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Lady Rams advance

AHOSKIE – A balanced attack led Ridgecroft’s Lady Rams to the Tarheel Independent Conference tournament finals.

The host school, seeded second in the TIC tourney, got 16 from Hennie Larabee, 15 from Lauren Colson, eight from Mary-joe Harrell and seven from Miller Bryant as they knocked off rival Northeast Academy 56-42.

Despite the loss, the Eagles got stand-out performances from Ivey Little and Hannah Roye, who poured in 14 points each. Ashton Liverman chipped in seven.

But it was the night for the Rams as they jumped out to an 18-8 lead – thanks to a 14-0 run in the first quarter – and never looked back.

“The girls hustled down the floor,” Ridgecroft coach Susan Oliver said. “We went into the game wanting to set the tempo. We played good defense and worked well together. The girls played as a team.”

It was the Eagles who came out with a strong performance over the opening minutes.

Mollie Cocke hit the first hoop and then, after a pair of free throws from Larabee, Roye and Liverman hit back-to-back shots to make it 6-2.

Colson got the Rams’ first hoop form the floor, but was answered quickly by a Kalen Rose hoop, leaving Northeast ahead 8-4.

Ridgecroft, however, seized control at that point. Colson and Larabee each hit two from the free throw line before Bryant buried a three-pointer to make it 11-8. Colson scored again before Harrell scored from behind the arc. An Amber Bracy hoop as the quarter closed left Ridgecroft with an 18-8 advantage.

Liverman opened the second quarter with a bucket, but Harrell answered and Colson added a free throw to give Ridgecroft a 21-10 lead.

Roye, however, scored a triple to close the gap back to eight.

Colson scored back-to-back hoops to push Ridgecroft’s lead back in double figures and it remained there the rest of the half. The Lady Rams led 32-17 at the intermission.

Little started the second half with a bucket, but Katie Blowe scored from the floor and Larabee completed a three-point play to push the lead to 37-19.

Following an exchanged of hoops, Little scored four unanswered to close the gap to 15 (43-28) late in the third quarter. Ridgecroft, however, responded with consecutive hoops by Larabee and led 47-28 going into the final quarter.

The fourth period saw the Rams push their lead to 54-32 thanks to scores by Bryant, Colson and Larabee.

Northeast then rolled off 10 straight to close the gap to 12 (54-42). Little had six points during that spurt while Liverman and Roye added two each.

The final hoop of the game was a basket from Blowe that established the final score.

Ridgecroft advanced to the TIC tournament finals with the victory.