Another postseason game. Another double-digit Madison County victory.
After winning three region tournament games comfortably, the no. 1 seeded Lady Raiders crushed no. 4 seed Douglas County 67-41 in the first round of the state tournament Saturday in Danielsville to advance to the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight year.
The Lady Raiders expected nothing less.
“This group expects to win,” coach Dan Lampe said. “It borders on cockiness, but it’s a good thing when you don’t take it overboard.”
So far, so good. Madison County has won its games by an average margin of 20.25 points since the start of the region tournament.
Next up for Madison County is Hillgrove (22-7), a no. 2 seed out of Region 7-AAAA. The Lady Raiders will play the Lady Hawks Wednesday in Danielsville at 6:30 p.m.
Senior guard Lauren Smith continued to be the catalyst of Madison County’s offense, scoring 20 points to lead the Lady Raiders’ domination of Douglas County. Smith is averaging 17.25 points per game in the postseason.
Three other Madison County players scored in double figures – Kayla Freeman (19), Shantydra Arnold (13) and Molly Glaze (10) -- as the Lady Raiders upped their record to 25-4 during February since the 2006-2007 season.
Lampe said the offense played “great.”
“Mainly, we got them (Douglas County) into a man-to-man,” Lampe said. “There’s not too many teams who can stay with us playing a man-to-man.”
The coach also noted that his senior-laden backcourt is playing with a sense of urgency.
“Lauren, Juvonna (Fleming) and Tydra are seniors,” Lampe said. “They don’t want to end their careers right now.”
That was never in danger Saturday night.
Madison County started with a 13-3 run and never looked back. The Lady Raiders led 34-22 at the half and closed the third quarter with a 9-4 run to build an 18-point edge. Madison County led by as much as 27 in the final quarter as the Lady Raiders were able to empty their bench in the closing minutes.
Still, Lampe pointed to several areas that needed sharpening – defensive rebounding most notably.
“We gave them a lot of second looks off offensive boards,” Lampe said. “We have got to box out.”
But Lampe believes his team is still peaking as it heads into the Sweet 16.
“I feel, overall, the pattern is going the right direction,” he said.
MCHS 67, Douglas Co. 41
DCHS 8 14 11 8 -- 41
MCHS 17 17 17 16 -- 67 Scorers: Smith 20, Freeman 19, Arnold 13, Glaze 10, Whieldon 5