NEA wins in OT

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 11, 2005

AHOSKIE – It was the power of &uot;three&uot; here Friday night as the Ridgecroft Rams hosted the Northeast Eagles in a Tarheel Independent Conference battle that equaled any college game seen last week.

When the barrage of three-pointers stopped flying, it was visiting Northeast who stood tall as the Eagles edged the Rams, 77-72, in overtime.

"Ridgecroft has nothing to hang their heads about as they fought us hard to the end,&uot; said NEA skipper John Brown whose club improved to 8-1 overall.

This game started out with a fast pace as Ridgecroft’s Wes Ward got the ball and went to the net, scoring a three point shot that would set the tone for the first period.

Ward then stole the ball and hit the net again to put Ridgecroft ahead 5-0.

This didn't go unanswered as Northeast's Rich Edwards, who finished with a game-high 34 points, and Buddy Duke hit two shots to make the score 5-4.

Then the two teams had a battle of three-point shots as they rolled of five treys in a row.

The Rams Drew Jones started off hitting his three answered by Edwards who nailed his trifecta.

Then Chris Mizelle hit a trey for the Rams, answered by Northeast's Duke.

Then Hill Homewood of Ridgecroft finished the battle of the threes with his shot from behind the arc, all this coming in the first four minutes of play where the Rams grabbed an early 14-10 lead.

The Eagles fought back as

Brian McLean and Lance Jenkins along with Edwards combined for four goals in a row to put NEA ahead 18-14.

The Rams answered back as Brian Britton hit the net for two followed by Mizelle and Jones, both hitting treys. Britton ended the period with another shot to keep the Rams ahead 24-20.

Ian Kinlaw and Mizelle came out in the second period to hit two goals as Ridgecroft went up by eight at 28-20.

Back came the Eagles as baskets from Tyler Davis, McLean, Duke and Jenkins plus an Edwards trey aided NEA in a rally that carried them to a 36-33 halftime lead.

The start of the second half saw both team running good defense as Edwards was fouled and hit both shots to make it 38-33.

For three minutes neither let the other score from the field until Jenkins (a deuce) and Edwards (trey) hit baskets as the Eagles stretched their lead to double digits at 43-33. That lead reached as high as 14 points (51-35) led by a pair of McLean baskets.

But the Rams refused to fold.

With Jones burying a pair of treys plus a deuce, Ridgecroft trimmed their deficit to six (51-45). However, just when Ridgecroft seemed poised to send the Eagles reeling, Edwards beat the third quarter buzzer with a three-point shot from halfcourt, sendinf NEA to a 54-45 lead.

The Rams continued to battle back in the fourth period as Jones, Kinlaw, Ward and Mizelle rallied with baskets that gave Ridgecroft a 66-64 lead. McLean did manage a basket, tying ther game at 66 and sending it into an extra four-minute session.

From the start of overtime the Eagles jumped out in front as Jenkins and Edwards went to the net to make it 70-66. Kinlaw answered back for Ridgecroft, hitting the net for two, but the Rams could draw no closer.

Northeast (77)

Rich Edwards-34, Brian McLean-17, Buddy Duke-14, Lance Jenkins-10, T. Davis-2

Ridgecroft (72)

Drew Jones-23, Chris Mizelle-21, Wes Ward-12, B. Britton-8, I. Kinlow-5, H. Homewood-3