MCHS, Clarke Central clash Fri. for subregion title
As a Michigan fan, coach Dan Lampe can certainly appreciate a rivalry game in the regular season finale.
His Lady Raider basketball team (19-5, 8-1) faces nemesis Clarke Central Friday in its last game before the region tournament. A subregion title is on the line.
“It worked well having that one last, kind of like Michigan playing Ohio State in the last game,” said Lampe, referencing the epic Big Ten rivalry. “It kind of sets the tone.”
Both teams are tied in the subregion standings with just one loss, so this is a winner-take-all showdown.
The Lady Raiders — winners of eight straight games — beat the defending region champions by 11 points in Danielsville in the first meeting this year. But that should only serve to motivate Clarke Central, Lampe said, in the rematch in Athens Friday.
“They’re going to be hyped-up at their place, and we’ve just got to come out and just out-effort them and out-work them and just stick to our game plan,” he said.
Madison County warmed-up for its clash with Clarke Central by plastering Apalachee 80-28 Tuesday on the road.
The Lady Raiders led by 41 points at the half and by 50 after three quarters.
“We need to save some of those points for Clarke Central,” Lampe joked.
Kayla Freeman led the team with 20 points and Courtney Freeman followed with 17.
Madison County again received a spark from its guards — Lauren Smith and Shantydra Arnold — who shot the ball well against Apalachee’s zone defense.
Smith finished with 14 points and Arnold had 12.
“The balanced scoring is good,” Lampe said. “That’s for sure.”
Every Lady Raider who dressed out played in the game and all but two ended up scoring.
Defensively, Madison County’s pressure was too much as the Lady Raiders feasted off turnovers.
“We just full-court pressed them and got a lot of lay-ups off it,” Lampe said.
Weekend in review
Lady Raiders down Winder on Senior Night
Madison County seniors gathered smiles, hugs and roses Friday night, while the Lady Raiders gathered another “W.”
The varsity girls improved to 18-5 (7-1) with a 50-33 victory over the Lady Bulldoggs of Winder on Senior Night.
MCHS standout senior Courtney Freeman closed out her final regular season game on the Lady Raider hardwood with 15-point performance, while her younger sister, Kayla, paced the home squad with 18 points.
Neither team showed much of an offensive spark in the first half. Madison County jumped out to an 8-0 lead, but the offense stalled before intermission, with the Lady Raiders heading to the locker room with a 19-13 lead.
However, Madison County piled on 31 points in the second half. Kayla Freeman hit a layup with 5:00 to go in the third quarter to give the squad a double-digit, 25-14, lead it never relinquished.