Teams to Watch
Albemarle: The Bulldogs return four, all-Yadkin Valley 1A conference guards in Zycoria Tillman (15 ppg), Armani Baldwin (8 ppg, 4 spg), Krystin McLendon (9 ppg, 5 rpg) and Kiana Ridley (5 ppg, 4 spg). The Albemarle quartet is eager to put the Bulldogs back into contention in the league race and has the experience and talent to make a playoff run.
Gray Stone Day: The Knights return only one starter in junior guard Danielle Werts (10 ppg). But Gray Stone has plenty of experience back overall from a team that has averaged 22 wins per season over the last four years. Coach Robert Stack and company look to contend for the Yadkin Valley 1A conference crown and more into the postseason.
West Stanly: The Colts return four starters from a 16-win team that was co-Rocky River conference champions with Anson County. 1st-year, West Stanly head coach, Chad Horn, gets the rare opportunity to inherit an experienced team with senior guards, Brittany Greene and Madelyn Huneycutt back to help the Colts try to repeat as conference champions and be a factor deeper into the playoffs (lost 1st round last year).
Players to Watch
Zycoria Tillman, Albemarle senior: The Bulldogs’ senior guard (15 ppg, 6 rpg) will lead an Albemarle team that expects to compete for the Yadkin Valley 1A league crown and get much deeper into the playoffs after losing in the opening round a year ago.
Danielle Werts, Gray Stone Day junior: The Knights’ junior guard (10 ppg) is the lone starter back from a Gray Stone Day team that is used to winning. Werts has plenty of experience returning off the bench (last year) to help the Knights make another run at a Yadkin Valley 1A conference title and be a factor in the 1A state playoffs.
Brittany Greene/Madelyn Huneycutt, West Stanly, seniors: The West Stanly senior backcourt will play big roles in the Colts trying to repeat as Rocky River conference champions. Greene and Honeycutt are also a part of a West Stanly senior class will a lot of motivation going into the playoffs after a first-round exit last year.
Camille Shelton, North Stanly senior: The Comets’ forward (10 ppg) is one of three senior starters back to help North Stanly finish in the top half of the Yadkin Valley 1A standings and get back into the playoffs.
Mattie Hinson, South Stanly junior: The Rowdy Rebel Bulls’ forward (5 ppg, 8 rpg) looks to help lead a more experienced, South Stanly team back into the middle of the Yadkin Valley 1A conference race.
Can’t Miss Games
West Stanly at Gray Stone Day, Tuesday, Nov. 20: Season opener for both teams will help set the tone for squads looking to win a lot of games and compete for their respective conference titles.
West Stanly at Albemarle, Wednesday, Nov. 28: Another big game in week as both the Colts and Bulldogs believe they can be amongst the top teams in Stanly County and in their conferences.
Albemarle vs. North Stanly at Pfeiffer University, Friday, December 14: Rivalry game always mean when conference foes meet at Pfeiffer University.
Gray Stone Day at Albemarle, Tuesday, Feb. 5: The Yadkin Valley 1A conference title could be on the line in this early February showdown. Gray Stone Day host Albemarle, Jan. 4.
West Stanly at Anson County, Friday, Feb. 8: The Rocky River conference championship could also be on the line on the second to last Friday of the regular season. West Stanly hosts Anson, Jan. 22.
Albemarle girls’ head coach Eric Davis has 418 career wins, including 88 wins in six years as the Bulldogs’ head coach. Davis has a good chance to earn his 100th career win as the Albemarle head coach in the new year (2019).
The North Stanly girls’ basketball team went 10-15 last season, with all 10 wins coming in Yadkin Valley 1A conference play. The Comets were 0-9 in non-conference play.
The South Stanly girls’ basketball team was 20-27 the previous two seasons flirting with .500, but dropped to 6-17 last year. This season, the Rowdy Rebel Bulls return four starters who will try to climb back up the Yadkin Valley 1A conference standings.
Note: Conference standings predictions were compiled from the votes of each leagues’ coaches.
Rocky River Girls
West Stanly; 2. Anson County; 3. Forest Hills; 4. Mount Pleasant; 5. Central Academy; 6. East Montgomery.
Yadkin Valley 1A Girls
Albemarle; 2. Gray Stone Day; 3. North Moore; 4. North Stanly; 5. South Davidson; 6. West Montgomery; 7. South Stanly; 8. North Rowan; 9. Uwharrie Charter.