Lady Raiders remain on track in subregion title chase
Madison County hasn’t forgotten a bitter loss to Cedar Shoals earlier this year.
But the memory might be skewed now after Tuesday night’s show of force.
Enjoying a 24-point lead at one point, Madison County (17-5, 6-1) whipped Cedar Shoals 69-54 in the rematch, acquitting itself of a 61-53 setback to the Lady Jaguars on Jan. 9
“This was a big one,” coach Dan Lampe said.
Big because Madison County remains tied with Clarke Central for the top spot in the subregion.
The Lady Raiders control their own destiny to win the subregion if they win out.
Madison County carries a six-game winning streak into Friday’s game with Winder-Barrow.
The team then takes on Apalachee (Tuesday) before a huge rematch with Clarke Central (Feb. 6) to close the regular season.
Madison County hasn’t loss since that Jan. 9 misstep at Cedar Shoals.
Lampe said it’s within his team’s grasp to win the subregion as long as it plays like it has the last six games.
“Just come out and play solid and we should take care of it,” Lampe said.
The biggest difference between the Madison County team that lost to Cedar Shoals in early January and the team now is efficiency.
Madison County committed 32 turnovers in its sloppy loss to Cedar Shoals earlier this month. This time, the Lady Raiders had only 17 in routing the Lady Jaguars.
“That’s huge,” Lampe said.
He noted another stat that suggests Madison County is operating with greater effectiveness.
“We missed 17 layups last time,” Lampe said. “We made most of them this game.”
Defensively, Lampe said his team executed its game plan well — Madison County held Cedar Shoals to just seven points in the second quarter — and won the rebounding war convincingly, 35-24.
How dominant were the Lady Raiders under the boards? Lauren Smith, a guard, managed to grab nine rebounds.
“The girls really pulled the boards down,” Lampe said. “They (Cedar Shoals) didn’t get a lot of second looks.”
Offensively, Madison County received gutsy performance from a less-than-100-percent Courtney Freeman, who spent most of the day stricken with illness.
“She played huge,” Lampe said, “scoring 25 points and feeling that bad.”
Kayla Freeman also had a big game with 17 points and Shantrydra Arnold added 12.
Perhaps Lampe’s only reservation was that Madison County didn’t win by enough.
The Lady Raiders led by 10 at the half and enjoyed a 60-36 advantage early in the fourth quarter, but allowed Cedar Shoals to work the deficit down.
“As soon as we take our foot off the gas … bad things start happening,” Lampe said.
Weekend in review
No contest in battle of Lady Raiders
A simple blowout turned into an all-out obliteration Friday.
The Madison County Lady Raiders built a 20-point lead by halftime and didn’t allow a point for the first 5:44 in the third quarter in a 71-35 clobbering of the Lady Raiders of Habersham Central.
Courtney Freeman, honored that night for surpassing 2,000 career points earlier this year (she now has 2,280), scored 22 points and Shantrydra Arnold added 18 as Madison County extended its winning streak to five games.
Kayla Freeman finished with 10 points.
The Lady Raiders held a 36-16 halftime lead before really inflicting damage, scoring the first 17 points of the second half.
Habersham Central didn’t manage a basket until the 2:16 mark in the third quarter.
With its defense suffocating Habersham, Madison County built a 47-point lead late in the fourth quarter.