The Lady Raiders had a better shooting percentage on the road compared to their own home floor last year.
Due to construction at the high school, all home basketball games this year are being played at the Madison County Middle School. With that in mind, Coach Dan Lampe just might have treated last Saturday’s opening season game as an away game as the Lady Raiders put together a red hot offensive attack to down Newton County 61-51 in the Northeast Georgia Invitational Tournament.
Elise Coberly led the Lady Raiders with 28 points that included four three-pointers, but it was Nekeia Brown’s nine first quarter points that led Madison County to an early 16-9 lead. Brown finished the night second in scoring with 18 points, followed by nine from Macy Rutledge, four from Mylane Rutledge and two from Mya Moss.
After Brown opened the game with five straight points, Macy Rutledge connected on a three-pointer to push Madison County out to a 10-5 lead at the 3:03 mark. After Newton County cut the lead to one point late in the quarter, Coberly dropped in a three-pointer followed by an inside bucket from Brown to close the first quarter with Madison County up by seven.
Newton County’s offense finally came to life as the Lady Rams opened the second period with an 11-3 run to take a 22-19 lead. Coberly tied the game with her second three-pointer of the quarter at the 3:77 mark and later put Madison County on top 27-26 at the half following a two-pointer with a free throw added. Newton County opened the second half with a three-pointer from Precious Price and later added a basket from Tatianna Palms to take a 32-29 lead.
The Lady Raiders battled back midway through the quarter with two baskets inside the paint from Brown and Mya Moss to tie the game at 33-33. Following the two consecutive buckets, the Lady Raider defensive press turned up the heat and force key turnovers. Coberly capitalized on Raider steals and tossed in two layups to give Madison County a four-point advantage. Madison County maintained a three-point lead at the end of the third quarter.
Entering the final period, Macy Rutledge got hot from beyond the three-point line. Rutledge dropped in two three-pointers mixed in with a basket from Brown and a charity shot by Coberly to cap off a 9-0 run extending the lead to 47-36. Coberly capped off her 28-point night connecting on seven of eight free throws in the final period. The Lady Raiders opened up their largest margin at 14 points with 1:58 left to play on Coberly’s two of two from the charity stripe in route to the 61-51 win.
The Lady Raiders were scheduled to resume play in the Invitational Tournament on Tuesday night, but due to early deadlines, those results will be in next week’s issue.