Ridgecroft claims tourney title
By Billy Harrell
Senior Sports Writer
AHOSKIE – Mary-joe Harrell poured in 24 points and led Ridgecroft School to its second straight Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament title.
Harrell, who led all scorers in the junior varsity girl’s championship game, was joined by Erin Cooke in double figures. Cooke added 16 as the Lady Rams topped rival Northeast Academy 46-5.
Ridgecroft wasted no time getting started as the Lady Rams led 20-0 at the end of the first quarter and eventually took a 26-0 edge.
Cooke started the scoring with a pair of free throws and then Harrell hit back-to-back three-pointers. Harrell added another hoop to make it 10-0 early on.
The two continued to be the dominant scorers in the first quarter with each adding five additional points to establish the 20-0 edge after one quarter.
Harrell hit back-to-back hoops to start the second period and then Cooke added a bucket to establish the 26-0 lead.
Northeast got a hoop from Holly Byrum with two minutes to play in the second period to account for the Eagles’ first score.
Harrell added a free throw and Cooke a hoop to give Ridgecroft a 29-2 lead at the intermission.
Nicole El-Khoury scored the first hoop of the third quarter for the Rams and then Harrell hit two straight to make it 35-2. A Cooke hoop ended the third quarter with Ridgecroft leading 37-2.
The fourth quarter opened with back-to-back buckets from Harrell and Amber Bracy followed by a Cooke three-pointer to give Ridgecroft a 44-2 lead.
Northeast got a free throw from Robyne Barnes and a hoop from Madison Burch to account for their final points of the game.
Ridgecroft closed the game with an El-Khoury hoop that established the final margin.
The Lady Rams advanced to the tournament finals by defeating Bethel Christian Academy in the semis while Northeast had topped Pungo Christian Academy. The fifth team to play in the tournament was Lawrence Academy.
The Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament finished its fifth year with Friday’s championships. The event is sponsored jointly by the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and United Country Joe Murray Realty.