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Rams, Warriors make field

GREENSBORO n Two local teams and four total from the Tarheel Independent Conference are in the field of 12.

Lawrence Academy, the TIC regular-season and tournament champions, who are 20-2 on the season garnered the number three seed during a meeting of the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association’s 1-A seeding committee Sunday afternoon.

The Lady Warriors are fresh off the TIC tournament championship and finished 11-1 in the league during the regular season.

“Of course I’m happy with the seeding,” first-year coach Dr. Ed Clouse said. “One of our goals this season was to be a top four team and not have to play in the first round.”

Clouse said he was pleased to be one of four teams from the TIC who will be part of the 12-team state playoff.

The others in the field include Ridgecroft School at number five, Terra Ceia Christian School at number eight and Albemarle School at number 10.

“Since four teams or one-third of the teams in the playoffs are from the TIC, it says a lot about our conference,” Dr. Clouse said. “It’s possible for us all to reach the semifinals and I think we have a good chance for us all to be in the quarterfinals.

“When we aren’t playing, we’ll be there to cheer for the other three schools,” he added.

The coach said he was making some slight adjustments, but not making wholesale changes in preparation for the state tournament.

“We are changing our defense a little, but mostly we’re staying the course,” he said.

Having a chance to win the state championship will depend on several factors, Dr. Clouse stressed. The ones that concern him most are those with his club.

“We have to be on top of our game,” he said. “If we have a mental lapse where our serving isn’t there or our passing isn’t as good as it was in the finals, we could very easily be knocked out.

“At this point, everyone in the tournament has a chance of winning the championship,” he closed.

Lawrence advances to the quarterfinal round by virtue of a first-round bye and will meet the winner of Tuesday’s matchup between Northwood Temple and Wayne Country Day School.

Ridgecroft School has been to the state playoffs for four consecutive seasons under veteran coach Nancy Brittenham.

This year’s club has 10 seniors and is the only team in the league to beat Lawrence.

The Lady Rams enter Tuesday’s first round as the number five seed in the tournament and have posted a 16-5 record with three of their losses coming to teams who will play in the state tournament.

Ridgecroft will be at home Tuesday at 5 p.m. when they host Trinity Academy of Raleigh. The visiting number 12 seed is 10-7 on the year.

Should the Rams knock off Trinity, they will advance to play number four seed Kerr-Vance Academy.

At the eight seed, TIC third-place team Terra Ceia will also host a first-round matchup. The Lady Knights enter the tournament 9-8 on the season with two losses each to Lawrence and Ridgecroft.

They will host Cape Fear Christian Academy (8-7) on Tuesday.

The final team from the TIC to make their way into the state playoffs is a young Albemarle team. The 9-11 squad improved all season and took Lawrence to five games in the semifinals of the TIC tournament.

In all, the Lady Colts have suffered three losses to the Lady Warriors and two to Ridgecroft as well as a loss to Terra Ceia.