Mustang Girls Shoot Down Comets
The North Moore girls’ basketball team couldn’t have picked a tougher season-opener in traveling to 2-A North Stanly Monday.
The host is traditionally one of the top teams in the 2-A ranks under coach Greg Speight. Last year North Stanly went 27-2 and made it to the third round of the state playoffs before losing. But the Comets did lose six seniors off that team and are in a rebuilding mode.
The Lady Mustangs under coach Sammy McNeill didn’t act intimidated by the Comets’ past history as they raced to a 18-4 first-quarter lead, thanks to senior Jalisa Davis’ 10 first-quarter points. However, North Stanly didn’t give up without a fight as it battled back to take a lead in the fourth quarter. With junior Heather Dunnmyer scoring eight of the Mustangs’ final 10 points, North Moore pulled out a 54-49 victory.
“Thanks to Jalisa, we got off to a good start,” said McNeill. “We knew with their history, they would make runs at us and we talked about it at halftime. I was very impressed with the way we responded to their (North Stanly) runs. Each time they made a move, we came right back to score.
“This was the first game Casey Turner started at point guard. She did a great job for us and she’s only a sophomore. Heather (Dunnmyer) played big for us at the end. It was a good win over an outstanding program.”
While Davis was torching the Comets for 10 points in the opening frame, she was getting help from her teammates as four other Mustangs contributed field goals for the 18-4 lead.
With North Stanly’s returning all-conference performer Gentry Grubb popping a couple of three-pointers, and the team hitting 6-of-11 from the charity stripe, the Comets outscored North Moore 17-7, trimming the lead to 25-21 by the break.
The Mustangs started the second half fast, pushing the lead to 36-27 at the 3:32 mark of the third quarter. Then the Comets mounted a comeback, outscoring the Mustangs 9-2 over the final minutes, trimming the lead to 38-36.
On the opening possession of the fourth quarter, North Stanly’s Grubb, who finished with five treys, connected from beyond the arc, giving her team their first lead since the opening minute of the game. Davis then ripped down a rebound and went coast-to-coast for the layup. She followed that with a fast-break assist to senior Tyisha Horn, putting the Mustangs up 42-39 with 5:29 left in the contest.
North Stanly countered with back-to-back buckets from Dana Beadle, regaining the lead for North Stanly. North Moore went on a six-point run with a layup by Davis and a couple of baskets from Dunnmyer, one on an assist from Davis.
North Stanly trimmed the lead to 48-46, hitting on 3-of-4 foul shots. Dunnmyer hit a pair of free throws, Davis added two more, and then Dunnmyer scored the final bucket of the game for the five-point Mustang victory.
The Comets went to the charity stripe 24 times, hitting on 15 while the Mustangs had only 10 trips to the line and connected on seven.
Davis was the game’s top scorer with 22 points, bolstered by two treys, while Dunnmyer finished with 13 points. Grubb led the Comets with 17 points and Jenni Speight added 13.
The Mustangs take a break for Thanksgiving and get back into action Nov. 27 when they host cross-county rival Union Pines. The girls’ game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. followed by the boys’ match-up.
North Moore 18 7 13 16 — 54
North Stanly 4 17 15 13 — 49
North Moore: Davis 8 4-4 22; Dunnmyer 5 2-2 13; Horn 3 0-0 6; Sheffield 3 0-0 6; Loutzenheiser 2 0-1 4; Little 1 0-0 2; Turner 0 1-3 1. Totals - 22 7-10 54.
North Stanly: Grubb 6 0-0 17; Speight 2 8-13 13; Jenna Huff 2 1-3 7; Beadle 2 0-1 4; Alexis Poolos 1 1-2 3; Melissa Vent 0 3-3 3; Aliyiah Scott 0 2-4 2. Totals - 13 15-24 49.
Three-point goals: NM 3 (Davis 2, Dunnmyer); NS 8 (Grubb 5, Huff 2, Speight 1).
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