Rams derail PCA

Published 3:11 pm Thursday, December 10, 2009

AHOSKIE – Ridgecroft jumped out to an early lead and held that advantage most of the way here Tuesday night.

The Rams led 13-4 early in the first quarter and held that nine-point advantage most of the way as they defeated Pungo Christian Academy 69-60 at Revelle Gymtorium.

Last year’s Tarheel Independent Conference Player of the Year Austin Britton got league play started off well with a 21-point performance that paced Ridgecroft. The Rams also got double figures from Braxton Sumner who chipped in 13. It was Pungo’s Joseph Braddy who stole the show, however, pouring in 39 points in a losing effort.

The Raiders led 4-2 early, but Britton scored six unanswered points over the next minute to give Ridgecroft an 8-4 advantage. Ethan Phelps and Miles Harrell then added consecutive buckets before Britton scored again to establish a 15-4 lead for the Rams.

PCA got the final four points of the quarter thanks to a Tyler Mann hoop and a pair of free throws from Braddy, but Ridgecroft led 15-8 after one quarter.

Phelps, Britton and Michael Byrum hit back-to-back-to-back buckets for the Rams to push the lead back to nine points at the 6:33 mark of the second quarter before Braddy made the front end of a 1-plus-1 for the Raiders.

Britton and Braddy exchanged hoops before the teams exchanged short spurts with the Rams coming out ahead 28-15 after a Sumner three-pointer with 2:59 left in the first half.

Pungo was able to close the gap back to nine when Braddy scored on a field goal and three-pointer in 25 seconds time and then Zach Credle added a free throw. The Rams, however, stormed back with Britton and Sumner each hitting from behind the arc in the final 40 seconds of the second quarter to send Ridgecroft into the locker room with a 38-23 lead at the intermission.

Sumner started the second half with an old-fashioned three-point play, but Mann answered with a hoop moments later for the Raiders. The lead was 24 for Ridgecroft after a Harrell free throw, but Braddy went on a personal 7-0 run to get the Raiders within 54-35. Ridgecroft led 56-37 after three quarters.

Harrell scored the opening hoop of the third quarter for Ridgecroft, but Pungo responded with a 13-0 spurt to close the gap to 58-50. Braddy had all 13 points on the run.

Britton stopped the spurt with a three-point play, but Pungo came back with a 3-0 run to keep their deficit at eight.

Ridgecroft was able to push the lead back to double digits when Scott Lowe had four straight points to preserve the Ridgecroft win.

The Rams improved to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the TIC. Ridgecroft hosted Halifax Academy last night (Wednesday) before returning to conference play Friday when they host Lawrence Academy.