Ridgecroft girls earn Baggett tourney title

Published 6:15 pm Friday, November 17, 2023

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ASKEWVILLE – Learning a new style under a new head coach often leads to disastrous outcomes early in the season.

But that’s not the case for the Ridgecroft School varsity girls basketball team.

The Lady Rams, with Billy Jenkins now serving as their head coach, got the 2023-24 basketball season off on the right foot here this past weekend where they swept past two opponents to win the Eric Baggett Memorial Basketball Tournament held at Bethel Assembly Christian Academy (BACA).

In Saturday’s championship game vs. the host team, the Lady Rams bolted out to a 25-6 lead after the opening period of play and never looked back in collecting a 67-23 victory.

Ridgecroft led by 30 (47-17) at halftime.

Hannah Slaughter led the way with 19 points. Claire Cherry (13) and Camryn Taylor (12) also scored in double figures for the Lady Rams. Taylor nearly collected a double-double as she dished out nine assists. She also had a team-high seven rebounds.

Coleen Askew led BACA with 10 points.

In Friday’s semifinals against a very good Ahoskie Christian School team, Ridgecroft trailed 14-9 after the opening period of play. But the Lady Rams turned up the defensive pressure (11 steals and 4 blocked shots) and outscored the Warriors 33-15 for the rest of the game to pull out a 42-29 win.

Hannah Slaughter topped the Ridgecroft scoring with 12 points. Kate Chamblee and Taylor each added 7 points. Chamblee also added 7 rebounds.

Morgan Wadsworth tallied a game-high 13 points to lead Ahoskie Christian.

Hannah Slaughter was named as the Tournament MVP. Cherry and Makenzie Slaughter were selected All Tournament.

Jenkins said the girls adapting to a new style of play that leans heavily on team speed will produce success.

“We had to make some adjustments in that first game against Ahoskie Christian and pulled out a tough win,” Jenkins said.

“On Saturday, everything clicked,” he added. “Molly Brown was a rebounding machine along with Kate Chamblee playing well in guarding the post. Our bench came up big with Camryn Taylor picking up some huge baskets at crucial times early. Everything was made easier with the Slaughter sisters combining with Claire Cherry creating opportunities for our offense through their defensive effort. Saturday’s game was a complete team victory.”

NOTE: On Wednesday night of this week, the Lady Rams rallied from a 28-17 halftime deficit on the road at Brunswick Academy, using a 17-7 advantage in the fourth quarter to pull out a 46-45 win.

Makenzie Slaughter, Chamblee, and Karley Jo Rose led the offense, scoring 16, 10, and 8 points respectively. Chamblee and Taylor each had eight rebounds while Brown collected six caroms as the Lady Rams improved to 3-0 overall.


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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