MAIDEN, N.C. — Intensity. Aggression. Perseverance.
Those are three words that described the varsity girls basketball contest between Bandys and Maiden to the tee on Friday, Jan. 7, at Maiden High School.
Historically, during this rivalry match-up, Bandys has earned the upper-hand in four of the previous five outings.
In its previous home encounter against the Lady Trojans on Jan. 5, 2021, almost to the day, Maiden succumbed in a nailbiter, 49-47.
Nevertheless, through sheer will and determination from the Lady Blue Devils, it was able to finally get the job completed.
It was quite the barn burner in front of Maiden’s home fans as both sides were rocking with cheers and jeers alike.
This contest would go into an overtime finish as the Lady Blue Devils (3-10, 1-2 Catawba Valley 2A) held on for the 53-49 victory over the Lady Trojans (9-5, 3-1 Catawba Valley 2A), snapping its 6-game losing streak and Bandys’ 6-game winning streak.
“Two of our things with our girls that are tenets of our program is we want to first of all play with joy, and secondly play harder than the other team,” said Maiden head coach Stephen Hensley. “If you do those two things, we feel we can be competitive with anybody. Teams may be more skilled than you are, and you can’t always control that. But, you can control those two things…I think we did both of those things tonight. Take nothing away [from Bandys]. Coach [Nicki] Brittain, she does an excellent job, and her players are skilled and play hard. [They’re] one of the better teams in this area. We just were able to find a way. Everybody stepped up for us.
“Everybody when they went in, found a way to contribute something. It might not always be directly on the scoreboard, but they found ways to contribute. This was a team win. We’ve lost six in-a-row, and we had to play three 9 a..m games in the Christmas tournament, and that’s tough on a team. To be able to come back, and do something like that is special. It’s a night that I hope they’ll remember for a long time.”
The hero of the night in Maiden’s triumph was junior forward Callie Stamey. Stamey was a woman possessed on all sides of the ball as she unofficially garnered a game-high and career-best 18 points, 19 rebounds (six offensive boards) and a trio of steals.
“Callie is, not taking away from anybody else in this school, also a top-10 in the state hurdler,” said Hensley. “She’s maybe the best female athlete in our school overall, but along with that, she brings an intensity; when she plays like that, other people feed off of that. You can be a skilled player, but if you don’t have that same drive; you’re going to get yours, but you don’t always necessarily bring people’s [out].
“There are nights where she doesn’t do a lot statistically for us, but she doesn’t ever let that down. She always brings the same energy. She’s a really good teammate. This group of girls, they rally around each other. Tonight it was Callie. Next time it’s going to be Alyssa [Keener]. Next time, it’s going to be Kennedie [Noble]. Next person up.”
Read full article in Tuesday's edition of the O-N-E.