Trinity, Ridgecroft splitPublished 2:29pm Friday, January 6, 2012
By Mike Williams
AHOSKIE – Trinity School of Durham made the two-plus hour trek east on Thursday to lock horns with the Ridgecroft Rams in a pair of games Thursday night in Ahoskie.
In the boys contest, Trinity took a come from behind 63-57 win behind a 34-point effort by Hansen French while in the ladies encounter Ridgecroft emerged with a 38-33 victory.
In the opener, behind the efforts of freshman point guard Hennie Larrabee, the Lady Rams took control early. Larrabee tallied 10 first period points as Ridgecroft jumped to a 10-6 lead.
The Ram defense was a big factor in the stanza as they forced 10 Lion turnovers resulting in a 12-8 lead at the end of the period.
Miller Bryant hit a field goal and Larrabee added a free throw early in the second period to increase the Ridgecroft advantage to 15-8 before adversity struck. Larrabee went down with an ankle injury and, without her services, the Rams struggled on offense the remainder of the half.
Bryant scored on a layup, but consecutive field goals by James, Nikki Behnke and Allie Ruffing sliced the Ram lead to only 18-16 at the half.
Trinity tied the contest at 20-20 at the 5:17 mark of the third quarter on a Kellie Schaefer hoop marking the first time the sore had been knotted since 0-0.
The two teams swapped baskets the remainder of the period with Ridgecroft never relinquishing the lead and up by two at period’s end 26-24.
Another Schaefer hoop early in the finl stanza teid the contest at 26 all, but a Bryant field goal along with a charity toss by Lauren Colson gave the Rams the lead for keeps at 29-27.
Sophomore Mary-joe Harrell then made her presence felt for Ridgecroft as she canned a pair of free throws and followed with a three-pointer from the left wing extending the 34-27.
Trinity chipped back at the lead as Allie Ruffing hit a baseline jumper and a snowbird after a turnover to bring the lions within three at 36-33 with 54 seconds to play.
However, both Harrell and Bryant hit key free throws down the stretch to ice the win for the Rams.
Ridgecroft (9-4) was lead by Miller Bryant with 16 points. Bryant did a yeoman’s job for the Rams after Hennie Larrabee went down, running the point and keying the defense.
Larrabee finished with 11 points while Lauren Colson was another key as she hauled down 13 rebounds.
Trinity (2-11) was paced by Allie Ruffing with 14 while Kellie Schaefer chipped in with 11. The taller Lions outrebounded the Rams by a 34-24 count with Victoria James pulling down eight, Allie Ruffing seven and Nikki Behnke and Emilie Miller six apiece.
Larrabee returned to the Ridgecroft lineup in the final quarter but was not 100 percent as Bryant exhibited a good job of senior leadership.
In the boys clash, Ridgecroft came out smoking as their pressure man-to-man defense and their quickness gave Trinity fits in the opening period. ‘-
Michael Byrum nailed a three and followed up with a field goal off a fast break staking the Rams to an early 5-0 lead. Hanson French had a pair of hoops for the Lions to narrow the lead to 7-4, but the Rams went on a run pushing the ball down the floor and scoring on numerous fast break opportunities.
Julian Becker hit a pair of follow shots along with a free throw and Austin Foster’s field goal extended the Ram advantage to 15-4 at the 3:22 mark. Trinity’s Will Govert knocked in a free throw and French added another field goal, but Ridgecroft went on another 8-2 run as they lead 23-9 after one period of play.
With the Rams holding their biggest lead of the night at 27-13 with 6:01 in the half, Coach Chris Hill was hit with a technical foul for voicing his opinion on an out of bounds call. Hill’s technical along with the Jimmy Chitwood effort of Hansen French then turned the tide for Lions. French canned the technical free throws and followed with a jumper on the ensuing possession.
Andrew James’ trifecta, another French basket and a follow shot by Govert brought the Lions within four at 27-23.
Ridgecroft was then hit with its second technical foul of the quarter, this one coming on a player. Again French converted both free throws and then followed with two straight field goals to give Trinity their first lead 29-27 with 1:06 in the half.
French’s score capped a 16-0 Lion run since Hill’s technical. Ridgecroft retook the lead on Michael Byrum’s three to end their drought, but the advantage was short lived as Will Powell’s late basket sent Trinity to the dressing room at the half nursing a 31-30 lead.
French scored 14 points in the period and had 20 at the half. French, a 6’1” senior guard, is leaning toward Centre College in Kentucky. Mike Huff, Trinity of Durham head coach stated that French was the number one recruit of the D-III school.
Trinity’s domination continued in the first four minutes of the third period.
Field goals by French, Golvert and Powell along with a three-pointer by Aaron Leslie sent their lead to 40-32 their largest of the evening.
Ridgecroft then mounted as comeback of their own with Austin Foster’s three-pointer with 21 seconds left in the quarter narrowing the lead to 48-46.
The final quarter saw the Rams tie the contest at 50-50 on Foster’s follow shot, but the Lions continued to fend off the Rams allowing them within one on several occasions.
Ridgecroft finally tied the score at 57-all with 2:23 remaining on Jordan Harell’s three ball from the left side, but that would be it on the Ram’s offensive end for the night.
Trinity scored the final six points of the contest on a Govert follow shot, yet another French score and a pair of free throws by Will Powell to cement the victory.
French, in simply a superb outing, knocked in 34 points on the night for Trinity (7-5) and if that wasn’t enough added 14 rebounds. Govert added 12 for the Lions.
Ridgecroft (9-4) placed three players in double figures lead by Foster’s 17. Byrum chipped in with 14 and Julian Becker 13.
The taller Lions had a decidedly rebounding advantage over the Rams, who do not have a player over 6’0”, pulling down 38 caroms to the Rams 24.
Govert had nine to go along with the 14 grabbed by French. Julian Bucker had five rebounds for Ridgecroft.