It's an amazing thing to watch the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers at work.
Even when starting post player Sallie Kate Richardson went down with what appeared to be only a turned ankle in the pre-game warm-ups, the Lady Vols didn't miss a beat and continued to play well in a 73-24 victory over Parklane Academy Saturday night.
Richardson started the game, but was quickly taken out by SA girls coach Glenn Schmidt because there are some important games coming up. They want to make sure Richardson can be back to full speed against Madison-Ridgeland Academy Tuesday night, which is always a big game.
While the Lady Vols surely missed Richardson's leadership on the court, they took care of business in a very impressive way.
Starkville Academy hit seven 3-point field goals during the course of the outing and never let the visitors from McComb get back into the game.
One of the players who stepped up in Richardson's absence was Nora Kathryn Carroll.
The versatile Carroll, usually a guard, spent some time at the No. 5 position for the Lady Vols and contributed 12 points and five rebounds to the winning effort.
"It's very odd to take your two guard and move her to the five, but she accepts coaching and doesn't question," Schmidt said. "She just says, 'yes maam' and goes on."
Maggie Proffitt has been a nice addition to SA. The transfer from Columbus High School was the leading scorer with 13 points against Parklane and has been the leader in that category for most games this season.
Proffitt, Carroll, Richardson, Anna Lea Little and Tiffany Huddleston are five solid starters. There's a bench of several solid role players that seem to be getting better with each outing.
The Lady Vols have a 12-0 and are working on a 21-game winning streak, dating back to last year where they won State championships in Class AAA-District 2, Division II, Class AAA and Overall.
Before the season started, Starkville Academy did not place an emphasis on what it has been able to do in the past.
The Lady Vols are focused on what they can make out of this season and so far, so good.
It has also been a good run late for coach Mark Alexander's SA boys team.
With Saturday's 44-35 victory over Parklane, the Vols improved to 5-5 and are enjoying a four-game winning streak.
There was a cause for celebration after such a long road series to start the season for the Starkville Academy teams.
Now the Vols have a nice run of home games and look to continue their strong showings when Madison-Ridgeland Academy comes to town Tuesday.
Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.
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