Trophies times two

Published 5:54 pm Tuesday, February 15, 2022

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ELIZABETH CITY – Ridgecroft School needs to make a bit more room in its trophy case.

The Rams, regular season champions of the Tarheel Independent Conference, added the tournament title to their trophy collection here Friday night by rallying past rival Pungo Christian, 64-58.

That win polished off a 20-1 season for the Rams, the best in school history. It also avenged their lone loss of the season, a 78-72 setback at Pungo on Jan. 20.

Caleb Porter was named as the TIC Tournament MVP after scoring a combined 45 points and grabbing 31 rebounds in two games to help Ridgecroft win the title. Photo by William Anthony

Ridgecroft will now set its sights on the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association’s state 1-A tournament that begins this week. Ridgecroft is seeded fifth in the 16-team tourney and received an opening round bye. They are scheduled to host the winner of the Terra Ceia / Halifax Academy game on Thursday, Feb. 17. A win there would advance the Rams to the state quarterfinals on Saturday, Feb. 19 at third seeded Crossroads Christian School of Henderson.

But before they could focus on the state tournament, the Rams had to first deal with Pungo.

The Raiders led 47-45 heading into the fourth quarter before the Rams rallied down stretch. Ridgecroft outscored Pungo, 19-11, in the final period to earn the tournament championship.

Ridgecroft was led by Tournament MVP Caleb Porter. The senior scored a game-high 23 points while grabbing 13 rebounds. Sophomores Sawyer Chamblee and Baylor Edwards also scored in double figures with 15 and 12 points respectively. Justin Peterson added nine points, six assists, a half-dozen rebounds, and two steals.

Pungo placed three in double figures as Wilson Sawyer and Austin Garrish each had 15 points while D. Van Staalduinen tallied 11 points.

Ridgecroft reached the finals by defeating Terra Ceia, 78-53, in Wednesday’s tournament semifinals. Edwards led the way with 25 points. Porter added and 22 points and grabbed 18 rebounds.

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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