Ridgecroft turns back Northeast Acad.
AHOSKIE – Overcoming five ties – four in the first quarter alone – Ridgecroft School was finally able to shake off Northeast Academy and go on to post a 63-52 win in Tarheel Independent Conference action here Tuesday night.
Blake Birdsong finished with 27 points – including five three-pointers – to lead the Rams in the win. Jasper Krueger’s 16 points accounted for the only other Rams player in double figures. Ryan Rowe led Northeast with 18.
After Dylan Edwards dropped a triple for NEA to open the game, the Rams’ Birdsong got the night’s first tie when he responded with a trey of his own. It was Edwards again later tying it again at 5-5, and then helping the Eagles to a 10-7 lead. Birdsong came through again with another triple that gave the fans their third tie of the night, then another short jumper for a 12-10 Rams lead. Rowe answered at the NEA end and the game was tied for a fourth time at 12 apiece. But Birdsong scored four of his team’s final six points and helped the home team to an 18-14 lead after one.
It was 19-16, Rams, early in the second when Rowe tied it for the fifth and final time, 19-all. From there, Ridgecroft went on a 12-0 run and seemed to suck the life out of the Eagles. When Rowe made one-of-two free throws to break the string, it was 31-20, Rams. After another Northeast bucket, Dawson rose ended the first-half scoring with a trey that carried Ridgecroft to a 34-22 halftime lead.
L.J. Barnes got a lay-up for Northeast to open the second half and got the Eagles within 10 at 34-24. Later Northeast rallied with a 9-2 run to get within four, 39-35, but Ridgecroft scored the final six of the third and had a lead back up to 10 entering the fourth, 45-35.
Northeast refused to yield, cutting it back to a four-point game on a Rowe three-pointer, 51-47. But this time Krueger scored six in a row, interrupted by a Drew Davis triple, down the stretch that led to the 11-point win.
Northeast returns home to host Community Christian, followed by Terra Ceia on Friday. Ridgecroft hosts Bethel tonight in non-conference action before hitting the road to meet Hobgood on Friday.
Ryan Rowe-18, Justin Jones-13, Dylan Edwards-13, L.J. Barnes-4, Josh Byrd-2, Jeffrey Flythe-2
Blake Birdsong-27, Jasper Krueger-16, Dawson Rose-8, Wyatt Liverman-6, Drew Davis-4, Grayson Joyner-2.