NORWOOD — Going into halftime of Friday’s matchup between the North Stanly and South Stanly boys’ basketball teams, the Comets found themselves sitting on a narrow six-point lead over the home team.
Up to that point, it had been a scrappy game in the paint with 16 combined foul calls.
That single-digit lead eventually became an 80-49 blowout win for North Stanly (12-6, 7-2 Yadkin Valley), which now sits in second place in its conference standings behind Robinson.
“We calmed down in the second half and played better defense,” Comets coach George Walker said. “The first half was kind of messy and dirty with a lot of fouls called both ways. I’ve never seen that many fouls called — there were more in that first half than in most games.”
With the loss, South Stanly (2-16, 1-7) dropped to sixth place in the standings, with its only conference win of the season coming against winless Gray Stone Day.
After halftime, the referees allowed more contact under the rim, unleashing a Comets offense that had been suffocated by near-constant whistles and trips to the free-throw line. The Comets had runs of 22-6 in the third quarter and 16-5 in the fourth, overwhelming a South Stanly defense that had been worn down throughout the game.
North Stanly seniors Dyson Bell and Doug Smith each scored 24 points, while senior Clay Hatley added 10 points and junior Luke Cain had eight points. Smith, a 6-foot-7 power forward, was a factor in the third quarter, using his large frame to attack the Bulls’ front line.
“In the first half, he (Smith) was trapped over here with three fouls and didn’t get in, but we were able to double down and got it going our way when we scored six straight to start the second half,” Walker said.
Freshman Gavyn Miller led South Stanly with 13 points. Junior Omaurion Eldridge had 10 points and senior Carson Lowder added nine.
Both teams were scheduled to play Tuesday. The Comets were to face Albemarle, while the Bulls met Union Academy. North Stanly will travel to Mount Pleasant on Friday, and South Stanly has a Thursday night nonconference game against North Rowan.