
With six seniors this year, second-year boys’ coach Chauncey Bruton has more with which to work, but his team will have to battle to post the school’s first winning season since the 2018-19 campaign.
Bishop McGuinness hosted Albemarle on Nov. 22, sending the road team back home with a 27-point loss. The Bulldogs faced off with North Rowan on Nov. 29
Just one year removed from a zero-win season, 10th-year coach Eric Davis and the Bulldogs girls made it to the third round of state playoffs last season with a relatively young lineup that still had room to grow.
The girls’ 2022-23 season began on Nov. 22 with a 70-42 road loss to Bishop McGuiness. Looking to rebound past that rough debut, the Bulldogs will face North Rowan, West Stanly and Salisbury next on the schedule.
Gray Stone Day Knights (Yadkin Valley Conference 1A/2A)
2021-22 Records: 0-19, 0-12 (boys) — 8-12, 4-6 (girls)
Featuring two new coaches, last season was a rebirth for a Gray Stone basketball program. Jaquan Goldston took up coaching duties for the Knights boys while Brittany Teller did the same for the Knights girls.
Both coaches are now back for their second season on the job.
The boys are aiming for their first win since Jan. 28, 2020, after back-to-back winless seasons, while the girls are looking to build off a strong second half of last season.
The two Knights’ teams opened up their year with home matchups versus Bradford Prep on Nov. 29.