Lady Raiders roll to league title

Published 10:01 pm Friday, February 12, 2010

LASKER – Hobgood Academy secured the top spot in the Tarheel Independent Conference tournament here Thursday night.

The Lady Raiders knocked off league foe Northeast Academy 31-22 to claim the TIC regular-season championship.

The game started with neither team doing a good job of finding the basket as they combined for just eight points over the opening eight minutes.

Morgan Medford got the Lady Raiders on the board first with a free throw, but Ashton Liverman answered with a bucket for Northeast just 23 seconds later.

Emily Thompson gave Hobgood the lead back with 6:59 to play in the first half, but neither team scored again for more than a minute when Liverman had another hoop to give the Eagles a 4-3 edge.

Medford tied the game with 3:43 to play in the first quarter, but it was the last point scored until 7:09 of the second period.

It was then Jennifer Sykes hit back-to-back hoops to push Northeast ahead 8-4 with 6:31 to play in the second.

Thompson, however, responded for Hobgood just 20 seconds later to close within 8-6.

Sykes added a free throw for the Eagles before Kathy Barnhill found the bottom of the net to close the Lady Raiders within one (9-8) with 4:06 to play in the first half.

The Eagles, however, scored the next five straight to build a 14-8 lead. Sykes had a free throw followed by hoops from Liverman and Ivey Little that gave Northeast the six-point edge with 2:11 to play.

Bobbi Stewart hit a pair of free throws for Hobgood to close within 14-10, but Kelly Barnes responded for the Eagles to give the home team a 16-10 lead with 23 seconds to play in the first half and that advantage stood up through the intermission.

Hobgood dominated the third quarter, outscoring Northeast 8-2 to deadlock the game at 18-all heading into the final quarter.

Thompson started the run with a hoop that was followed by three straight points from Medford. Sykes interrupted with the Eagles’ only hoop at the 4:54 mark of the quarter, but Barnhill added a bucket for the Raiders and Medford added a free throw to tie the score at 18-all heading into the fourth period.

Medford started the final quarter with a hoop that was followed by a Katelyn Whitehead bucket and a basket by Stewart that gave Hobgood a 24-18 lead with 4:54 to play in the contest.

Schuyler Edmondson had a pair of free throws a minute later to push the Lady Raider lead to eight and was followed by a Medford hoop that made it 28-18 with 3:22 to play.

Barnes and Sykes combined to hit 3-of-4 from the line to close the gap to seven (28-21), but Hobgood got late scores from Edmondson and Thompson as they held off any rally to win 31-22.