Late surge earns Lady Rams a win

Published 9:48 am Tuesday, December 6, 2016

AHOSKIE – When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Trailing upset-minded Lawrence Academy midway the fourth quarter, Brooke Rose nailed a clutch three-pointer from the right wing, sparking a run of nine unanswered points down the stretch that lifted Ridgecroft School to a 32-24 win in Saturday’s championship game of the 11th annual Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Basketball Tournament played on the Lady Rams home floor.

“It wasn’t the prettiest game, but we managed to score a few clutch baskets there towards the end to pull out a win,” said Lady Rams head coach Susan Oliver. “Lawrence gave us a fit. (Lawrence) Coach (Lee) Hoffman brought his girls to play.”

It needs to be noted that Lawrence was missing three starters and their top reserve for Saturday’s championship game.

“You can bet there were some tweets going out after our game to the girls that were not here; we had some reserves and a couple of girls up from the jayvee team that played hard and played well,” Hoffman said afterwards.

“I don’t like to lose, but in this instance I was very satisfied with the effort we gave,” Hoffman added. “We had ‘em (Ridgecroft) on the ropes and even had a lead late in the game.”

Leading by one (20-19) entering the fourth quarter, Lawrence managed to maintain that advantage thanks to a basket each from Lindsay Smith and Brinson Edmundson that produced a 24-23 edge with four minutes remaining.

However, the momentum shifted quickly when Rose bombed in her three-pointer. Forty-five seconds later, MacKenzie Brown, later named as the tournament’s MVP, connected on a short jumper along the baseline. By the time Ridgecoft’s Reagan King came up with a big steal and fed Sydney Lane for an easy lay-up, the Lady Rams held a 30-24 cushion with 2:14 left and Lawrence was never able to recover.

Despite missing a lot of easy baskets, Ridgecroft appeared to be en route to an easy win in the early going, holding Lawrence to only two points over the opening eight minutes of play.

However, Lawrence answered when Hailey Gardner and Gracen Rogers each hit a basket over a 60-second span to open the second quarter to forge a 7-7 tie.

Ridgecroft responded with a 6-1 run highlighted by a basket each from Lane, King and Brown, which handed the Lady Rams a 13-8 advantage just past the midway mark of the second period.

Smith and Gardner each scored a basket for Lawrence as the Lady Warriors drew to within 15-12 at halftime.

With Brown in foul trouble (she went to the bench with four infractions at the 2:29 mark of the third quarter), Lawrence took advantage and held Ridgecroft to only four points in the period.

Meanwhile, the Lady Warriors rode the strength of a basket each from Lauren Smith and Edmundson plus three free throws by Lindsay Smith to grab a 20-19 lead at the end of the third quarter.

All-Tournament Team:

Ridgecroft School – Ruthie Daniels, Reagan King, and MacKenzie Brown (MVP)

Lawrence Academy – Gracen Rogers, Lindsay Smith, and Brinson Edmundson


Lady Rams (32)

MacKenzie Brown – 9, Brooke Rose – 9, Ruthie Daniels – 6, Reagan King – 4, Sydney Lane – 4

Lady Warriors (24)

Lindsay Smith – 10, Brinson Edmundson – 4, Hailey Gardner – 4, Gracen Rogers – 2, Lauren Smith – 2, Savannah Stephens – 1

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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