JV’s continue tradition

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 12, 2005

AHOSKIE – Ridgecroft School has a solid junior varsity basketball tradition.

New coaches Joe Murray and Mark Jones led the 2004-2005 junior varsity Rams to a season that continued that tradition.

Ridgecroft’s jayvee boys won the Tarheel Independent Conference (TIC) regular season championship with a near-perfect 11-1 mark inside the league. Their only loss of the season came at Northeast Academy in league play.

Overall, the Rams finished 18-1 with not a solitary loss outside of conference play.

The jayvee Rams then put together a Tarheel Independent Conference tournament that was exactly what they had hoped for and came home with the TIC conference tournament championship.

Gus McLean garnered Tournament Most Valuable Player honors for the Rams because of his defensive effort during the tournament. Joining him on the All-Tournament Team were Matt Byrum and Evans Jones.

&uot;I thought we had a very balanced team,&uot; Murray said. &uot;We didn’t have a superstar on the floor, but we played well together.

&uot;This team liked to play defense,&uot; he insisted. &uot;They like to get in your face with man-to-man defense. That is probably what I liked the best about this team.&uot;

The team was led by Giffin Daughtridge, who led the Rams in both points and rebounds. The sophomore forward registered six double-doubles during a season in which he joined Evans Jones on the All-Tarheel Independent Conference squad.

The fifth starter for the club was John Alexander, who Murray described as a hard worker who didn’t mind getting on the floor fighting for a rebound or hitting the boards.

The coach also said there were a pair of players who helped this squad and would have a tremendous impact next season. Those two players were Josh Morris and Gavin Mizelle.

Murray said he and Jones knew they had a good squad talent wise, but weren’t sure how good they would be.

&uot;We knew we had talent,&uot; Murray said. &uot;We didn’t know what kind of talent we had, but it turned out they had the talent to be 18-1.

&uot;We thought we would be one of the most talented teams in the conference, but as it turned out we probably were the most talented,&uot; he added. &uot;In the same breath, though, they worked for what they accomplished.&uot;