Despite a strong defensive effort, Madison County couldn’t find the net Tuesday in a season-ending 43-30 loss to Salem in the second-round of the Region 8-AAAA tournament.
“Defensively we did what we wanted to do,” said Lady Raider head coach Dan Lampe, whose team finished the year at 16-10. “We didn’t give them dribble penetration. We made them shoot from the outside … But we went 2 for 20 from the three point line — wide open, good looks, the looks you want to get. It was just one of those games where we couldn’t get our shot.”
Madison County had to put Salem on the line late and the Lady Seminoles converted when it counted, making 17 free throws in the game, including 12 in the final period.
Molly Glaze led the Lady Raiders with 12, hitting the only two three-pointers for Madison County Monday. Elise Coberly finished with nine. Nekeia Brown had five and Leelee Sorrells scored four.
Lampe said he gave his team three goals before the game: don’t give up points in the paint, don’t turn the ball over against pressure and keep Salem off the boards.
The coach said the team accomplished the first two goals, but struggled with the third.
“They were just stronger than we were,” he said. “They fought — even when we boxed out, they fought through it.”
Madison County advanced to the second round of the region tournament with a 45-39 win over Apalachee Saturday in Danielsville.
The Lady Raiders struggled early with missed shots and three pointers that failed to hit the mark. Madison County was 2 of 9 from the arc and only 1 of 7 from the free throw line in the opening half.
Despite finishing the night 4 of 17 from three-point range, Madison County played well in the second half to grab the win. Sorrells, who was scoreless for the entire first three quarters, took control of the final period by tossing in 10 of the Lady Raiders’ 16 fourth-quarter points. Elise Coberly’s 20 points led Madison County, but it was her 6 of 8 shots from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter that highlighted her night.
Madison County took a slim 15-13 lead to the locker room at halftime. The Lady Raiders finally got on track in the second half, scoring 30 points in the final two periods. Prior to the halftime break, senior Molly Glaze drilled a long three-point shot that tied the game at 13-13. Seconds later Nakeia Brown tossed in her first bucket of the night to give the home Lady Raiders the two-point advantage at the break.
Glaze connected on another three-pointer to open the second half that jump started a Madison County run of 9-2 and gave Coach Dan Lampe’s ladies a 24-15 lead. Apalachee attempted to answer after tossing in a three pointer of their own, but Coberly rolled off a three followed by a basket to help Madison County maintain a lead entering the final period. That’s where Sorrells took over for the Lady Raiders after her own 10-4 scoring run pushed the Madison County lead to 39-28 with 1:38 left to play. Sorrells connected on eight-straight points in the middle of the quarter.
Coberly’s 20 points were followed by Molly Glaze’s 11, Sorrells’ 10, and Brown’s 4 points.
Lampe said the team’s 16 wins was an accomplishment, but he’s disappointed the squad didn’t get a chance to play in the state tournament.
“I thought we did all right,” said Lampe of the season. “I really thought throughout the season we improved. But right now, I’m judging it on, we didn’t go to state, and I felt we had a team we should have gone to state this year.”
The coach said he’ll start soon looking toward next year and how young talent will have big shoes to fill.
“We’ll have a lot of smaller quick players, but we’ll also have Nekeia (Brown) and Elise (Coberly) back,” said Lampe. “There’s a lot of minutes to be filled when you look at Molly (Glaze) and Leelee (Sorrells). They played a lot of minutes.”