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Region belongs to Lady Raiders
Madison County won its second region title in girls' basketball in the last three years
Region belongs to Lady Raiders
Saturday, February 21. 2009
Team wins second title in three years
WINDER--Dan Lampe remembers the sullen expressions on the Lady Raiders' faces last year when the team was photographed with the region runner-up trophy.
“I remember telling myself I wouldn’t take that photo again,” the coach said.
Well, there were only smiles for the camera Friday night as Madison County downed Clarke Central, 51-40, at Winder-Barrow High School for the region title.
The Lady Raiders beat the Lady Gladiators for the third time this year and avenged a 71-50 loss to Clarke Central in last year’s region title game with the win.
“We just came out and took care of business,” said junior guard Lauren Smith.
Now, Madison County has won two of the last three region titles.
“That’s huge … I remember the dry years,” Lampe said, recalling the Lady Raiders’ string of losing seasons earlier this decade.
Lampe credited a stifling defense for the region title win.
Madison County held Clarke Central under double figures in a low-scoring first half, leading 16-9 at the break.
“I felt the defense was rock-solid,” Lampe said.
Madison County built a 31-21 edge after three quarters and led by as many as 12 in the final quarter before Clarke Central hit what Lampe called some “desperation three’s.”
Offensively, Lady Raider star Courtney Freeman lost a contact lens early in the game, limiting her vision and ability to score. She finished with seven points.
But Smith got a good look at the basket, stepping up with 20 points, while Kayla Freeman added 11. Freshman Sam LaZear came off the bench in the second half to score seven points.
Smith scored 13 of her 20 points in the second half.
“It was unexpected,” Smith said of her big night. “I was shocked when he (Lampe) said I had that many … I was just concerned with winning. I wasn’t worried about the points.”
Madison County has now accomplished two of its three preseason goals by winning a subregion title and now a region title.
The major goal, of course, is to win it all.
“That’s everyone’s no. 1 goal,” Lampe said.
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