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Ram girls in finals

AHOSKIE – For a second consecutive year the Ridgecroft School varsity girl’s basketball will play for the championship in the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Basketball Tournament sponsored by United Country Joe Murray Realty and the Roanoke-Chowan NEWS-HERALD.

The Lady Rams topped Southampton Academy 45-36 thanks to 16 points from Hennie Larabee and a dozen from Reagan King.   Sarah Best led Southampton with 17.

“We played well,” said Ridgecroft coach Susan Oliver. “We came out a little flat in the third quarter but we recovered well and went on to win.  We’re happy to be back in the championship game.”

Emily Grace opened the game with a three-point basket for the home team and Ridgecroft was off from there, outscoring the Lady Raiders, 8-2, early.  After Southampton broke the scoring string, Ridgecroft scored 10 in a row and lead 18-7 after the first quarter.

An 8-0 run to begin the second stanza had the Lady Rams up 26-7 at the 5:00 mark.   Oliver substituted with the huge lead and Ridgecroft held a 31-12 lead at halftime.

Southampton came out better in the third quarter and got it down to an 11-point deficit at 32-21 with 4:00 left in the frame.  But the Rams shook off their sluggishness and led by 15, 38-23, headed into the fourth.

Ridgecroft was never challenged in the final quarter thanks to the huge lead.  Southampton tried to make it respectable with a nine-point loss.  It was Ridgecroft’s seventh straight win against no losses.

Meanwhile, in the boy’s varsity game a trio of players in double-figures led by Andrew Lowe with 18 powered Southampton back to Friday’s title game for the second time in three years thanks to a 56-44 triumph over Bethel Assembly.  Matt Neil with 15 led Bethel while Trey Hoggard finished with ten.

The game was a three-point shootout at one point with six treys falling in the first quarter alone.  Bethel came back from an early deficit to tie it at 7-7 and only trailed by one after the first eight minutes, 12-11.

The “bomb-fest” slowed in the second quarter, but Southampton did not, upping their lead to ten midway through the period, 27-17.  With two minutes until the break it was a 14-point Raider lead, 31-17, before Bethel made a charge and only trailed by 10 at the break, 33-23.

Poor shooting highlighted the third quarter as Southampton took its largest lead – 16 points – at 39-23.  Once more, Bethel tried to shoot their way back into it, but Masco Barrett drilled a jumper and canned a pair of foul shots to have the Raiders out front 43-29 after three.

The three-point shots started falling again in the fourth, but it couldn’t make up the deficit for the Eagles.  The closest Bethel came was within nine thanks to a Neil three-point shot, but Southampton put a 12-point win in the books headed to Friday’s showdown.