The Madison County girls’ basketball team answered a turnover-filled loss to Cedar Shoals by going back to the basics.
The result was a 55-39 rout of Winder-Barrow Tuesday night.
“We took care of the basketball, which was the key from what’s been happening in the past,” coach Dan Lampe said.
Madison County committed 32 turnovers against the Lady Jaguars Friday but just 14 against the Lady Bulldoggs.
“We looked like we had played before, I guess,” Lampe said of the win.
The Lady Raiders — who return to the court Friday against Apalachee — now enter a tough stretch of games, including a Saturday non-region rematch with a hot-shooting Franklin County club and a much-anticipated subregion showdown with Clarke Central, the defending region champions, Tuesday.
Lampe said the Lady Gladiators’ pressure defense can give a team fits.
“Our new focus has been really to take care of the ball, take care of the ball, take care of the ball,” Lampe said. “We’ll see how that works against Clarke Central.”
In Tuesday’s win, Courtney Freeman scored 25 points and Kayla Freeman and Shantrydra Arnold both added 12 as the Lady Raiders (12-5, 2-1) got back on track in subregion play.
Lampe noted the efforts of Arnold, a guard, who contributed a double-digit scoring game after Madison County’s backcourt was held to a collective eight points against Cedar Shoals.
“Trydra was a big spark tonight (Tuesday) … We had kind of pressed upon her that we really wanted her to start stepping up her game here in the subregion now,” Lampe said.
Freshman Sam LaZear also added valuable minutes in her first extended start on the varsity. LaZear played tough defense, did well on the boards and even hit a three-pointer, according to Lampe.
It’s been a strange year in the subregion to this point.
This same Winder-Barrow outfit that Madison County beat by 16 points drilled Cedar Shoals by 19 points last week. And, of course, Cedar Shoals then turned around and upset the Lady Raiders this past Friday in Athens.
“It’s all a matter of effort and attitude,” Lampe said.
The coach said he hopes his team has learned its lesson as it moves on.
“We told the girls that our destiny is still in our hands even though we lost the game to Cedar,” Lampe said. “If we play hard the rest of the year, we’ll see where we wind up in the region.”
Weekend in review
Lady Raiders plagued by turnovers in OT loss
The Lady Raiders took an early misstep in their quest for a subregion championship.
Cedar Shoals stunned Madison County, 61-53, in overtime Friday in Athens to hand the Lady Raiders a surprising first loss in divisional play.
The Lady Jaguars, who were coming off a 19-point loss to Winder-Barrow, forced 32 turnovers and outscored Madison County 11-3 in overtime to earn the upset.
It was a frustrating loss for the Lady Raiders, who had lost four of their last eight games at that point.
Courtney Freeman did her part, scoring 17 of Madison County’s 24 points in the first half. She finished with 30 points, but managed just one in the overtime period.
Kayla Freeman threw in 13, but the rest of the team added just 10 points.
Madison County led by 10 points at one point in the second half, but the game settled into a seesaw affair in the fourth quarter.
After three lead changes in the final period, Madison County tied the game late at 50-50. But Cedar Shoals held the Lady Raiders off the scoreboard for the final 2:08 in regulation to force overtime.
Cedar Shoals then hit 9-of-12 attempts from the free throw line in the extra period to put away the Lady Raiders.
Madison County managed just five points combined in the last 6:08 of the game.