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From Staff Reports
MADISON â€“ The Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers may have lost a tough 46-43 decision to Pillow Academy at the Madison-Ridgeland Academy Tournament on Thursday night, but coach Glenn Schmidt continues to be proud of the young team's effort.
After handing Jackson Academy its first loss of the season 37-22 on Wednesday, the Lady Vols followed that up with another good effort, only losing to Pillow by three points.
"I'm just so proud of our kids and I don't want them to evaluate themselves over wins and losses," Schmidt said. "We're just very young and they are playing against 16- and 17-year-olds. We've shown we can play with anybody in the state. JA and Pillow are very good teams and we've shown we can win and lead those people.
"It's a process, but we're chipping away inch by inch. Our kids don't need to be discouraged because I'm proud of what they are doing."
Starkville Academy (6-6) led 22-16 at halftime, but couldn't hold on to the lead.
Schmidt pointed to turnovers and not getting the key rebound at the right time as things that made the difference.
"Sallie Kate (Richardson) had eight and Anna Lea (Little) led us with 13 and that's a lot of rebounds, but in the fourth quarter, it was just difficult," Schmidt said. "We had some costly turnovers in the fourth quarter and that was due to Pillow's intensity and constant pressure the whole game."
The fact that the Lady Vols made those mistakes and only lost by three points leads Schmidt to believe the squad is "getting closer and closer" to being what it needs to be.
As far as Richardson's play, Schmidt wants people to realize that she's a freshmen playing against juniors and seniors for the most part.
"She's working her butt off," Schmidt said. "Playing in the post is so difficult against some of the teams we play against."
Nora Kathryn Carroll scored 15 points to lead SA, while Little added nine points and Anna Prestridge had eight points.
The Lady Vols continue play at the MRA Tournament against either East Rankin Academy or host MRA on Saturday.