By D.N. PENNELL, Jr.
The Alexander Central High School Varsity Basketball Teams opened play in the 2017 North Piedmont Conference Tournament with a pair of home wins on Monday evening, February 13, in Taylorsville.
The Lady Cougars cruised to a 57-24 win over the West Iredell Lady Warriors in Monday’s opening game in the Cougar Den. The third-seeded Lady Cougars led 33-6 at the half and were never challenged en route to the 33-point rout of West Iredell.
With the win, ACHS improved to 16-9 on the season and advances to the semi-final round of the post-season tourney on Wednesday evening, February 15, at 6 pm at North Iredell High School. ACHS will face Mooresville, the second seed, in Wednesday’s final four game.
In Monday’s victory, senior Abby Cook recorded a double-double and etched her name into Cougar basketball history when she became the program’s first player to reach 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. Cook reached the 1,000-point mark earlier this season. On Monday, she finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds to reach the 1,000 rebound mark in her decorated career as a Lady Cougar.
Key Key Miller finished with 13 points in Monday’s win, while Mattie Barr added eight points and nine assists.
COUGAR MEN TAKE 54-45 WIN OVER KNIGHTS
The ACHS Varsity Men also punched a ticket to the NPC semi-final round after a nine-point victory over a scrappy North Lincoln Knights team on Monday evening in the Cougar Den. ACHS moved to 17-8 on the season and will move on to face the Statesville Greyhounds on Wednesday, February 15, at 7:30 p.m. at North Iredell High School in Olin.
In Monday’s win, the second-seeded Cougars quelled an upset bid by the Knights, holding off the visitors from Pumpkin Center on the strength of 51 percent shooting from the floor. Despite trailing just once in the game, 3-2 in the first period, the Cougars could never put the pesky Knights away. North trailed by nine points entering the fourth period and could not trim the lead over the final eight minutes of action.
For Alexander, senior Kaleb Parsons tallied 16 points on seven of 11 shooting from the field. Junior guard Blan Hodges hit three of four shots from the floor and five of six attempts from the foul line to finish with 12 points. Justin Dula added eight points and eight rebounds in the win. Luke Johnson led North Lincoln with a game-high 19 points.