MADISON – The Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers fell behind 33-22 at the half and dropped a 57-43 decision in the final regular season game to Madison-Ridgeland Academy.
The Lady Volunteers fell to 19-13 and finished 7-7 in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA-North Division I.
Starkville Academy girls coach Glenn Schmidt didn't want the loss to put a damper what has been a very successful season to this point for a team that doesn't have any seniors on the roster.
"I am very proud of them," Schmidt said. "To have a 7-7 record in this conference is quite an accomplishment for these young girls."
Schmidt said it was just a matter of "coming out flat" against MRA.
"We just couldn't get anything going," Schmidt said. "We fought, but it just didn't happen and couldn't work out of it."
The Lady Vols shot 34 percent from the field and 36 percent from three-point range. They only made five of 14 free throws.
The Lady Patriots did well in all of those areas, making 42 percent from the field, 50 percent from three-point territory and 12 of 15 free throws made. Caroline Kerley led MRA with 17 points, while Jessica Whitehead added 13 points and Anna Henderson contributed 12 points.
For Starkville Academy, Sallie Kate Richardson recorded a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. She also had four blocked shots.
Anna Lea Little scored 11 points for the Lady Vols, while Anna Prestridge had eight points and three rebounds, Julianne Jackson chipped in two points and two rebounds and Nora Kathryn Carroll grabbed four rebounds.
The Class AAA state tournament begins Tuesday at Jackson Prep and the Lady Vols take on the host school at 6:30 p.m.
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MADISON – The Volunteers also dug themselves a first-half hole, but battled back only to lose by 27 points once again to the state's top-ranked MAIS squad.
Starkville Academy, which fell to 9-19 overall and 2-12 in the conference, trailed 43-16 at halftime, but had cut the margin to 71-50 with 1:30 left in the game.
The Patriots hit the Vols with 27 points in the first quarter and SA coach Chris Lyle said it was just a matter of MRA making shots.
"They got off to a quick start in front of a big crowd on their Senior Night," Lyle said. "We looked like we were sleep-walking a little bit early."
Austin Kinard led the Vols with 18 points, while Adam Crittenden also scored in double figures with 11 points.
Starkville Academy also travels to Jackson Prep Tuesday for a 5:15 p.m. contest against Presbyterian Christian School.