Rams edge Eagles

Published 4:51 pm Wednesday, January 6, 2010

LASKER – Late misses at the free throw line proved costly for Northeast Academy here last week.

The Eagles had multiple opportunities in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t convert from the charity stripe while Ridgecroft School got two late shots from Miles Harrell to seal a 52-39 non-conference victory.

The teams entered the fourth quarter deadlocked at 38-all until Braxton Sumner scored with 7:46 to play in the game. James Pope answered with a triple for the Eagles, but Sumner hit the same shot for Ridgecroft and was followed by an Austin Britton hoop that gave the Rams a 45-41 lead with 6:55 to play in the contest.

Northeast got a three-point play from Jud Smith to close the gap to one, but the Rams answered with three straight free throws to take a 48-44 advantage.

Northeast came back with Pope getting a three-point play, but an Ethan Phelps hoop for Ridgecroft kept the Rams ahead by three (50-47) with 3:17 to play in the game.

Brad Johnson scored the last hoop of the contest with 2:05 to play, closing Northeast within one (50-49), but the teams combined to miss four consecutive attempts at the free throw line until Harrell buried two shots with seven seconds to play to seal the win.

In the early going, it was all Ridgecroft with the Rams racing to a 12-4 lead and holding a 19-6 edge after one period of play.

Smith scored the first bucket of the game, but the Rams got a three-pointer from Britton and a hoop from Phelps to lead 5-2. They extended the advantage to 10-4 thanks to a three and a field goal from Michael Byrum and then added a hoop by Nathan Pierce to go ahead by eight with 3:22 remaining in the first period.

After a Johnson hoop, the Rams closed the quarter on a 7-0 run thanks to a hoop by Britton and five points from Sumner.

Northeast, however, stormed back as the second quarter opened, getting consecutive buckets from Johnson and Smith and a pair of free throws by Smith to close the gap to 19-12.

From that point, the teams did little more than exchange hoops throughout the remainder of the first half with Northeast closing the gap to five (30-25) thanks to a pair of late free throws.

The lead was the same four minutes into the third quarter, but the Eagles rallied to close the third quarter on an 11-3 spurt to deadlock the score at 38-all.