Hobgood wins battle of heavyweights

Published 10:57 am Friday, January 13, 2012

AHOSKIE – A battle of league heavyweights unfolded here Tuesday.

Ridgecroft School and Hobgood Academy each entered the Tarheel Independent Conference contest undefeated in league play. In the end, Hobgood’s score with 31 ticks on the clock was the difference as they won 40-38.

“We ran a play for the final second shot, it just didn’t fall,” Ridgecroft basketball boss Chris Hill said. “It was a defensive battle and a hard-fought game for first place in the TIC.

“Hobgood is a well-coached team and we look forward to playing them again,” he added.

The contest was close from the opening tip, but Ridgecroft broke open a 28-all tie midway through the fourth quarter when Max Boone and Julien Becker sandwiched three-pointers around a Mical Farmer bucket for the Raiders. That gave the Rams a 34-30 lead.

Hobgood, however, scored five straight at the free throw line and then Sha’he Morning hit from behind the arc to make it 38-34 in favor of the visiting Raiders.

Jordan Harrell scored his only two points of the night at the free throw line to close the gap to a pair and then Becker scored with 1:32 remaining to tie the game at 38-all.

Farmer scored what proved to be the game winning shot a minute later.

The Rams had an opportunity to tie, but the last-second shot just missed, leaving the Raiders undefeated in league play.

Becker paced the Ridgecroft attack with 19 points while Michael Byrum was also in double figures at 14 points. Boone had three and Harrell two.

Farmer led the Hobgood squad with 14 points and Morning had double figures with 11. Caleb Brown contributed eight while Greg Mullins had six and Eric Josey added one point.

The game was low-scoring throughout. Ridgecroft led 6-0 early in the first quarter, but Hobgood rallied to close the gap to 8-6 by the end of the quarter.

The two teams were tied at 16-all at the intermission and then the Rams led 28-24 by the end of the third period.

The loss leaves Ridgecroft 4-1 in the TIC while Hobgood improved to 4-0 in the conference.