ALBEMARLE — After losing four out of five games last month, the West Stanly boys’ basketball team has now won two of their last three games with Rocky River Conference play now in full swing.
The Colts (7-6, 2-1 RRC) traveled to longtime rival Forest Hills (6-9, 2-1 RRC) on Friday and came away with a 70-63 victory over the Yellow Jackets, putting both teams in a tie for second place in the RRC standings behind Monroe (6-5, 3-0 RRC).
West Stanly trailed 30-25 at halftime before it surged back into the lead during a fourth quarter in which it outscored the Yellow Jackets 27-17.
“I was pretty disappointed with how we played in the first quarter. We just made a lot of mental mistakes,” West Stanly coach John Thompson said. “We played really well after that and I had a couple of kids to step up. We took good care of the ball — we only had 10 turnovers for the game and only three in the second half — which has been one of our weaknesses.”
Thompson added that he has “a ton of respect” for Forest Hills’ basketball program and that being able to notch a big win on the road was a great accomplishment for his team. The Colts have beaten the Yellow Jackets in three of their past four meetings despite Forest Hills going four years without a conference loss prior to last season.
Junior Matthew Parker led the Colts in scoring with 16 points and added four rebounds, four assists and four steals. Senior Charlie Carpenter had 14 points and a team-high six rebounds, while juniors Camden Nahrgang and Jesse Boone each recorded 10 points for West Stanly.
Thompson said his team is growing and learning on the court following a tough stretch of games in December when his players were affected by injuries, COVID-19 quarantines and other illnesses.
“At one point, we probably went two weeks without having enough guys to practice,” he said. “So I think the biggest thing has been the fact that we’ve actually been healthy and we’ve been able to practice. We feel pretty good that if we can stay healthy and get a couple of practice days, we can make a run to be right there right where we need to be at the top of this conference.”
With Monday’s home matchup against North Stanly (9-5, 4-1 Yadkin Valley) canceled due to inclement weather concerns (and rescheduled for Feb. 8), West Stanly was set to play at Monroe on Tuesday night. The Redhawks have won three consecutive games, including an overtime victory over Parkwood on Friday.