Ridgecroft boys top Northeast
By Tommy Bryant
LASKER – Ridgecroft School got off to an excellent early start here Friday and never looked back.
The Rams used a 15-point first quarter to take the lead and went on to a 66-30 Tarheel Independent Conference win over home-standing Northeast Academy.
Michael Byrum started the game with a hoop for Ridgecroft, but was answered quickly by a bucket off the hands of Brad Johnson. Austin Foster then scored for the Rams only to see Logan Simonowich answer for the Eagles as the game was tied at 4-all.
The score-and-answer continued when Max Boone hit the bottom of the net for Ridgecroft only to see Ryan Williams answer for Northeast.
Jordan Harrell then hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe for Ridgecroft, but Northeast came back with a hoop from Avery Hargrave as they took their only lead of the night at 8-7.
At that point, the Rams took over with Foster and Julian Becker scoring on back-to-back trips down the floor. Byrum then hit two from the free throw line as did Harrell and the Rams had pushed out to a 15-8 lead.
Hargrave stopped the run with a bucket to open the second quarter, but Becker answered with a three-pointer at the other end. Williams then scored for the Eagles, but Becker had a hoop and Boone scored from behind the arc as Ridgecroft pushed ahead 23-12 with 3:58 to play in the first half.
The two teams went back-and-forth for most of the final three minutes with Ridgecroft holding a 10-point edge (29-19) going into the locker room at half time.
The Rams started the third quarter with five-straight points thanks to a Becker hoop and a three-point play from Foster.
Will Glover stopped the spurt with a hoop for the Rams, but Ridgecroft came back with eight unanswered – four from Becker and two each from Foster and Byrum – as they pushed the lead to 42-21 with 1:27 to play in the third quarter.
Johnson then scored for the Eagles, but Becker hit 1-of-2 from the line and then scored in the final second of the period to send the Rams into the final quarter with a 45-23 edge.
Byrum opened the fourth quarter with a three-point play, giving Ridgecroft a 48-23 lead. From there, the visiting squad continued to pull away as they claimed the league victory.
In the junior varsity boys game, Northeast took a 25-23 win.
Branden Edwards paced Northeast with six while Trey Futrell, Matt Little and Nathan Rowe had five each. Nathan Askew led Ridgecroft with nine points.