Last-second shot dooms Rams

Published 12:43 pm Monday, February 7, 2011

AHOSKIE – John Harrell had just three points for Hobgood Academy here Friday.

Those three points, however, came with just five ticks left on the clock and were enough to help the Raiders edge Ridgecroft School 51-50 here Friday night.

“It was a hard-fought game on both sides,” Rams’ skipper Brandon Hodges said. “They made the shot at the end to win the game, but our seniors played their hearts out. I’m so proud of them.”

Ridgecroft actually led 45-31 midway through the final quarter, but Hobgood had a furious rally to get back into the contest.

Two free throws by Michal Farmer sparked a 12-0 run for the Raiders. Shahe Morning had a three-pointer during the spurt and Farmer had a three-point play as well as two points each by Dusty Knox and Andre Battle.

Ridgecroft, however, righted the ship with a free throw from Landon Larabee and an Austin Britton hoop. Jordan Harrell then added a free throw that gave the Rams a 49-43 edge.

Hobgood scored the next five points – a pair of free throws by Will Davis and a triple by Knox – to again close the game to one point (49-48) with 26 seconds left.

Michael Byrum hit 1-of-2 from the free throw line four seconds later to give Ridgecroft a two-point edge (50-48), but Harrell buried a three-pointer with the waning seconds to help Hobgood pull out the win.

Ridgecroft was led by a game-high 21 points from Britton while Byrum added 11 as the only other Ram in double digits. Kinchen Taylor and Ryan Beggs had six points each.

Knox led the Raiders with 19 points while Farmer had 13 and Morning added an even dozen.

Ridgecroft got off to a quick start in the contest. Britton and Beggs scored four points each early while Nathan Pearce added a bucket to give the Rams a 10-2 lead.

The held a 16-8 advantage after one quarter and held the same eight-point edge (28-20) by the intermission.

The Rams came out with a strong run to start the third quarter. Britton and Byrum had early buckets and the latter hit 3-of-4 from the free throw line to extend the Rams’ lead to 15 (35-20).

Hobgood got as close as 11 after a pair of free throws by Knox, but Ridgecroft was ahead 41-28 after three quarters setting up the late scoring.

The Rams dropped to 5-4 in the Tarheel Independent Conference heading into tonight’s (Tuesday) league matchup with Terra Ceia Christian School.