The Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers haven't had very much of a chance to catch their breath with two games in two days.
Anna Lea Little has just had trouble breathing.
Battling back from a severe chest cold, Little had a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds in 32 minutes as the Lady Vols followed up their win over Madison-Ridgeland Academy on Friday night by defeating the Oak Hill Lady Raiders 55-45 on Saturday.
"Oak Hill is a great basketball program and they do a great job," Starkville Academy coach Glenn Schmidt said. "It doesn't ever matter who is good or not good, or who is having a good year, it's always a game like that. It's always a tough game and we're glad to win it."
Little had help from freshman post player Sallie Kate Richardson, who scored 17 of her 19 points in the second half and Anna Prestridge scored in double digits with 10 points. Julianne Jackson, who contributed six points, Nora Kathryn Carroll, April Burney, Brittany Jacks and Lauren Atwell all had at least 8 minutes of playing time.
"Everyone who played contributed, all eight of them and we're having to use them all," Schmidt said. "What's happening to us is people are beginning to guard our perimeter shooters and Sallie Kate was very effective inside.
"People know Anna Lea, Nora Kathryn and Anna Prestridge can score. We're going to have to take what the teams we play give us. If they take away the inside, we'll have to score outside."
Little hit a pair of free throws, while Prestridge had a couple of baskets as Starkville Academy held a 6-1 lead at the 3-minute mark of the first quarter.
After the Lady Vols secured a 14-9 advantage after the first quarter, the Lady Raiders came back to tie the score at 16-16 on a three-point field goal by Rachel Herndon.
A three-pointer by Little put SA back up 19-16 and it didn't give up the lead for the rest of the game. The Lady Vols went into intermission with a 26-20 advantage.
Oak Hill cut the margin to 33-31 at the 3:25 mark of the third quarter on a bucket by Paige Dawkins, but Starkville Academy went on a 6-0 to push the difference to 39-31.
"There was a couple of times where they made a run at us and somebody made a big play," Schmidt said. "(Oak Hill) is a really good offensive team and we were very fortunate to hold them to 45 points. (Tori Ellis) is a very excellent player and we put Nora Kathryn on her. It probably hurt her overall game because she didn't have a very good offensive night, but she did a great defensive job on (Ellis)."
The Lady Vols went up 41-34 after three quarters and out-scored the Lady Raiders 14-11 in the fourth quarter.
Oak Hill coach Stan Hughey saw the same thing out of SA as Schmidt did.
"Every time we would make a run, it seemed like they always made plays," Hughey said. "They just kept making plays and it usually came on a rebound or hitting a big shot."
For the Lady Raiders, Ana Ready led the way with 16 points, Tori Ellis scored 13 points and Dawkins chipped in seven points.