Ridgecroft Lady Rams advance to Final Four

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 1, 2004

RALEIGH – The illustrious career of Ridgecroft veteran Doug Cobbs and his key seniors took a new twist this past weekend.

Cobbs, guiding his fourth-ranked Lady Rams with senior guards Kathryn Vick and Caitlin Lowe, reached the Final Four of the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association for the first time.

He and his team accomplished the feat by knocking off fifth-seeded Halifax Academy for the third time this season, this time by a count of 42-31.

&uot;I’m extremely happy for the girls,&uot; Cobb said. &uot;They’ve made this year easy. It is the easiest team I’ve ever had to coach. They play hard, they practice hard and they respond to me and their teammates.&uot;

The coach said there were a variety of reasons the team reached the Final Four.

&uot;What got us here is our defense,&uot; he said. &uot;Kathryn (Vick) and Caitlin (Lowe) have provided the leadership a young team needs and Jessica (Misse) stepped up her game in the second half of the season.

&uot;Sarah Beth (Greene) has calmed down and been an integral part of what we do,&uot; he added. &uot;Brittany (Taylor) is a complete team player. They’ve meshed together as one fine unit.

&uot;Add to those, the play from our bench, which has gotten stronger as the year went on,&uot; he said.

The Lady Rams played Halifax Friday afternoon due to the later team not arriving on Thursday because of weather.

They were able to pull away from the Lady Vikings early on as Misse and Greene hit a bucket each before the former added a free throw to put Ridgecroft up 5-0.

Halifax finally got on the board with a Jennifer Powell bucket at the 3:12 mark of the first quarter, but Vick and Misse hit back-to-back buckets to extend the Lady Rams’ lead to seven (9-2).

Ridgecroft was able to extend the margin to nine (20-10) by the intermission thanks to a 7-0 run in the second quarter.

Greene hit a pair of free throws before grabbing a steal and hitting the lay-up. After Britt Harrison had the only Halifax hoop during the stretch, Green hit 1-of-2 from the line and Misse buried a bucket.

Halifax closed to within eight (22-14) in the third quarter thanks to consecutive baskets from Ashlee Dickens and Harrison, but Ridgecroft rolled off eight unanswered to put the game out of reach.

Greene had four points on the run while Misse and Lowe added the other two hoops.

On the afternoon, the Lady Rams pulled down 26 rebounds, led by Misse with nine, Taylor with six and Lowe with five. Samantha Poole led Halifax with five boards.

In the nightcap, Ridgecroft dropped the semifinal contest to six-time state champion Victory Christian Center School 99-32.

&uot;We’re going to miss Kathryn and Caitlin,&uot; Cobbs said after the game. &uot;They’ve been very important to our success at Ridgecroft School. I will miss them and their teammates will miss them.&uot;

Ridgecroft (42)

Jessica Misse – 15, Sarah Beth Greene – 13, Kathryn Vick – 10, Caitlin Lowe – 2, Stephanie Northcott – 2, Brittany Taylor, Landis Joyner, Megan Groninger

Halifax (31)

Britt Harrison – 10, Danielle Long – 6, Ashlee Dickens – 6, Samantha Poole – 4, Jennifer Powell – 2, Mary Cathey – 2, Jessica Johnson – 1