Madison County suffered its first loss of the season and it might not be the last unless the effort on the court changes, head coach Dan Lampe said.
Third-ranked Madison County (3-1) fell to fifth-ranked Salem 56-53 Tuesday in Conyers.
The team faces Monroe Area (Friday) and North Oconee (Saturday) before returning to Conyers Tuesday for a matchup with Heritage.
“We travel back down here next Tuesday to play another fairly decent team …. If we play like we did tonight (Tuesday), we’ll probably wind up in the same boat,” Lampe said. “We’ve got to find our step between now and then.”
Courtney Freeman led Madison County with 22 points, while Shantyrdra Arnold added 15 and Kayla Freeman had 10.
Madison County started out in an 8-0 hole and never fully recovered. The Lady Raiders trailed 29-24 at the half and 43-42 after three quarters.
“I hope the loss serves as a wake-up call,” Lampe said.
The coach pointed to a number of problematic areas in the loss, but said it all started with a lack of exertion.
“I’m just looking for effort at this point,” Lampe said.
Madison County went cold from the floor, but the team’s lack of rebounding alarmed Lampe more.
“They killed us on the boards,” he said. “That was really the story. Their offensive boards and points, they had so many other looks because we weren’t boxing out.”
Madison County hadn’t been challenged all season prior to Tuesday, winning its first three games by 29 points or more.
That might have given the Lady Raiders a false sense of confidence, Lampe said.
“The teams we played early, we could get away with that kind of stuff against those teams and it just didn’t hurt us,” he said. “This team exposed those weaknesses. If nothing more, it gave us a starting point for what we needed to do.”
SALEM 56, MADISON CO. 53
MCHS 14 10 18 11 — 53
SHS 16 13 14 13 — 56 Scorers: C. Freeman 22, Arnold 15, K. Freeman 10, Whieldon 4, Smith 2