CLINTON – Sallie Kate Richardson can block a shot and grab a rebound as she has done all season long for the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers.
On Saturday, she providing the scoring the Lady Vols needed to secure the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Overall State championship.
Richardson was the second-leading scorer for Starkville Academy with 12 points during a 54-33 victory over Presbyterian Christian School at the A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College.
After three previous games against the Lady Bobcats, Richardson knew the extra effort had to be given.
"It was a battle," Richardson said. "We knew we had to come out here and fight for this game. We did, got up and kept on going, pushing and pushing."
There were times during the game when Richardson was missing shots, but it didn't stop her from trying them for the Lady Vols.
Richardson wasn't afraid to toss up a 3-pointer, which was missed, but SA coach Glenn Schmidt knows she can make shots from long range.
"She's in our gym shooting 3's and she's going to go about 7 out of 10," Schmidt said. "She can make the shot and she knows it. Next year, if the Lord's willing and the creek doesn't rise, she will be taking those shots."
Schmidt knew how valuable Richardson was as a post player in the game against PCS.
After picking up three fouls, Schmidt brought Richardson over to the bench for a chat.
"I needed her to be in the game," Schmidt said. "She's kind of a shot-blocking machine and I hesitate telling her to quit trying to block shots because that's what gets us going, but we needed her to be in the game. I wanted her to drive around that girl and take it to her. She came back with a little turnaround jump shot."
To go along with her point production, Richardson added seven rebounds, four blocked shots and three assists.
Schmidt looks forward to having Richardson's skills next year as a senior.
"If you stop and talk about a player and her ability compared to everyone else playing that position with everybody we play against, she's right up there with them," Schmidt said. "She may be the best post player in the state, no question. When she starts believing how good she really is, look out."
For now, Richardson is not worried about next year. She's having a good time enjoying back-to-back years with three State titles with teammates.
"It's wonderful going undefeated and going all the way and having a repeat of last year," Richardson said. "There's nothing like it. The last couple of years have been absolutely perfect."