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Terra Ceia drops two to powerhouse Word of God

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Terra Ceia — Down 49-47 with under 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter Terra Ceia fired up three quality shots, each orbited around the rim but never found its way home as the Knights lost a heart-breaker 51-47 to Raleigh power house Word of God on Saturday.
Terra Ceia (15-12, 8-2) scrapped with the No. 4 ranked independent team in the state all game long, and held a 47-45 lead after a Jordan Cantrell layup with 1:18 remaining in the game. But late turnovers and a few bad bounces haunted the Knights.
After the game the Knights headed into the locker room with their spirits down, but emerged with their heads up.
After Cantrell put the Knights up 47-45, Terra Ceia looked poised to win. However, the ball bounced in the Holy Rams favor.
Cantrell led all-scorers with 24, while Mariah Van Essendelft added 12 for the Knights.
After forcing a turnover and gaining possession with :40 left in the game, Word of God (7-6) called a timeout and drew up a play for its top scorer Maya Holt (13 points).
Holt set a screen for guard Raven Evans at center court, then proceeded to roll to the basket but was well defended. Evans forced the ball to Holt, who fired up a rushed jumper from 12-feet out, and it appeared the Knights had completed a pivotal stop. However, Curtisha Jones had snuck in for the rebound, and after her layup the Knights were locked in a 47-47 tie.
The Holy Rams came up with a stop on the other end, and after a loose ball foul, Holt sank two free throws to take a 49-47 lead, which would set up the Knights’ three shots that cruelly tantalized the Terra Ceia faithful.
With :07 on the clock eighth-grader Rachel Cantrell, who was playing in her first varsity game with her sister Jordan (and coached by her father Rod), found her self in a position to make the biggest shot of her young career. The younger Cantrell fired up an off-balance 15-footer which swished off the rim and into her sister’s hands, who go off a shot in traffic but could not convert.
Jordan’s shot caromed off to the right side of basket and was grabbed by Jill Van Essendelft.
With time winding down, Van Essendelft put up a shot that danced around the rim for what seemed like an entirety, until it was boarded by the Word of God.
Word of God 92, Terra Ceia 79
Word of God’s Melton Chavis erupted for 34 points, while teammate Richard Denning added 24 to lead the state’s No. 1 ranked independent team (No. 17 in the Country) over Terra Ceia 92-29 on Saturday.
The Knights, led by Mychal Parker (37 points) and Bradley Van Staalduinen (24 points) flirted with an upset early on, as they closed out the first quarter down only 18-15 thanks to a Hendrick Van Dorp (seven points) buzzer-beating three.
However, Chavis blew up for 14 second quarter points to help the Holy Rams take a 43-33 lead into halftime.
The Holy Rams depth and ferocity in the paint led them to victory and upped their record to 22-1.
Behind some timely Payne Snow (nine points) three pointers, the Knights made a fourth quarter push, but could not overcome Word of God.
After the game Terra Ceia head coach Roger Klaassen gushed about his team’s ability to bang with the top ranked Holly Rams.
The Knights will be back in action on Tuesday when they host Ridgecroft.
Girls
Word of God 16 10 6 18 — 51
Terra Ceia 15 3 18 11 — 47
Holy Rams (51)
Raven Evans 10, Johnson 8, Woods 7, Maya Holt 13, Kennedy 2, Jones 9.
Knights (47)
Jordan Cantrell 24, Vanderweight 6, Mariah Van Essendelft 12, Smith 2, Jill Van Essendelft 4.
Word of God 18 25 28 21 — 92
Terra Ceia 15 17 19 27 — 79
Holy Rams (92)
Melton Chavis 34, Lance Beckwith 12, Richard Denning 24, Calvin Leslie 17, Wall 3, J. Denning 3, Edwards 2.
Knights (79)
Bradley Van Staalduinen 24, Mychal Parker 37, Van Dorp 7, Van Essendelft 2, Snow 9.