Teams to Watch
North Stanly: The Comets have won 66 games in the last three years, including a 24-win, 1A state quarterfinals’ run last year. North Stanly returns Yadkin Valley player of the year, senior guard Bryson Childress (24 ppg, 4 spg), Carson Lowder (10 ppg) and get 6-foot-7 forward Nalik Veasley back (moved back from Delaware). The Comets have the talent to win their third straight conference title and go deep into the 1A state playoffs, again.
Albemarle: The Bulldogs have averaged 20 wins per season over the last six years. Albemarle seniors, Brandon Christian and Cameron Williams, look to help their team stay in contention in the Yadkin Valley 1A conference and return to the postseason.
South Stanly: The Rowdy Rebel Bulls return all five starters from team a that won 11 games last year. South Stanly will lean on an experienced and explosive backcourt in senior Jacorian Legrand (16 ppg) and juniors Jaquez Cooke (15 ppg, 10 rpg) and Justin Gaddy (17 ppg) as they look to be a factor in the Yadkin Valley 1A race. South Stanly also hopes to return to the playoffs, where there guards will make them a difficult matchup in the one-and-done postseason scenario.
Players to Watch
Bryson Childress, North Stanly senior: The reigning Yadkin Valley 1A conference player of the year can do it all at 5-foot-10, averaging 24 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals per game, and is a Division I and Division II recruit, according to Coach Paul Childress.
Nalik Veasley, North Stanly senior: The 6-foot-7 senior forward returns home (transfers back from Smyrna, DE)\) to give the Comets some much needed scoring and rebounding inside. He’s also getting Division I and II interest.
Jaquez Cooke, South Stanly junior: Rowdy Rebel Bulls’ 6-foot-1 junior guard can fill up a state sheet in a hurry. Last season, he averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists per game.
Hayden Greene, West Stanly senior: The Colts’ 6-foot-7 forward (12 ppg, 9 rpg) will be a force in the post, with senior guard Nick Parker (14 ppg) providing balance on the perimeter.
Can’t Miss Games
South Stanly at Mount Pleasant, Tuesday, Nov. 27: A great test in the season opener for both teams pitting the lightning-quick, South Stanly backcourt versus a huge Mount Pleasant frontcourt that can go with a lineup of 6-foot-8, 6-foot-7, 6-foot-7 at times.
North Stanly at Concord, Friday, Nov. 30: Another great non-conference matchup as the Comets travel to traditional, 3A power, Concord.
North Stanly at South Stanly, Tuesday, Feb. 5: Stanly County rivals will be playing for more than bragging rights as this is sure to be a critical game in the Yadkin Valley 1A conference race towards the end of the regular season.
North Stanly at North Rowan, Wednesday, Feb. 13: If the Comets want to repeat as the Yadkin Valley 1A regular season conference champions they will likely have to win this road game in the final week of league play (of the regular season).
Mount Pleasant at West Stanly, Friday, Feb. 15: This will be a huge Rocky River conference game on the final day of the regular season as team jockey for league and playoff position.
North Stanly senior guard Carson Lowder, a three-year starter, is also a Division I baseball prospect, hitting .492 with five home runs and 38 RBI last year for the Comets.
The South Stanly baseball team returns all 11 varsity players from last year’s 11-12 team.
The West Stanly basketball team endured four straight losing seasons from 2011-15, but has won 31 games in the last two years and hope to keep their winning trend going with three starters back.
Rocky River Boys
Forest Hills; 2. Mount Pleasant; 3. West Stanly; 4. Anson County; 5. East Montgomery; 6. Central Academy.
Yadkin Valley 1A Boys
North Rowan; 2. North Stanly; 3. Albemarle; 4. South Stanly; 5. Uwharrie Charter; 6. West Montgomery; 7. South Davidson; 8. North Moore; 9. Gray Stone Day.