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Lady Rams avenge loss

AHOSKIE – It wasn’t pretty on either end of the court.

Both Ridgecroft School and Lawrence Academy struggled with turnovers and missed shots when they met Thursday night in the semi-finals of the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament.

After trailing from the start, the Lady Rams took the lead late in the fourth and held off Lawrence 39-35, advancing to last night’s (Friday) finals where they faced Northeast Academy.

Lawrence started strong, jumping out to an 8-0 lead after two baskets from both Kathryn Taylor and Kendall Street.

Hayes Bryant hit from three-point range to put the Lady Rams on the board.

Street answered with two foul shots and a bucket to keep Lawrence ahead by nine (12-3).

A basket by Emily Cooke and a Bryant foul shot sandwiched a Street free throw as the Lady Warriors held a 13-6 lead at the end of the first.

Both teams struggled with turnovers in the first eight minutes with each team committing six and they would continue to have trouble keeping possession.

Cooke scored the Lady Rams only points in the quarter, a trey and a basket, while Lawrence was held scoreless.

The Lady Warriors committed more turnovers (10) than they had shots (8), but still held a two-point advantage at the half (13-11).

A basket by Taylor with 7:27 on the clock in the third ended the Lawrence scoring drought that started with 2:08 remaining in the first.

The teams traded baskets over the next seven minutes, with a bucket by Taylor just before the buzzer giving Lawrence a 25-21 lead.

April Piland scored a trey at the top of the fourth quarter to pull the Lady Rams within one.

Following a foul shot by Street, Bryant scored from downtown to give Ridgecroft their first lead of the game with 5:32 left in regulation.

A Cooke foul shot made it a two-point lead, but Lawrence retook the lead after a basket and three-point play by Street.

Ridgecroft was 5-of-6 from the line over the next minute, but Lawrence got baskets from Street and Kendra Spruill to hold their lead at three (35-32).

Piland’s second trey of the night gave the Lady Rams the lead for good as Lawrence was forced to foul.

The Lady Warriors had several opportunities, but was unable to rebound missed Ridgecroft free throws as the Lady Rams held on for the win, 39-35.

“We were without our starting point guard tonight (Debbie Stotesbury, who missed the game due to illness), said Lawrence assistant coach Grantley Mizelle.

“That’s no excuse. We used it all up in the first quarter and they out ran us in the second.

“The main think was they outrebounded us,” Mizelle continued.

“That’s where the game was lost, despite the turnovers we had.”

Lawrence had 32 turnovers while the Lady Rams committed 16. Both teams struggled from the floor with Ridgecroft shooting 19 percent (12-62) while the Lady Warriors were 15 for 44 (34 percent).

Free throws also made a difference with the Lady Rams shooting 10-of-22 from the line while Lawrence made five of their 15 attempts from the charity stripe.

Piland led Ridgecroft with 14 points, 10 coming in the fourth quarter. Bryant and Cooke added 10 points.

Street scored a game high 18 points while Taylor had eight.

Lawrence faced Bethel Christian Academy in the consolation game Friday night.

Lady Rams (39):

April Piland n 14, Hayes Bryant n 10, Emily Cooke n 10, Jessica Bolton n 3, Taylor Smith n 2

Lady Warriors (35):

Kendall Street n 19, Kathryn Taylor n 8, Ashtyn Mizelle n 4, Jennifer White n 2, Kendra Spruill – 2