Lady Eagles top Ridgecroft

Published 1:38 pm Friday, November 25, 2011

ASKEWVILLE – It wasn’t the rematch either expected.

Just days after playing one of the best tournament championships in the six-year history of the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament, Bethel Christian Academy and Ridgecroft School were squaring off again Tuesday.

The expected rematch of Bethel’s title win didn’t really occur, however, as Hennie Larabee, one of Ridgecroft’s leading scorers and defenders missed the game due to illness. Despite a late comeback run, the Rams came up short 52-37.

Elizabeth Farmer scored point number 1,000 in her career during an 18-point performance that was matched by teammate Kelsie Conner. Jessica Howerton added eight points while Kristen Adams had six and Alyssa Fairless chipped in two.

Miller Bryant paced Ridgecroft with a game-high 20 points while Lauren Colson was in double figures with a  baker’s dozen. Mary-joe Harrell added four points.

Despite Larabee missing from the lineup, the Rams kept pace throughout the first quarter.

Howerton had the first basket of the game and was followed by a Conner free throw as Bethel led 3-0, but Ridgecroft came back with a free throw from Bryant.

After two more Conner shots from the charity stripe, Bryant and Harrell had back-to-back shots for Ridgecroft and tied the game at 5-all.

Conner, however, scored from the floor as the first quarter ended to give Bethel a 7-5 lead.

An exchange of shots between Adams and Bryant started the second quarter, but a three-pointer from Farmer helped the Lady Eagles surge ahead 12-7.

Ridgecroft didn’t give in, however, as Colson hit a free throw and a field goal to get her team within two.  The Rams would only score once more in the first half though and Bethel pulled away.

Conner started the Lady Eagle run with back-to-back hoops. She was followed by a Farmer bucket and then Howerton scored with 1:33 to play in the second period as Bethel took a 22-10 lead.

Colson stopped the spurt with a hoop, but a free throw from Farmer and Fairless’ only bucket of the game gave Bethel a comfortable 25-12 halftime lead.

Ridgecroft scored the first three points of the second half – on a Colson free throw and a Bryant bucket – to get within 10 points, but Conner had a field goal and a shot from the charity stripe to push her team back in front.

Harrell then buried a three-pointer, but Bethel continue to answer as Conner scored and then a Colson free throw was answered by a Farmer bucket. Farmer then hit a three-pointer and another hoop to give the Eagles a 37-19 lead.

Bryant hit 1-of-2 from the line, but Howerton answered with a field goal that gave Bethel a 39-20 lead after three quarters.

Farmer started the fourth quarter with a field goal that gave her the 1,000th point of her career and Adams followed with a hoop that pushed Bethel ahead 43-20 with 7:26 to play.

Ridgecroft rallied thanks to a Bryant three-pointer and a Colson bucket and got within 43-25 before Farmer hit a free throw and Howerton scored to push the lead back over 20 (46-25).

Bryant scored again from behind the arc and Harrell added a score that was answered by a Conner hoop, but Bryant found the bottom of the net again moments later and Harrell hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to close the gap to 48-33.

Bryant had four more points in the closing minutes, but Adams and Conner answered for Bethel to establish the final score.

The win boosted Bethel Christian to 4-0 for the season. They will be on the court Thursday when they travel to Pungo Christian Academy.

The Lady Rams dipped to 2-2 in 2011 and will be back on the court Tuesday when they welcome Faith Christian School for a non-conference outing.