Hill paces Rams

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 15, 2003

AHOSKIE – When Tom Van Der Have buried a bucket midway through the fourth period, it deadlocked the contest.

Ridgecroft had been there before, watching a late-game lead slip through their fingers as a young club searched for its identity amid a seven-game losing streak, but this one was different.

This time Dave Rowzie’s club heeded his call and went on a 12-0 run during the next three and a half minutes to claim a 52-42 Tarheel Independent Conference victory over visiting Terra Ceia Christian School.

&uot;Of all my time here, this is one of those special victories,&uot; the veteran basketball boss said. &uot;We’ve being trying so hard, fighting so long; this time we were in familiar territory, but we didn’t throw it away. We made the plays we needed to and won.&uot;

With the contest hanging in the balance, tied at 40-all, senior Jason Courtright went to the charity stripe and buried a pair of tosses to give the Rams back their lead. It was just 20 seconds later, Jason Hill hit one of two from the line to give Ridgecroft a 43-40 advantage.

Next came back-to-back buckets from freshman shooting sensation Chris Hill as he scored four of his game-high 23.

Clinging to the 47-40 advantage, C. Hill drove the lane, hit a bucket and then went to the line and sank the charity toss after being fouled to establish a 10-point margin.

Courtright added a pair of shots when he hit both ends of a one-plus-one before Van Der Have scored again with 19 seconds to play to establish the final margin.

After Terra Ceia hit their first shot from the floor (a Phillip Vander Weit field goal), it was over two minutes before either team scored off anything but a free throw.

By that time, the Knights held a 3-2 advantage. Courtright erased that edge when he hit a bucket with 5:42 to play in the first and added a free throw after being fouled.

After a Van Der Have three-pointer, Ridgecroft rolled off a 7-2 run to grab the early edge.

Freshman Chris Mizelle started the streak with a hoop at the 4:57 mark, which deadlocked the contest. His shot was followed by a bucket from senior Mac Griffin.

Bradley Van Staalduinen stopped the streak momentarily with a hoop, but the Rams used a Courtright free throw and another Griffin bucket to claim an 11-8 lead.

A Van Der Have bucket cut the margin to one, but C. Hill buried a trey with 37 seconds to play in the first quarter before Courtright hit another shot from the charity strip to give Ridgecroft a 15-10 advantage after one.

Terra Ceia rolled off six straight off jumpers from Van Staalduinen, Van Der Have and Ryan Alons to claim a 16-15 lead two minutes into the second period.

The Rams answered with a 9-0 streak paced by C. Hill, who hit a pair of three pointers and a field goal during the run that paced Ridgecroft to a 24-16 advantage.

Early into the third quarter, the Rams led 27-18, but Van Der Have hit a bucket just before Vander Weit buried a trey to cut the margin to four (27-23).

A Griffin hoop stopped the streak temporarily, but Terra Ceia rolled off six straight points – off hoops from Van Der Have, Van Staalduinen and Vander Weit – to deadlock the game at 29-all.

The two teams exchanged shots throughout the remainder of the period and into the fourth quarter, leaving Ridgecroft with a four-point margin (40-36) after a free throw from Ian Kinlaw.

Terra Ceia’s Jared Floyd hit a bucket with 5:21 to play to cut the margin to a couple before Van Der Have’s shot that tied the game at 40-all.

C. Hill had the big game for the Rams, scoring 23 points on the night.

&uot;Chris just came through for us tonight,&uot; Rowzie said. &uot;Offensively, he is the type of player who can get you five or six points in a row and that always helps, but tonight, during the third and fourth quarter, it was his game.&uot;

Rowzie also said that C. Hill’s outside shooting helped free up J. Hill and Griffin underneath.

The coach said he was also pleased with his team’s defensive output.

&uot;Terra Ceia’s a good team,&uot; he said. &uot;We held them to around 40 points tonight and that is terrific.

&uot;If we hold people to 40 points, we’re going to win more than we lose,&uot; he closed.

JV’s claim victory

In the junior varsity boys’ game, Ridgecroft cruised to a 60-32 victory.

The Rams jumped out to a 32-18 halftime lead and never looked back as they were paced by Evan Jones with 14 points and Gus McLean with nine.

Jurgen Boerma led Terra Ceia with nine points.

Ridgecroft (52)

Chris Hill – 23, Mac Griffin – 13 Jason Courtright – 10, J. Hill – 1, S. Homewood – 1, I. Kinlaw – 1

Terra Ceia (42)

Tom Van Der Have – 14, Phillip Vander Weit – 12, B. Van Staalduinen – 7, K. Van Essendelft – 4, J. Floyd – 2, R. Alons – 2, B. Simpson – 1