It didn't take long for the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers to impress the home crowd.
The Lady Vols ended the first quarter on a 16-0 run to take a 29-7 lead and never looked back in beating Parklane Academy of McComb 73-24 Saturday night.
"It was really great to see our kids come off the road, come in here and play so hard," SA girls coach Glenn Schmidt said. "They could have rested (Saturday night) and told themselves that they are at home and just gone through the motions, but they played hard and have got a lot of pride. I was glad to see them all play so well."
Maggie Proffitt came out hot in her first game on the home court. She hit a 3-point field goal to begin the scoring and ended up making three from long range.
Proffitt, who led the Lady Vols with 13 points, was pleased with how the long-awaited home outing turned out.
'It felt really good and I didn't know what to expect coming into it," Proffitt said. "It was just really exciting because we have a really awesome fan base, which makes the game even more fun. It just feels good to play at home.
"I was definitely looking forward to being able to shoot on our own goals and that definitely helped. It really made a difference for the rest of the game and how we played."
Starkville Academy established a 45-13 advantage at halftime and Schmidt was able to play her bench throughout the early parts of the game and most of the second half.
With players like Anna McKell, Janice Pigg, Maridee Higginbotham, Alex McCafferty, Tiffany Huddleston, Taylor Campbell and others coming off the bench and getting minutes for the Lady Vols, Schmidt believes there is some valuable experience being gained.
"I think we are beginning to develop a bench, but they are young," Schmidt said. "(Junior) Maridee Higginbotham is basically a starter who is not starting. That's the only other way to put it. She's good enough to play. She had the bad foot injury and was out for six to eight weeks and she has really worked hard to get herself back in the groove.
"(McKell) is coming on and getting confidence. We're working hard on getting Janice Pigg ready to play. Alex McCafferty, Taylor Campbell and Hannah Huddleston are all getting a lot of minutes and it's really good down the stretch."
Following Proffitt in the scoring column for SA was Nora Kathryn Carroll and Anna Lea Little with 12 points each and McKell with 10 points. McKell also had eight rebounds.
The Lady Vols shot 41.5 percent (27-of-65) from the field, including 7-of-12 from 3-point territory. They out-rebounded Parklane 34-12.
Starkville Academy missed one of its starters for most of the game as Sallie Kate Richardson suffered an ankle injury in pre-game warm-ups. The injury was not believed to be serious and Richardson started the game, but was quickly taken out by Schmidt as a precaution.
"I hate it for Sallie Kate that she missed her home opener, but it was more important to keep her in a situation and get her ready to play next week," Schmidt said. "She tried to play, but we just felt like she couldn't. We think it's just a turned ankle."
The Lady Vols, who improved their record to 12-0, continue the home schedule Tuesday against Madison-Ridgeland Academy.
In the junior varsity girls game, Parklane won a 29-26 decision. Adrienne Futral led SA with six points.