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Ridgecroft ladies ride defense to win

AHOSKIE n Hitting seven of your first nine shots from the floor is a good way to start.

Ridgecroft showed just how good that start can be as they rolled to a 52-16 non-conference win over Southampton Academy here Monday night.

Junior Sarah Beth Greene started a 17-0 run in the first quarter with her bucket just seconds into the contest.

After that offensive explosion, the Lady Rams relied on their defense, which allowed only eight points in each half as they took control over the Lady Raiders, a team they had lost to during last month’s Greater Lasker Shootout.

"I hate to use the word revenge, but I think we did want to get them back," veteran Ridgecroft basketball boss Doug Cobbs said. "They didn't play well, but I'd like to think we had something to do with that."

After senior Jessica Misse hit a free throw a minute and a half into the contest, the Lady Rams rolled off seven consecutive hoops before Southampton got on the board.

Misse hit the first of those hoops followed by a Stephanie Northcott bucket and two scores from senior Landis Joyner.

Misse and Northcott each scored again to put the Lady Rams ahead 17-0 with two and a half minutes to play in the first quarter.

Susan Gansor finally ended the spurt with just 2:01 remaining in the first quarter.

In all, the Lady Rams forced 11 turnovers in the first half.

Hayes Bryant got Ridgecroft's lead to 19-2 with her bucket to open the second quarter and helped the Lady Rams set sail on a 13-6 run during the period leading to a 30-8 halftime lead.

"I thought we did an excellent job of help-and-recover defense," Cobbs explained. "I thought everyone was intense and that was they key thing.

"Jessica did an outstanding job denying the ball to Gansor; Landis had a great night pressuring the ball and I thought Sarah Beth passed the ball and rebounded well," he continued. "Not only that, but Stephanie filed it up and Brittany had her normal excellent defensive contest."

The Lady Rams continued to pressure the ball and force turnovers in the second half. They allowed eight points in the third quarter, but didn't give up any in the final period as they cruised to the victory.

Offensively, the Lady Rams put three in double figures; Joyner and Northcott with 14 each and Misse who had 12 points.

A season ago, the Lady Rams had a less than stellar Christmas tournament and then rolled to an undefeated second half. Asked if this team could be repeating that trend, Cobbs said it was difficult to say.

"I think it's hard to compare," he said. "They are really two different teams.&uot;

Lady Rams (52): Stephanie Northcott n 14, Jessica Misse n 14, Landis Joyner n 12, S. Greene n 8, H. Bryant n 4

Lady Raiders (16): Susan Gansor n 8, C. Vick n 3, S. Felts n 3, M. Hopkins – 2