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Albemarle girls basketball team outlasts Monticello to remain unbeaten in Jefferson District

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It had been six days since the Albemarle girls basketball team capped off a sensational week with victories over Jefferson District rivals Louisa County and Charlottesville to earn sole possession of first place in the district standings.

On Thursday, Lauren Grady and the Patriots made sure that feeling would stick around a little longer.

Grady scored 16 of her game-high 19 points in the first half as Albemarle extended its winning streak to five straight games with a 70-50 road victory over Monticello.

“We definitely had a big break off of snow, and off of the Christmas break, but we were still in the gym every day working hard,” Grady said. “At practice, there’s no layoff. We’re still grinding and pushing as hard as we can all the time and that really shows when we go and outrun a team like that.”

Despite the layoff because of inclement weather, Albemarle (7-3, 5-0 Jefferson District) looked no worse for wear as it jumped out to an early 15-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Four different players scored for the Patriots, including five from Grady.

The Albemarle defense also was sharp, forcing seven turnovers, including five steals, to take a 22-5 lead after one quarter.

“We have a really fast team,” Grady said. “It’s really important when we’re working the floor, working the ball around and including everyone in the offense. That’s really important and just part of our plays.”

Monticello rallied in the second quarter thanks to some quality possessions in transition. Octavia Mills scored four points and Samantha Shifflett beat the Patriots down the floor for a layup to trim the lead to 29-14 with 3:48 remaining in the half.

A Cedasia Yates bucket for Monticello (4-7, 3-4) cut the lead to 32-19 before Albemarle cranked up the defensive pressure and responded with six points off turnovers to take a 38-22 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, Coach Rachel Proudfoot’s Patriots came out on fire, opening the half on a 10-0 run, including 3-pointers from Kaley Maynard and Riley Maynard to give Albemarle a 45-25 advantage with 4:54 left in the quarter.

Monticello continued to battle and tried to make a game of it in the fourth. Mills scored six points during a 12-2 run that cut the lead to 55-42 with 5:38 left.

That would be as close as the Mustangs would get as Albemarle pulled away down the stretch to cruise to the double-digit victory.

Amaya Pendelton tallied 16 points in the victory for Albemarle. Riley Maynard finished with 13 points and Kaley Maynard added 12 more give the Patriots four players in double figures.

Mills paced Monticello with 13 points. Shifflett also reached double figures with 12 points and Dylan Wood finished with seven.

With several three-game weeks ahead of them, Grady and the Patriots understand they must continue to remain sharp if they want to stay atop the district standings.

For now, the view at the top is pretty sweet.

“It feels amazing,” Grady said. “We’ve worked so hard every single day at practice and we work hard every day in games and I think it really shows. It’s really, really exciting.”


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