Lady Rams earn finals berth

Published 12:43 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2010

AHOSKIE – Ridgecroft School is back in the championship game of the Lt. Nick Brantley Tournament.

The Lady Rams, who have won the tourney on two occasions, will be back in Friday’s final after edging Bethel Christian Academy 38-31 in the semifinal game of the event Tuesday night.

Hennie Larabee led the way for the Lady Rams with 14 points while Miller Bryant was also in double digits with 10. Elizabeth Farmer had 10 to lead the Lady Eagles.

Ridgecroft jumped out to an early lead sparked by Miller’s three-pointer to open the contest. Jessica Howerton responded with a hoop for Bethel, but Bryant buried another triple followed by a Larabee bucket and the Rams led 8-2.

Bethel went on a 4-2 run when Kelsie Conner and Howerton sandwiched a pair of hoops around a Sara Hackney bucket to close within 10-6.

Ridgecroft, however, closed the first quarter on a 6-0 run thanks to a pair of hoops from senior Brice Harrison and a Hackney score as they led 16-6 after one period.

Larabee added to the Rams’ lead with two free throws to open a low-scoring second period. The only other scores of the second quarter were hoops by Farmer and Ridgecroft went into the locker room with an 18-10 lead.

Lauren Colson started the third quarter with a free throw, but it was the only point Ridgecroft scored in the opening four and a half minutes of the second half.

Bethel meanwhile had three consecutive hoops – one each from Farmer, Howerton and Conner – to close within 19-16.

Bryant hit her third triple of the night with 3:25 to play in the third period to push Ridgecroft’s lead back to six (22-16).

The Rams then got buckets from Harrison and Larabee and a free throw by the latter to go back ahead by double figures (27-16).

Bethel closed the quarter with a free throw from Conner to get within 10 at 27-17.

Larabee hit a deuce and a three-pointer to open the fourth quarter as Ridgecroft jumped ahead 32-17.

The Lady Eagles, however battled back with a pair of free throws from Conner and   a hoop by Farmer.

After a Larabee free throw, Bethel hit 4-of-6 from the free throw line to close within 33-27.

Larabee hit 1-of-2 from the line, but Howerton scored to close the gap to five (34-29) with just over two minutes to play.

Ridgecroft, however, hit 3-of-4 from the line to take a 37-29 lead before Kristin Adams hit a bucket to get within six. Bryant added a free throw to seal the contest with a 38-31 win.

Ridgecroft will now face Northeast Academy in Friday night’s final contest in the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament, which is sponsored jointly by United Country Joe Murray Realty and the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. That game will be played at Ridgecroft.

Bethel will meet Lawrence Academy in the Consolation game Thursday night at Lawrence.

(By Billy Harrell, Senior Sports Writer)