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Ridgecroft edges Northeast

AHOSKIE – A battle of two titans lived up to its billing.

Northeast Academy and Ridgecroft School, likely two of the best varsity girl’s basketball teams in the Tarheel Independent Conference, battled four quarters Friday with the host Lady Rams eking out a 44-43 victory.

Ridgecroft came into the fourth quarter trailing by six, but rolled off the first six points of the quarter to deadlock the game.

Junior Jessica Bolton drilled her second three-pointer of the game to start the period followed by an April Piland bucket and a Lauren Lilley free throw that deadlocked the score at 35-all.

Senior Jeanie Hargrave pushed Northeast back out in front with back-to-back hoops, but Hayes Bryant and Jo Revelle Murray hit consecutive baskets for the Rams to get the score back even.

Lilley and Joanna Boone exchanged hoops to get the score to 41-all with 1:38 to play.

Bryant and Piland added three free throws over the closing minute to give Ridgecroft a 44-41 advantage and Northeast got a hoop from Betty Edwards, but it wasn’t enough as time expired leaving the Lady Rams with a one-point win.

Overall, Ridgecroft put three in double figures led by Bryant’s 13 points. Piland added 11 for the Lady Rams and Lilley chipped in 10.

Hargrave led Northeast Academy with 17 points on the night followed by nine from Edwards.

Ridgecroft took an early lead thanks to back-to-back baskets from Bryant and Lilley, but Northeast went on a 5-0 run midway through the quarter to surge into the lead.

Bolton’s first three-pointer of the contest tied the game at 11-all at the end of the first quarter.

The contest was still deadlocked (21-all) with 44 seconds to play in the second period, but London Harrell and Hargrave hit back-to-back hoops to give the Lady Eagles a 25-21 lead at the half.

Hargrave and Callie Burgess hit the first two buckets of the third quarter to push NEA ahead 29-21 and the Eagles maintained that advantage through most of the quarter.

The win boosts Ridgecroft to 7-2 overall and 2-0 in the league.

Lady Rams (44): Hayes Bryant n 13, April Piland n 11, Lauren Lilley n 10, J. Bolton n 6, J. Murray n 2, V. Brown n 1, K. Cayton n 1

Lady Eagles (43): Jeanie Hargrave n 17, B. Edwards n 9, L. Harrell n 5, J. Boone n 4, L. Barnes n 4, B. Wade n 2, C. Burgess – 2