COLUMBUS – The Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers stepped out of the norm and entered public school competition as they competed in the 16th annual Joe Horne Christmas Invitational.
On Friday, the Lady Volunteers picked up a convincing 75-31 victory over the Noxubee County Tigerettes.
“It’s a great win for us,” Starkville Academy coach Glenn Schmidt said. “We started well, we shot well and everybody got a hand in the offense. In the end, we are pleased to get the win.”
Leading the way for Starkville Academy was Maggie Proffitt who scored 22. Proffitt’s teammates Nora Kathryn Carroll and Anna Lee Little rounded out the Lady Vols’ top three scorers putting up 13 and 12 respectively.
While putting on an offensive show, Starkville Academy’s defense stepped up tremendously during the first period to hold the Lady Tigers to only five points, allowing the Lady Vols to gain a 27-5 lead after one.
Following the game, Proffitt explained just what makes Starkville Academy so tough defensively.
“Coach Schmidt runs a very disciplined program defensively,” Proffitt said. “She stresses moving our feet and not fouling. If we do get beat, she tells us to just trust our teammates and they will be there to back us up.”
Noxubee County began the second period of play scoring six to move the score to 27-11, but things quickly changed as Starkville Academy engaged in an impressive 18-0 run to take a 47-11 lead. Profitt hit a layup to end the first half battle and send the Lady Vols into the locker room with a 49-16 lead.
Through the first two periods, Proffitt scored 20, while Little contributed 12 to Starkville Academy’s score.
Things did not change much coming out of the half. Starkville Academy continued to dominate on both sides of the ball. Holding Noxubee County to less than 10 for the second time in the game, the Lady Vols entered the final period leading 67-22.
For the first time all game, Noxubee County outscored its private school competitors during the final moments of competition, but it would not be enough as the Lady Vols proved too much to handle. After demonstrating why many call them a “well-oiled machine,” Starkville Academy walked away from its first game of the tournament with an easy win.
Friday’s game meant something extra to the Lady Vols leading scorer Proffitt. Having transferred to Starkville Academy from Columbus High, returning to her old stomping grounds added a little more pressure.
“I was nervous as first, but once I started playing, I felt back at home and felt really comfortable and that made a big difference in why I was able to hit shots,” said Proffitt.
The 16-0 Lady Vols face yet another public school competitor today in the form of a challenging Provine team at 1 p.m.