Lady Warriors knock off Rams

Published 1:16 pm Wednesday, January 23, 2013

AHOSKIE – It was quite a return.

In more ways than one.

Ridgecroft School reopened Tuesday after taking five school days off.  Friday was an off-day and Monday a holiday, coupled with last Wednesday and Thursday shutdowns because of the flu.

Following a disinfecting of the school, things were back to normal. So now if you add in a couple of weekends, 10 days off from practice and playing games can make a difference.

It certainly did Tuesday night as the Lady Rams girls basketball team fell to Lawrence Academy, 54-44, in the first win by the Lady Warriors over their closest rival since 2008.

Hayden Thompson, returning to basketball this season after taking a year off, led the attack with 17 points while Kayla Hoffman added 10, nine in the second half.

Ridgecroft’s Hennie Larabee led all scorers with 22 points, while Mary-joe Harrell chipped in 10.

Rebounding made the difference for Lawrence.  With Thompson and teammate, Holly McNair, controlling the paint the Warriors collected the majority of the caroms on the night.

Lawrence’s put-back baskets accounted for 16 points in just the second half alone, and the Warriors collected another dozen points on turnovers.

“Ridgecroft’s not a big team, so we game-planned to take it right at them,” said Lawrence coach Lee Hoffman.

“Hayden’s a six-footer and she’s a dominant force when she’s in the game and she played great for us tonight,” he added.

The game was tied twice in the first quarter, at 5-5, and later 7-7,before Lawrence claimed the lead with a Taylor Wilson layup off a Rams turnover and it was 9-7, Warriors, after one period of play.

Maggie Daniels opened the second quarter with a layup and a free throw by McNair less than a minute later stretched Lawrence’s lead to five. Priscilla Lunsford then got a steal and layup to double up the home team, 14-7.

A pair of Ram free throws trimmed the bulge by a deuce, but then Lawrence went on a 7-2 run, powered by Thompson, and the Warrior lead was 10, 21-11.

After a timeout with less than two minutes until the break, Ridgecroft closed things out with a 6-2 run to trail by eight as the teams went to the locker room, down 23-17.

Whistled for early fouls that opened the second half, Lawrence got the lead back up to double digits with a 5-1 run before a Harrell three-pointer dipped it back to down seven for Ridgecroft.

Hoffman helped wake up the sluggish Lawrence offense with a pair of jump shots that made it 32-21 before Ridgecroft countered with field goals from Larabee and Katie Blowe.

Thompson closed out the third quarter by scoring Lawrence’s last five points. Ridgecroft got just a pair of free throws and an Erin Cooke layup to make it 37-29, Lawrence, entering the final frame.

Sydney Brabble got Lawrence’s first basket of the fourth quarter before Larabee and Harrell scored to get Ridgecroft within six.

From there, Lawrence proceeded to drop the hammer, outscoring the Rams, 9-1, for a 14-point lead, 48-24.

The Warriors then closed out the 10-point win by making six of eight foul shots.

“We got out of our routine,” said Ridgecroft coach Susan Oliver. “When you have sickness you just have to roll with it and do the best you can. It’s just part of the game.”

“They (LAW) don’t know how to win these kind of games,” said Hoffman with a smile. “This is big for us to hold on and not lose one.”

Lawrence raises their record to 7-9, and 3-4 in the Tarheel Independent Conference.  Ridgecroft falls to 5-8, and 4-2 in the TIC.