Mann ignites Albemarle past Monticello

Albemarle’s Andrew Mann reminded everyone at Monticello High School Saturday night just how good the senior forward is as the Patriots rolled 82-50 in an out-of-district clash between the cross-county rival.

Mann almost single-handedly took down Monticello with a series of putbacks, drives to the rim and a wild halfcourt 3-pointer to end the first quarter. Mann poured in 23 points, hauled down 17 rebounds and dished out seven assists. Mann had seven offensive boards, many of them putbacks around the rim.

“He played tenacious tonight,” said Albemarle coach Greg Maynard.

Monticello threw several different players at the senior, but Mann can make both guards and big men pay with his versatile skill set, and he did all night against the Mustangs.

“It was a tough matchup — he presents problems because he’s so agile and he can create opportunities for other players,” said first-year Monticello head coach Robert Shelton. “He’s so active, he just never stops.”

The game was all but deadlocked after one quarter when Mann buried that leaning 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded, and after that Albemarle took control. The Mustangs managed just eight points in the quarter as Albemarle stretched its lead to 12 points during the frame.

Mann had a lot of help from Kendall Hawkins early on. The smooth-shooting Hawkins had 11 points in the first half and finished with 13. Point guard Lee Carneal then helped close out the Mustangs with 10 fourth quarter points. Sophomore Danny Vaughn gave the Patriots a lift in the post throughout the game with nine points.

Monticello has a slew of guards to turn to with juniors Jhalil Mosley (16 points) and James Banks (18 points) leading the way Saturday night and Denzel Terry also providing a talented backcourt presence. But Monticello is searching for a reliable player in the post while they wait for Sam Patterson to come back. Football center Sam Marshall has joined the varsity, and that should help. But The Mustangs will have to do a better job of executing offensively to make the most of what they have in the lineup.

“We just didn’t do a good job of executing the backside of some our plays,” Shelton said. “We’ve got to get past our first option.”