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Lawrence edges Lady Rams

MERRY HILL – The rubber match was an important one.

Ridgecroft School and Lawrence Academy each needed a win to hold on to any hopes of a Tarheel Independent Conference championship.

The Lady Warriors varsity girls’ basketball team got that win by virtue of a 38-37 victory over Ridgecroft at home Tuesday afternoon.

Ridgecroft clawed their way back into the game late in the contest, getting free throws from Caitlyn Harrison and Emily Revelle to close within five.

After Lawrence senior Kendall Street put her team up by seven (38-31) with 1:48 to play, Harrison scored again from the free throw line and Hayes Bryant found the bottom of the net with a three-pointer to make it 38-35.

April Piland then scored with 40 seconds to play to cut the lead to one.

After Lawrence missed the front end of a 1-plus-1 with 15 seconds to play, Ridgecroft got off a last-second shot, but it just missed, sending the Warriors to victory.

“Rebounding and defense were critical,” Warriors’ coach Jack Williford said. “We actually made a lot of mental mistakes and unnecessary turnovers and let them back in it.”

Lawrence trailed 19-17 at the halftime break, but dominated the third quarter to take control of the basketball game.

Kathryn Taylor tied the game less than a minute into the third quarter before Sarah Gillam scored and Street hit both a field goal and a free throw.

Kathryn Gilbert added a hoop before Street scored two more times to give the Warriors a 30-19 lead with 1:07 to play in the quarter.

April Piland finally ended Ridgecroft’s scoring drought with 48 seconds to play in the quarter and Emily Revelle found the net for the Rams 10 seconds later to close the gap to 30-23.

The game was close through the first two quarters with Ridgecroft holding a slight lead at the end of the first quarter (9-5) and halftime (19-17).

Neither team shot well during the first period with Lawrence shooting a dismal 2-for-10 (20 percent) and Ridgecroft faring only slightly better at 3-of-14 (21 percent).

The teams didn’t shoot much better in the second quarter with Lawrence improving to 33 percent and Ridgecroft to 25 percent.

For the contest, Lawrence shot just 34 percent (18-of-53) while the Rams were successful on only 10-of-56 shots or 18 percent.

Street led the offensive attack for Lawrence with 21 points and 15 rebounds while Taylor had eight points and nine boards. Gilbert added seven points and Leanne Eubanks had eight rebounds.

“Kendall had her normal game,” Williford said. “We are finally getting scoring from other girls. They are starting to believe in themselves as a team and that’s critical as we go down the stretch in the conference.”

Ridgecroft was led by Bryant with 12 points and Cooke with 11 points.

Lady Warriors (38): Kendall Street n 21, Kathryn Taylor n 8, Kathryn Gilbert n 7, Sarah Gillam n 2

Lady Rams (37): Hayes Bryant n 12, Emily Cooke n 11, April Piland n 6, Jessica Bolton n 3, Caitlyn Harrison n 3, Emily Revelle – 2