Madison County pulled off a season sweep over Oconee County in basketball Saturday, with girls and boys varsity squads winning both matchups this year.
The Madison County Lady Raiders downed the Lady Warriors Saturday night 61-48 at the middle school in Comer.
Madison County defeated Oconee County in a previous meeting in early December by a 71-46 score in Watkinsville. In that meeting, Nekeia Brown took advantage of the absence of Warrior standout and Florida State signee 6’4 Gabrelle Bevillard by tossing in a game high of 21 points in the paint.
In this past Saturday night’s contest, Bevillard remained sidelined, still nursing the ACL injury. And it was senior Elise Coberly’s turn to take the spotlight. Coberly was perfect from the free throw line, hitting 13 of 13 shots on her way to a game high of 26 points.
Madison County head coach Dan Lampe said Coberly has really developed as a scorer.
“Elise has learned that even when she’s not getting the threes, she can get to the line,” said Lampe. “She’s not a one-trick pony.”
Nekeia Brown followed with 17 and Mya Moss chipped in eight points in the win.
Madison County led at halftime 35-16, but just as Coach Dan Lampe has seen his opponents do throughout the season, the Lady Warriors turned things up after intermission with a full-court press.
“That’s been our nemesis this year,” said Lampe of his squad blowing the lead. “Any time we get a big lead at the half, it seems like we give up a lot of points in the third quarter. We’re losing focus.”
The Warrior defense forced several Raider turnovers and Oconee County closed the margin to 41-37 late in the third period. Maria Colalancia connected on two-three pointers early and both Brianna Dickens and Alley Howell tossed in threes that capped off a 16-6 run midway through the period. Oconee County was coming off a terrible first half where they hit just 7 of 31 shots.
The Warriors’ final threat in the quarter came following another scoring run, this time of 15-0, aided by threes from Dickens and Morgan Meglio to cut the margin to 44-37 at the end of the third period.
But the Lady Raiders, who improved to 10-4, then went back to work in the final quarter, hitting 11 of 20 shots to easily pull ahead for the remainder of the way. The Lady Raiders put the game out of reach midway through the final quarter with a 9-2 scoring run from Coberly and Brown. Oconee’s third quarter offensive performance failed to earn an encore in the final period as the Lady Warriors hit just 7 of 18 shots.
Madison County set the stage early in the game after Coberly connected on an inside shot that jump started a quarter ending 9-2 run on the way to a 16-7 lead. Emaleigh Fouche and Moss contributed to the run by adding scores of their own. Midway through the second quarter, Macy Rutledge connected on her first three pointer of the game to put the Raiders out to a 25-13 lead and later added another trey to extend the lead to 30-16.
Lampe praised the play of Fouche Saturday and for the overall season.
“She’s just playing the best ball defensively,” said Lampe. “I watch her on film and there’s just not one time where she’s in the wrong spot. If every player did what’s she’s doing, we’d give up about 30 points a game.”
The coach also said Brown is a real difference maker for the Lady Raiders.
“Nekeia has been huge,” said Lampe. “When she’s not in the game, we lose momentum on the boards and the inside presence that frees up Elise and Macy (Rutledge). She is almost unselfish to a fault, passing the ball when she could go up with it.”
But Lampe said Brown is strong around the basket, hitting a high percentage of her post shots.
“She’s seeing herself more as a go-to player,” he said.
Now, Madison County will turn its attention to Walnut Grove on the road at 7 p.m. Friday and Clarke Central at home at 4 p.m. Saturday.
“Walnut Grove scares me,” said Lampe. “We beat them handily (85-34) earlier in the season, but they were without their best player. I’m worried we might be complacent.”
The coach said he knows what to expect from Clarke Central.
“We know exactly what we’ll get from them,” said Lampe. “It’s been that way for 11 years. If you can handle their press, you’ll have success.”