Albemarle girls advance to fourth round of state playoffs

The Bulldogs have won eight games in a row

In the third-round matchup of the NCHSAA 1A tournament, the fourth-seeded Albemarle Bulldogs girls’ basketball team defeated the No. 5 East Wilkes Cardinals (23-4, 13-0 Northwest) on Tuesday night in a 57-42 home finish.

Albemarle (24-3, 12-0 Yadkin Valley) will now travel to No. 1 Mountain Heritage to face the Cougars (27-2, 14-0 Western Highlands).

The Bulldogs (24-3, 12-0 Yadkin Valley) previously notched a 15-point road win over No. 13 Union Academy (20-5, 9-3 Yadkin Valley) in the second round of the 1A bracket.

In first-round play on Feb. 27, Albemarle bested the No. 29 Mountain Island Charter Raptors (8-15, 5-9 Catawba Shores) in a 73-19 home finish.

East Rutherford 49, North Stanly 44

Situated as a road underdog in the third round of the 2A bracket, No. 7 North Stanly (21-6, 6-5 Yadkin Valley) squared off with the No. 2 East Rutherford Cavaliers (27-2, 12-0 Mountain Foothills) on Tuesday night.

The Cavaliers came away with their 13th consecutive win in a five-point home victory over the Comets, as North’s postseason has now come to a close.

Facing a familiar opponent in West Stanly four days earlier, North Stanly defeated the tenth-seeded Colts (14-13, 10-2 Rocky River) for the third time this season. The seventh-seeded Comets used a 59-49 finish at home to slide past the tenth-seeded Colts, who had won their conference regular-season title this season but struggled in non-conference play.

The Comets had previously knocked off the No. 26 Mount Pleasant Tigers (11-15, 4-7 Yadkin Valley) 44-30 in the first round of the tournament, while the Colts had gotten past the No. 23 McMichael Phoenix (13-10, 10-2 Mid-State) in a 57-39 finish.

Bishop McGuinness 71, Gray Stone 17

While the Gray Stone Knights (8-16, 2-8 Yadkin Valley) managed to latch onto a No. 31 seed in the 1A bracket, they soon endured a 54-point road loss to the No. 2 Bishop McGuinness Villains (24-4, 12-0 Northwest Piedmont) on Feb. 27.

Landing in fifth place in the Yadkin Valley Conference, the Knights ultimately lost eight of their final nine matchups including postseason play.