MISENHEIMER — Racing to a 21-point lead through one quarter and a 33-point lead by halftime, Albemarle cruised past North Stanly for a 72-36 win in a battle of two of the top girls’ basketball teams in both Stanly County and the Yadkin Valley Conference at Pfeiffer’s Merner Gym on Jan. 30.
It was the third meeting of the season between the two teams; the Bulldogs (15-4, 6-1 YVC) won 76-45 on Dec. 27 and the Comets (17-3, 6-2 YVC) won 45-44 on Jan. 6.
With the victory, the Bulldogs moved into sixth place in MaxPreps’ Division 1A West rankings. The Comets fell to No. 13 in 2A West.
“I thought our defense was good and we played good team ball,” Albemarle coach Eric Davis said. “We let off in the second half a little bit and got sloppy, but overall it was a pretty good game. I’m happy with our defense, but we just have to stay focused for 32 minutes. We’re trying to make a run for the playoffs and trying to get better.”
Sophomore point guard Amari Baldwin led the Bulldogs with 18 points, while fellow sophomore guard Jordyn Crump provided 14 points off the bench. Senior guard Nyleiah White and sophomore forward Bianca Robinson each added 11 points for Albemarle.
Held to just eight first-half points before improving slightly in the second half, the Comets struggled from the floor, an issue made more difficult because sophomore forward Shayln Bell did not play in the game.
Freshman point guard Alexandria Brown led North Stanly with 11 points, and junior forward Karlye Stamper and senior center Paris Bennett had eight and seven points, respectively.
Albemarle is now riding a six-game winning streak with just four games left on the schedule and hoping to stay in first place in the YVC standings. The Bulldogs are set to host second-place Union Academy (12-6, 5-1 YVC) on Feb. 3 before traveling to Robinson (5-10, 2-4 YVC) on Feb. 7.
Now with back-to-back losses — the Comets were defeated at Union Academy on Jan. 26 —third-place North Stanly will try to correct the course with home games against Mount Pleasant (6-13, 2-5 YVC) on Feb. 2 and Union Academy on Feb. 10.