Rams ‘steal’ victory from LA

Published 3:16 pm Wednesday, January 26, 2011

AHOSKIE – It’s called prestidigitation, or quick hands; and sometimes you don’t have to be a magician to pull it off.

Ridgecroft School’s girls basketball team used it Tuesday night without the abra-cadabra as they racked up over 30 steals and used them to rout rival Lawrence Academy 62-22.

Hennie Larabee was the prime pilferer for Ridgecroft with a team-high 10 thefts on the night to go with her game-high 23 points, 13 of them coming in the first half.

Miller Bryant and Lauren Colson had 14 points apiece, with eight and six rebounds, respectively.

Holly McNair led Lawrence with eight points.

“Absolutely,” said Lady Rams coach Susan Oliver with emphasis, “defense wins games by far. The girls ran well, and you have to play together to win ball games and that’s what we did.

“My guards created a lot of turnovers and steals and we got layups early for a good start,” she added. “I’m really proud of their effort.”

The win upped Ridgecroft’s record to 12-3 overall and 7-1 in the Tarheel Independent Conference.  Lawrence fell to 0-16 and 0-6 in the TIC.

Ridgecroft didn’t come out with pressure in the first half, opting to use a zone and daring the Lady Warriors to take advantage of it. However, Lawrence missed their first eight shots and fell behind, 9-0.

But strong rebounding helped keep it close and with a 7-5 run for the Warriors they closed out the first quarter trailing, 15-7.

McNair hit a short jump shot to get Lawrence within six, but that was as close as they came the rest of the night.

Ridgecroft then went on a 15-0 run, highlighted by six points from Colson and a pair of long-range three-point jumpers from Larabee.

After a Brice Harrison free throw made it 30-9, Heather Hughes broke the Lawrence drought with a jump shot, but it was Lawrence’s final points of the half.

Bryant came back for the Rams to drop a trey and layups from Larabee and Sara Hackney made it,37-11, Ridgecroft at the half.

In the third quarter, the Rams put on their ‘theft show’, using their full-court pressure defense to smother Lawrence.  They got the first 10 points of a 14-0 run on steals and layups before Colson hit a jump shot in the low-post.

Lawrence only got a field goal and a free throw the entire quarter as Ridgecroft dropped 20 and upped their lead to 57-14 entering the final eight minutes.

The fourth quarter was much quieter, offensively, with Lawrence even outscoring the home team, 8-5.

The Warriors hit the 20-point mark in the closing minutes thanks to Hallie Corbett and Hughes getting the final six points for Lawrence.

“My bench put in some good time,” said Oliver, “with Nikki Smith, Alexa Brown and Elizabeth Joyner running the floor well, blocking shots and getting some key rebounds for us tonight.”

Ridgecroft steps out of conference to play Bethel Christian in Askewville tonight (Thursday) before resuming league play Friday night at Albemarle School in Elizabeth City.