Lady Rams return to finals

Published 11:25 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2011

AHOSKIE – Ridgecroft School is in a familiar place.

The Lady Rams will return to the finals of the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament where they have won three of the previous five events. Ridgecroft earned that opportunity Tuesday with a 61-36 victory over Northeast Academy in the semifinals of the event which is co-sponsored by the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and United Country Joe Murray Realty.

While the Rams won comfortably in the end, it wasn’t so easy in the early going.

Hennie Larabee and Miller Bryant got the first points of the game when each hit two free throws. Northeast countered when Ashton Liverman hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe.

The first bucket of the game came from the hands of Northeast’s Kalen Rose and that was followed up by a Liverman hoop that gave the Lady Eagles a 5-4 edge.

Ridgecroft came back with a Larabee bucket only to have Ivey Little tie the contest with a free throw.

The Lady Rams then rolled off six unanswered with Larabee scoring two from the charity stripe and a field goal before Lauren Colson scored to put Ridgecroft ahead 12-6.

Northeast wasn’t done, however, as Hannah Roye buried a hoop and Rose scored from the free throw line to keep the Eagles within striking distance (12-9) at the end of the first period.

Ridgecroft, however, controlled the second quarter.

The first three hoops came from Larabee, Colson and Bryant as the Lady Rams pushed ahead 18-9. Northeast got a free throw from Liverman, but Bryant answered with a hoop and a free throw to give Ridgecroft a 21-10 edge.

Larabee hit 3-of-4 from the line answered only by Ciara Pope bucket as Ridgecroft took a 24-12 lead.

Colson then scored for the Rams to add to that advantage, but Little responded with a hoop and Liverman hit 1-of-2 from the line to close the gap to 26-15.

Ridgecroft again pulled away thanks to free throws from Larabee and four points from Colson, taking a 32-15 lead.

Rose stopped the spurt momentarily, but Colson and Katie Blowe had successive hoops to give Ridgecroft a 36-17 lead.

The Lady Eagles responded by scoring the final four points of the first half when Rose and Millie Pope each had baskets, cutting the deficit to 36-21 by the intermission.

The Eagles came out well in the third quarter when Rose and Mollie Pope had the first two hoops, getting Northeast back to within 11 (36-25).

Ridgecroft, however, got a bucket from Colson, three free throws from Larabee and a hoop by Mary Joe Harrell to push their advantage to 43-25.

Rose stopped the run with a hoop, but Larabee and Harrell hit back-to-back baskets to push the lead to 47-27 by the end of the third quarter.

Ciara Pope and Roye had the first two scores of the fourth quarter, but they were answered by successive hoops from Bryant as the Rams led 51-31 with just three and a half minutes to play.

From there, the Rams were able to coast to victory.

Larabee led the Lady Rams with 22 points while Bryant added 15 and Colson chipped in 14. Harrell had six.

Northeast was led by Rose’s 11 points and 10 from Liverman. Roye and both Pope’s had four each.

The Lady Eagles will square off with Lawrence Academy in Thursday’s Consolation Game. Ridgecroft will meet Bethel Christian Academy in Friday’s finals.