Lady Volunteers use strong second-half surge for victory
Anna Lea Little of the Lady Vols looks for an opening to the basket. (Photo by Lee Adams, SDN)
By LEE ADAMS
The Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers played an almost perfect second half.
After falling behind in the first quarter, the Lady Vols regained the lead before the half and never looked back after the break winning 66-42.
"We really played a complete game in the second half," said SA girls head coach Glenn Schmidt. "For a quarter and a half, that's as good of basketball as we've played and I'm real pleased with everybody that played. That's a great win for us,"
The Lady Vols (11-1, 2-0) were fine offensively in the first half, but their defense seemed to be lacking.
"Our defense couldn't quite get out there to guard those shooters," said Schmidt. "We adjusted at halftime and we did a really good job of playing defense in the second half."
At halftime, SA led 31-25, and Schmidt wasn't satisfied with the amount of points they had given up.
"They scored 25 points in the first half, which is a lot for us to give up defensively," said Schmidt. "But in the second half, we did a better job of switching and getting out on the shooters."
While the defense was picking it up, the offense continued to roll.
Anna Lea Little, Nora Kathryn Carroll and Sallie Kate Richardson led the offensive attack from every part of the floor.
Richardson handled the inside picking up 11 rebounds and she added 12 points to give her the double-double. Little and Carroll held the 3-pointers down by making a total of seven and both hitting five midrange jumpers.
Carroll was slightly more efficient on her 3's but Schmidt wasn't making a special effort to get her the ball but she did have one advantage.
"She happened to be the one who was open," said Schmidt. "I thought all of us shot the ball really well tonight and she had a good stroke going. Her shot was going really well."
The Lady Vols shot 44 percent from the floor in their win, but the more impressive stat was they only committed five fouls.
"When you move, you don't foul," said Schmidt. "We did a good job of getting out of the screens."
The varsity Lady Vols weren't the only ones to pick up a win over East Rankin as the junior high girls picked up the 29-21 victory. Anna McKell led the junior Lady Vols with eight points.
East Rankin 54,
Starkville Academy 32
Starkville Academy suffered a loss on Tuesday night that could effect the rest of the season.
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Senior Calvin Young, who is averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds a game this season, went down with what appeared to be a knee injury during the second quarter.
"He's going to have to go get it checked, but he said it probably doesn't look too good," said SA boys head coach Mark Alexander. "We won't know for sure until he gets it checked out."
The Vols (4-5, 0-2) are hoping for a good report on Young, but the effect of his injury was felt quickly on Tuesday night as East Rankin picked up a 54-32 win.
"It was a big blow," said Alexander. "They were thumping us pretty good even when he was in the game, but he's our best player and our whole game plan was to get him the ball inside."
That game plan had to be thrown out the window which made it more difficult to guard East Rankin's Tyler Rhodes and Jacob Waldon.
"They are two of the better players in the league," said Alexander. "We knew that coming in and they do that to everybody. They're tough to guard and they can score several ways."
Rhodes and Waldon accounted for 38 of East Rankin's 54 points, while Austin Kinard was the only Volunteer in double digits with 12.
The Junior Vols had better luck against East Rankin as they won 49-39. Brandon Lane and John McReynolds led SA with 11 points each and Hunter Peeples added 10.