There hasn’t been much doubt surrounding the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers this season, and for good reason.
With their record standing at 28-0 after Friday’s road win at Parklane, the Lady Vols have established themselves as one of the toughest teams in the state.
However, they faced Presbyterian Christian School on Saturday, in what would possibly be one of their biggest tests of the regular season.
Both teams went back and forth early in the first quarter, before Sallie Kate Richardson’s 3-pointer gave SA a 10-4 lead with 1:37 left. The Lady Vols went on a 5-2 run through the remainder of the quarter, taking a 15-6 lead over PCS.
PCS tried to close the gap in the second quarter, looking for help from their top shooting target Trista Magee. However, stopping Magee was a big part of the game-plan for Nora Kathryn Carroll and the Lady Vols.
“Magee is one of their top scorers,” Starkville Academy head coach Glenn Schmidt said. “We were able to stick Carroll on her because she’s always able to draw to that defensive side. It takes her away from some other areas, but she does a great job defensively.”
Although PCS was able to find some offense in Magee, the Lady Vols responded nicely, holding their opponent to just 10 points in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Richardson and Tiffany Huddleston too charge of the SA offense, combining for 18 first half points and giving the home team a 34-16 halftime lead.
PCS clawed its way back early in the third quarter, until the Lady Vols began hitting several shots from beyond the arc, blowing the game open with a 57-32 lead to close out the third, well on their way to the 66-44 victory.
Anna Lea Little came up big for SA once again, tallying up another double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
“A lot of people see Anna Lea as a pure shooter,” Schmidt said. “I see a lot more. Her defensive game has been raised to a great level, she handles the ball well, she passes well, and she’s been a rebounding machine in the past couple of games as well.”
Richardson also racked up a double-double for the Lady Vols, scoring 15 points and 10 rebounds. Huddleston and Maggie Proffitt also reached double figures, with both players scoring 11 points for the night.
With the win, SA improved to 29-0 this season, while PCS falls to 22-4.
Starkville Academy 37,
Presbyterian Christian 36
Raheim Robinson led Starkville Academy with 10 points off the bench, as the Vols snapped their two-game losing skid.
SA took its first lead of the game just as the first half expired, thanks to a layup from Robinson.
The second half was back and forth the entire way, with neither team gaining more than a three-point lead. PCS had a chance to win as the clock expired, but Micah Griffin’s jumpshot was denied.
The Vols improve to 13-12 overall and 6-5 in conference play.