By D.N. PENNELL, Jr.
Alexander Central’s Varsity Basketball Teams garnered a two-game North Piedmont Conference sweep in contests played at North Iredell High School in Olin on Tuesday night, January 24.
The Alexander Women looked poised to pull off the biggest upset of the NPC season against the North Lady Raiders, however, the talented North squad rallied from a six-point halftime deficit to post a 52-43 win over the upset-minded Cougars.
The win upped North’s overall record to 18-0 on the season. The Lady Raiders, coached by Alexander County native Roger Bumgarner, have a strangle hold on the top spot in the NPC standings with a perfect 9-0 league mark.
Alexander saw its league record slip to 6-3 on the year.
The Lady Cougars’ hopes of an upset of the Bumgarner-led Raiders looked possible at halftime as Alexander built a 30-24 cushion at the intermission.
However, the home team came out red-hot in the second half and fought its way back into the game. North closed to within one point after three quarters, and trailed 36-35 entering the fourth stanza. In the pivotal fourth quarter, the Lady Raiders ouslaught continued as North outscored ACHS 17-7 down the stretch to win by nine points.
Senior forward Abby Cook turned in a dominate double-double effort to lead the Cougars. Cook scored a game-high 18 points and snared a whopping 20 rebounds.
Key Key Miller also reached double figures in scoring for ACHS with 12 points, while senior guard Mattie Barr handed out 10 assists.
COUGAR MEN WIN FIFTH STRAIGHT IN LEAGUE PLAY
The recent hot streak for the ACHS Men’s Team continued in Olin on Tuesday night when the Cougars rolled to a 52-32 win over the homestanding North Raiders.
The 20-point rout over the Raiders upped Alexander’s current NPC win streak to five games and lifted the team to 11-7 overall and 7-2 in league.
The Cougars raced to a 21-2 lead after one period and were never challenge en route to the resounding victory. ACHS never trailed in the game and led by as many as 26 points in the second quarter of the game.
Two Cougar senior notched double figures in scoring. Forward Kaleb Parson led the way with a 16-point effort for the Cougars. In addition, senior John Blankenship came off the Cougar bench to score 12 points.
Parsons (7/9 FG), Blankenship (4/5 FG), and Justin Dula (4/4 FG, 8 pts.) led Alexander’s offense to a 55 percent field goal percentage on the night. Blankenship also finished four for four from the foul line.
The Cougar Teams are slated to host Davie County in rescheduled NC Endowment games this evening in Taylorsville.