Mustangs Fall to Bulldogs in Tourney Semis
When you play a team like Albemarle that thrives on pressure defense for its offense, a team has to take care of the basketball, especially in tournament and playoff action.
In the boys’ Yadkin Valley Conference tournament semifinal action at East Montgomery pitting third seeded North Moore against second seeded Albemarle Thursday, the Mustangs couldn’t handled the Bulldogs’ defense and it showed in the final score, a 78-45 Mustang loss.
Albemarle, now 20-2 overall, played regular-season champion North Rowan Friday for the tournament championship. Both the Bulldogs’ losses came at the hands of North Rowan with a 23-3 overall record.
North Moore record goes to 14-11 and now the Mustangs must wait for the state 1-A pairing that were set to be released Saturday afternoon by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. The first round of the playoffs are scheduled to start Monday with second-round action Wednesday and third-round play Friday.
With their uptempo, pressure defense, the Bulldogs came up with 19 steals, with junior Bryan Blanton having six of the steals.
Albemarle came out fast, racing to a 17-5 first-period lead with Mustang sophomore Matthew Spivey nailing one of his two three-pointers for the game. Bulldog junior Andre Ridenhour matched the Mustangs’ point-total with five points, including a trey.
In the second quarter, the Mustangs’ offense did better, scoring 13 points while the Bulldogs doubled their point production, adding 17 points for a 34-18 lead at the break.
North Moore junior Quashan Davis, back on the court after missing the past two games because of an injury, tallied seven points while senior Landon Auman scored four points during the second quarter.
The Bulldogs stepped up a notch offensively in the third period, adding 22 points while North Moore matched its second-quarter output of 13 points. Albemarle went into the final frame with a 56-31 lead. Davis and fellow junior Malik Chisholm both had five points during the period with each having a three-pointer.
Both coaches emptied their benches in the fourth quarter with the Bulldogs once again posting 22 points while the Mustangs added 14 points for their 45-point total.
Davis and Auman finished with double figures, with Davis scoring 12 points and Auman 10.
Chisholm added seven points followed by Spivey with six points, Adam Bullard five, Adrian Wall three, Josh Wallace one and Kirby Lambert one.
The Bulldogs had four players to score in double figures, with Blanton leading the way with 14 points, followed by Lee Autry with 11 points, Ridenhour 10 and T’kyle Williams 10.
North Moore 5 13 13 14— 45
Albemarle 17 17 22 22 — 78
North Moore: Davis 5 0-1, Auman 4 2-4 10, Chisholm 2 2-2 7, Spivey 2 0-0 6, Wall 1 0-0 3, Wallace 0 1-2 1, Lambert 0 1-2 1. Totals 15 9-19 45.
Albemarle: Blanton 6 1-2 14, Autry 4 3-6 11, Ridenhour 5 0-3 10, Williams 4 2-4 10, Christian 4 0-2 8, Crowder 4 0-0 8, Ellis 2 2-2 7, S. Baldwin 1 1-2 4, R. Baldwin 0 3-6 3, Nivens 1 0-2 2, Sellers 0 1-2 1. Totals 31 13-32 78.
Three-point goals: NM 6 (Davis 2, Spivey 2, Chisholm, Wall). Alb. 3 (Blanton, Ellis, S. Baldwin).
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