Rams roll on Senior Night

Published 11:27 am Monday, January 30, 2012

AHOSKIE – You didn’t have to tell a soul they were playing the Senior Night boys basketball game at Ridgecroft School on Friday night.

Just look at the smiles on the bench and the numbers on the scoreboard.

The Rams roped, herded and branded the Colts of Albemarle School 73-30 for their seventh win in Tarheel Independent Conference play and 13th triumph of the season.

Seniors Michael Byrum and Cas Castelloe helped put on a show for the partisan Ram supporters with Byrum leading the Ram scoring with 27 points.  Julian Becker nearly equaled that mark with 26.

Ridgecroft was missing the other senior on the night, Austin Foster, who was off on a weekend recruiting trip.

Troy Sanders was the only double-figure scorer for the Colts with 19. No other Albemarle player scored as much as five.

“I would’ve liked to have scheduled a Hobgood or a Lawrence, but I had no control over that,” grinned first-year coach Chris Hill.  “Michael and Cas played for Austin who wasn’t here tonight so it was a great Senior Night.”

This one was ‘blitzkrieg’ as the Rams struck with lightning effectiveness and had Albemarle back on their heels early in the game.

Byrum opened the scoring by burying a trey from behind the crooked line and the rout was on.

Becker next got a steal and layup followed by another pair of layups courtesy of the quick hands of Byrum and Colts coach Colin Woodley was already up and in the refs face calling for a timeout, down 9-2.

Hill didn’t call off the dogs.

The Rams scored 16 straight and midway through that run Hill took some of the air out of his team by calling his own timeout.

By the quarter’s end, Byrum and Becker had scored 11 points apiece and Ridgecroft led it, 29-4 – a whopping 25-point advantage.

Albemarle had their best scoring run, 6-0, to open the second quarter before Byrum returned to form with another layup off a turnover.  Blake Outlaw then scored in the low post followed by five straight scored by Becker.

Jordan Harrell’s breakaway layup off a turnover upped the Ram lead to 26, 40-to-14. The Rams closed out the half with 3-of-5 free throws and led it 43-18 at the break.

Albemarle opened quarter number-three with four made foul shots – but that was all the Colts’ scoring for the next seven and a half minutes.

The Rams, meanwhile, scored 13 in a row with Max Boone getting a layup on the Colts’ 21st turnover and Becker and Byrum getting the other 11 points.

Taking a 56-22 lead into the fourth quarter, Castelloe thrilled the crowd by scoring the first five points.  Senior-mate, Byrum, scored nine of the final 13 and the Rams had a huge win at home.

“We killed ourselves with poor passing leading to a lot of transition points,” said Woodley.  “They executed early, put us in a big hole and it was a big run we just couldn’t recover from.”

“When we’re on, we’re tough to stop,” said Hill, “’cause we’re a quick, smart, disciplined team.  If we’re hitting on all cylinders at the right time we’re not going to get beat.”