Hobgood holds off Ridgecroft

Published 10:51 am Thursday, February 25, 2010

HOBGOOD – The Lady Raiders came in with all the cards.

They were the Tarheel Independent Conference champions, they were 24-2 overall and they were playing in their own gym.

Ridgecroft School didn’t seem to let any of that bother them Saturday as they battled for all four quarters before eventually succumbing to Hobgood 45-40.

The Lady Rams got out to an early lead thanks to back-to-back buckets from Emily Cooke and Brice Harrison as they led 9-4 with 2:59 to play in the first quarter.

Morgan Medford responded for the Lady Raiders to close the gap to three, but Sara Hackney went right back to score for Ridgecroft. Lauren Colson added a hoop to push the Ridgecroft lead to 13-6, but Bobbi Stewart responded for Hobgood to leave the Rams ahead 13-8 after one quarter.

Schuyler Edmondson started the second quarter with two free throws and a field goal for the Raiders as she closed the gap to one (13-12) with 7:07 to play in the first half.

Miller Bryant found the net for Ridgecroft a minute later, but was answered by another Edmondson hoop. Tayler Smith scored for Ridgecroft with 5:05 to play in the second period, but the Lady Raiders got a bucket from Sarah Gregory Sykes to keep the deficit at just one (17-16) with 3:58 to play.

Sykes’ hoop was the start of a 7-0 spurt for Hobgood. Medford added a free throw while Katelyn Whitehead had a bucket. Stewart added two from the charity stripe with 2:26 to play in the quarter as Hobgood led 21-17.

Cooke scored to stop the spurt, but was answered by two Stewart free throws. She scored again with 1:11 to play in the first half, but this time it was Kathy Barnhill answering for Hobgood.

The final score of the quarter came when Colson hit 1-of-2 from the free throw line to get Ridgecroft within 25-22 at the intermission.

Both teams missed chances to start the second half as they combined to miss 6-of-8 from the charity stripe. Cooke and Edmondson hit one shot each leaving the Rams trailing by three.

Cooke got the Lady Rams within one (26-25) at the 5:36 mark of the third quarter, but Barnhill and Edmondson hit successive shots to give Hobgood a 30-25 lead.

Cooke then hit two free throws and a bucket to get the Rams within one (30-29) but Edmondson scored the final bucket of the quarter to give Hobgood a 32-29 lead.

Cooke started the fourth quarter with a hoop that again brought the Rams within one then Colson hit a hoop at the 6:25 mark that gave Ridgecroft a 33-32 edge.

Stewart responded immediately and then rolled off another hoop and a free throw as Hobgood grabbed a 37-33 lead with 4:49 to play.

Colson had a free throw to close the gap back to two, but Whitehead hit a free throw as did Edmondson to push the Hobgood lead to 40-34 with 1:36 to play.

The Raiders then sealed the win at the free throw line and secured the Tarheel Independent Conference tournament championship.

After the tournament, Brice Harrison and Emily Cooke were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Ridgecroft was seeded number nine in the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association 1-A playoffs. They fell to Northwood Temple 53-37 Tuesday evening to end their season.