Warriors make first Baggett final

Published 9:45 am Tuesday, November 21, 2017

ASKEWVILLE – Ryan Blowe’s three-point play with 13 seconds left helped give Ahoskie Christian School a narrow two-point win over Ridgecroft School here Friday night in the semi-finals of the Eric Baggett Memorial Basketball Tournament. The Warriors – making their first finals appearance – moved into the championship game against host Bethel Assembly Christian Academy, who topped Northeast Academy 51-44 in the other semi-final contest.

In a game that featured 11 lead changes and five ties, Ahoskie Christian took Game-1 in the closing seconds as they and Ridgecroft battled back-and-forth all night with neither team sustaining a lead of more than six points at any time in the contest.

Dawson Rose got the first four points for the Rams, two on a pair of free throws when he was fouled penetrating to

Ridgecroft School’s Dawson Rose (in blue) passes to a teammate in last weekend’s Eric Baggett Memorial Basketball Tournament held at Bethel Assembly Christian Academy in Askewville. Ahoskie Christian edged the Rams 57-55 to make the championship game. | William Anthony Photography

the basket. Back came the Warriors, taking a 5-4 lead on Jaylen Freeman’s three-pointer. It was that sort of see-saw contest in the first quarter. While Ahoskie never led by more than one point, Ridgecroft went up by three twice, the last time on Shelton Bates’ jump shot. However, Blowe made a put-back just before the horn and ACS led after the first, 15-14.

More lead-swapping in the second quarter with the game tied three times in the first four minutes, the last time at 24-all on a Blowe lay-up. The Rams crept within one with a minute-40 left 26-25 on a Rose free throw. But Jackson Perry pushed the Ram deficit to three (28-25) before Blowe made one-of-two at the charity line to make it a four-point game 29-25, Warriors. Rose hit a jumper with less than 30 seconds left, however, to pull the Rams within two 29-27 at halftime.

Rose and Wyatt Liverman’s scoring early in quarter-three gave the Rams back the lead 32-31, before Ahoskie went on a 7-0 run and took their biggest lead of the contest, six points, 38-32.

Back stormed Ridgecroft, pulling within one twice before Liverman’s lay-up gave them their first lead since early in the quarter, 41-40. But Ahoskie scored the last four points of the period and carried a 44-41 lead into the final frame.

Nick Ellis and Blowe had early buckets to get the Warrior lead up to five, 48-43 by the five minute mark. But then Ahoskie went cold and six straight Ram points made it 49-48, Ridgecroft, with under three-and-a-half left to play. Damien Jones’ three-pointer gave Ahoskie back the lead before Ridgecroft tied it one last time at 51-51, then took a lead on a Drew Davis jump shot, 53-51, with 2:20 remaining. ACS then scored on a Freeman free throw before Nick Ellis drove the baseline for a lay-up and Ahoskie re-took the lead.

With the clock winding down, Shelton Bates rebounded a miss and his put back had Ridgecroft in front 55-54 with 19 ticks left. The Rams then called timeout with 17 seconds left, but missed the shot at their end coming out of the break. Ahoskie rebounded, and Blowe drove the lane, put up a running one-hander, scored and was fouled. He drained the free-throw for a two-point Ahoskie lead. Ridgecroft had one last attempt, but missed at the buzzer and the Warriors were in their first Baggett championship.

Bethel led early in the first quarter of their contest with the visiting Eagles of Northeast until L.J. Barnes muscled his way inside for a lay-up that gave NEA their first lead, 8-7. But Bethel scored the last four to lead 11-8 after one quarter of play.

Northeast opened the second on an 8-0 run to go ahead 16-11 before Josh Bunch broke the string for Bethel. Ryan Rowe’s three-pointer gave NEA a nine-point lead, 23-14, but Bethel closed strong and only trailed by two at the mid-break, 23-21.

Bethel re-took the lead early in the third before Northeast tied it 25-all on a J.T. Simmons put back. It was tied three more times before Mason Dunlow erupted for six straight points and a 35-31 Bethel lead. It was a five-point lead, 40-35, at the end of the third quarter.

Luke Doughtie buried a trey to start the fourth and gave Bethel an eight-point lead, 43 -35. The Eagles matched that, this time on a Doughtie jump shot 45-37. Northeast cut it to a five-point game, 45-40, but Doughtie nailed another one from beyond the arc for Bethel’s biggest lead 49-40. Northeast had no answer and the host Eagles held on to book their fourth date in the last eight in the title tilt with the seven-point win.


Ryan Blowe-19, Nick Ellis-16, Damien Jones-9, Jaylen Freeman-9, Jackson Perry-4.


Dawson Rose-19, Shelton Bates-12, Blake Birdsong-9, Wyatt Liverman-8, Drew Davis-7.



Luke Doughtie-15, Josh Bunch-12, Mason Dunlow-8, Paul Northcott-8, Brandon Ball-6, Kyle Cullipher-2.


Dylan Edwards-12, L.J. Barnes-8, J.T. Simmons-6, Ryan Rowe-5, Cameron Arnette-4, Julian Jones-4, Michael Smith-3, Noah Lassiter-2.