Madison County might face out-of-state teams in tourney
Madison County just might have a showdown with some out-of-state squads in the Dec. 29-30 Hart County Dairy Queen Classic.
The field of teams in that post-Christmas tournament will include a couple of teams from Florida.
“The Hart County coach told us that the teams that are coming in from Florida are supposed to be really good,” Madison County coach Dan Lampe said.
Since Madison County has just two games to play in the tournament, the Lady Raiders were automatically placed in the winners’ bracket.
Madison County will play the winner of Elbert County and one of those Florida schools on Tuesday.
Lampe hopes for the latter.
“Not that we wouldn’t like to play Elbert, also,” he explains. “But we kind of know what Elbert’s got. We’ve played them in the past. It would be kind of nice to play different teams and that kind of stuff.”
Madison County goes into the game with a 9-3 record, losing to Class AAAAA’s no. 3 team, Mill Creek, most recently.
However, leading scorer Courtney Freeman is on a roll. Freeman has scored 142 points in the last five games, averaging 28.4 per contest over that stretch.
The senior scored 34 points Dec. 12 against Rockdale County and 37 Dec. 19 against Grayson.
Lampe said that Freeman has answered his call for someone to step and fill the leadership shoes of last year’s graduated seniors.
“I feel that she’s filled them, now” Lampe said. “Since the Rockdale game, she has turned it up. She’s become not just the scoring leader, but she’s giving so much effort and stuff on the court, that it’s started to draw the others up.”
Weekend in review
Mill Creek pressure too much for Madison Co.
GRAYSON — Too many turnovers. Too few points.
The Madison County girls were held to their season-low offensively in a 61-51 loss to Mill Creek Saturday on the second day of the Shoot for a Cure tournament in Grayson.
The Lady Hawks are ranked no. 3 in Class AAAAA and are likely the toughest team Madison County has encountered on its schedule.
“I’d say talent-wise and with (their) bench, I would say, yeah, they’re probably the best team we’ve played,” Madison County coach Dan Lampe said.
The Lady Raiders struggled against the Lady Hawks’ stout full court pressure, turning the ball over 28 times.
“Yeah, they had the pressure and turned us over and they were a lot deeper than us on the bench,” Lampe said.
Madison County trailed by 18 at one point in the fourth quarter.
The setback dropped Madison County’s record to 9-3.
The 60-point mark seems to be the magic number for Madison County.
In their three losses this year, the Lady Raiders have scored less than 60 points.
Despite her team’s loss to Mill Creek, Madison County’s Courtney Freeman earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors, averaging 30.5 points a game in two contests.
Freeman scored a season-high 37 points in the tournament opener to lead Madison County to a 64-48 victory over Grayson.
Lampe said that Freeman’s performance was the highlight of the tournament.
“Courtney, obviously, just being huge in the paint,” Lampe said.
Against Mill Creek, Freeman looked like she was going to eclipse that 37-point performance, scoring 12 in the first quarter as the Lady Raiders trailed 17-16. Freeman finished with 24 points.
Madison County, addled by Mill Creek’s full-court press, trailed 26-16 in the second quarter before Shantydra Arnold sparked an 11-3 run with a three-pointer with 4:26 left in the period.
However, the Lady Raiders, who trailed 30-27 at the half, were shut down in the third quarter, going scoreless for the first 4:36.
Mill Creek built a 54-36 lead in the fourth quarter, but Madison County rallied with a late spark from its guards, who started driving to the hoop.
“They weren’t content to just sit on the outside,” Lampe said. “They started penetrating and that created all kinds of problems then.”
The Lady Raiders cut Mill Creek’s lead to nine with 1:09 left, but it wasn’t enough.
It was all Courtney Freeman the night before as she scored 22 of her team’s 35 points in the first half against Grayson in her biggest offensive game of her senior year.
Freeman came five points shy of her career-high total of 42. Kayla Freeman scored 14 points and Arnold added 10 in the Lady Raiders’ third victory over a Class AAAAA school this year.