Revenge is sweet!

Published 2:14 pm Sunday, February 9, 2014

AHOSKIE – The Ridgecroft School girls basketball team avenged their only loss of the Tarheel Independent Conference season Thursday night as they downed Hobgood Academy, 46-38.

The Lady Rams (17-4) and Lady Raiders finished the season tied for the top-spot in league play at 11-1, but after a coin flip yesterday (Friday), Hobgood was awarded the top seed in the conference tournament, which begins Feb. 10 at Lawrence Academy.

Hennie Larabee and Emily Grace both finished with 15 points each while Larabee had 8 rebounds, four assists, and a steal. Tanja Sauermann had two steals to go with eight points and four rebounds, and Mary Joe Harrell had one rebound together with seven points and two blocked shots. Katie Blowe also had eight rebounds.

Taylor Smith had 20 points for Hobgood to lead all scorers, the only Raiders player to score in double figures.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday Ridgecroft sidestepped a roadblock in the form of rival Northeast Academy with a 47-16 win in their final home game of the year.

Hennie Larabee scored a game-high 23 points to lead the Lady Rams with 11 more from Mary Joe Harrell.  Chelsea Rose led Northeast with six.

“We played well together tonight,” said Ridgecroft coach Susan Oliver. “We had great ball movement on offense, we played great defense overall and we were ready to play from the beginning.”

Northeast tied the game twice early in the first quarter. It was 2-2 when NEA’s Mollie Cocke got a put back and Rose also got a score in the low post to stake the Lady Eagles to their only lead of the night, 4-2.  But from there, Larabee ignited a 16-0 run by the home team, scoring a jump shot to tie it at 4-4, and then scoring 12 of the next fourteen points.  Along the way, Ridgecroft led it 9-4 after the first eight minutes.

The Ram scoring barrage continued on into the second quarter as Larabee continued to light up the scoreboard. Rose finally got a shot to fall to break the streak, and then followed with another field goal, but it still left Northeast trailing by ten, 18-8. With time winding down in the frame, Larabee made one-of-two free throws and added a late jump shot to send the two teams into the locker-room with Ridgecroft holding a 21-8 halftime lead.

The Rams produced a 16-point output in the third quarter, starting off the second half with scores by Tanja Sauermann and Harrell that made it 24-8.  Anna Liverman made a bucket for the Eagles before Ridgecroft went on another scoring binge, this time putting up ten in a row and building a 24-point lead at 34-10. Nicole Burke scored for NEA to break the cycle, but Bailey Vann got the last three points of the quarter for the Rams and it propelled them to a 37-12 lead entering quarter number-four.

Ridgecroft continued to run it up in the final eight minutes, not letting off the gas with their brilliant offense. Coach Oliver did try to take the game inside and Northeast fouls started a parade to the free throw line.  The Rams made four-of-six down the stretch to seal the 31-point win.

Northeast  (16)

Chelsea Rose-6; Mollie Cocke-2; Madison Burch-2; Robyn Barnes-2; Anna Liverman-2; Nicole Burke-2.

Ridgecroft  (47)

Hennie Larabee-23; Mary Joe Harrell-11; Tanja Sauermann-7; Bailey Vann-3; Katie Blowe-2; Amber Bracy-1.