NEA, Rams advance to Baggett girls finale

Published 9:46 am Tuesday, November 21, 2017

ASKEWVILLE – Northeast Academy used a 22-point performance from Carly Stephenson Friday night to power their way to the varsity girls championship game of the Eric Baggett Memorial Basketball Tournament held last weekend at Bethel Assembly gymnasium, completing one-half of the championship bracket.

NEA downed Ahoskie Christian School 60-35 in one of the two semi-finals, while Ridgecroft School used a steady offensive and defensive display in posting a 35-17 win over host Bethel Assembly Christian Academy to complete the other half.

The Lady Rams opened the semi-finals against the BACA Lady Eagles with a 6-4 first quarter lead, Sarah Conner doing the scoring for the home team, but the Ridgecroft defense shut her down the rest of the contest.

Northeast Academy’s Carly Stephenson (#22) shoots over defenders in the Eric Baggett Memorial Basketball Tournament held this past weekend in Askewville. Stephenson’s Lady Eagles downed Ahoskie Christian in the semi-finals 60-35. | William Anthony Photography

A Reagan King bucket to open quarter number-2 doubled the Ridgecroft lead to 8-4. Sydney Lane scored on a lay-up to get the Rams to double-figures, 10-4, before Brooke Rose buried a three-pointer. Meanwhile, Bethel couldn’t get their offense in gear and Ridgecroft closed out the half with six more points to take a 19-4 lead at halftime.

After a Ram free-throw, Courtney Burkett broke the Bethel drought with a jump shot. Bethel outscored the Rams 6-4 in the period, but Ridgecroft built their lead to 13 points, 23-10 after three quarters of play.

After swapping baskets to open the fourth, Ridgecroft went on a 7-3 run and built their biggest lead of the contest, 32-13 with just over four minutes remaining. Cold shooting doomed the Eagles and Ridgecroft closed it out with a 35-17 win; a victory that put the Rams in the championship game for the fifth straight year of the tournament. King was the only player in double-figures with 10 points, but the Rams spread the scoring around. Meanwhile, Kayley Minton led Bethel with five.

The second girls’ semi featured Northeast against Ahoskie Christian School with the Lady Warriors making their first appearance in the Baggett.

Haley Knox got the first basket for ACS, but the Lady Eagles then went on to score eight of the next 10 points to claim an 8-4 lead. Madison Blowe’s three-pointer pulled the Warriors within one at 8-7 before NEA scored a jump shot and a free throw for an 11-7 lead after the first quarter.

A 7-0 run by Northeast opened the second quarter and moved them out to a comfortable 18-7 lead before a pair of free throws by Cameron Wallace of the Warriors made it 18-9. Ahoskie pulled within six at 21-15 before Northeast closed out the half and took a 10-point lead, 27-17 into the locker-room at halftime.

Stephenson led the Lady Eagles out of the locker-room and boosted the NEA mark to 33-17 before Knox tried to rally Ahoskie, getting the deficit down to a dozen at 33-21. The Warriors even managed to halve that mark with six more points to pull within six before Stephenson scored on an old-fashioned three-point play. Another hoop and harm for Stephenson ended the quarter, but with Ahoskie in a 16-point hole, 47-31.

Northeast buried any chance of a Warriors comeback with a 10-0 run to open the fourth, giving the Eagles their biggest lead of the night, 57-31. Gracie Lassiter ended the run with a lay-up for Ahoskie, but they were now down 57-33. The teams swapped buckets in the final minutes of the game as NEA worked their way to the championship game for the first time in four years.

Ridgecroft met Northeast in Saturday’s final.


Kayley Minton-5, Haley Northcott-4, Sarah Conner-4, Lindsey Todd-2, Courtney Burkett-2.


Reagan King-10, Sydney Lane-9, Olivia Daly-7, Brooke Rose-6, Skylar Brown-3.



Haley Knox-16, Cameron Wallace-10, Madison Blowe-4, Kaitlyn Parker-3, Gracie Lassiter-2.


Carly Stephenson-22, Summer Warmack-10, Olivia Wheeler-10, Addie Piper-8, Carson Johnson-7, Haven Jilcott-2, Marie Davis-1.