When it came to the full-court press, the Lady Raider varsity basketball team saw “the best of times and the worst of times” this past weekend.
Madison County visited Walnut Grove Friday night, easily handling the opponents’ full-court pressure, while forcing numerous Lady Warrior turnovers en route to an easy win.
But the Lady Raiders felt the full-court pinch Saturday at home in a loss to an athletic Clarke Central squad.
“There’s not one team with any sort of athleticism that’s not going to try and press us,” said Lady Raider head coach Dan Lampe, whose 12-5 (2-0) team snapped a four-game winning streak with its loss to Clarke Central at home Saturday.
Lampe said his team must learn to handle pressure defense if they intend to make noise beyond the regular season. He said he feels the key to breaking opponents’ pressure defense is in not panicking.
“They (Clarke Central) pressured us,” said Lampe. “But I see it as more as psychological pressure. If you look at the film, you can see that we had people open, but the girls kind of panicked a little and that’s what we need to improve on. We can’t get rattled.”
Madison County will hit the court again Saturday when they visit North Oconee at 6 p.m.
“They are extremely tough,” said Lampe of 13-2 North Oconee. “They have a girl who is scoring a lot of points and they have only lost twice this season. But I feel we match up with them athletically. We’ve just got to be more disciplined.”
The Lady Raiders will then host Monroe Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Madison County Middle School gym.
“They have great athleticism, but they lack some basketball skills,” said Lampe of the 1-10 Lady Hurricanes. “They’ll press us, but they’re not as athletic as Clarke Central. Clarke is a very good, fundamental team that can finish in the open court.”
Here’s a recap of this past weekend’s action:
Lady Raiders 73 Walnut Grove 27
The Lady Raiders scored 36 first quarter points and then put things in cruise control on a drive down victory lane on Friday night in a 73-27 win over Walnut Grove.
With the victory, the Lady Raiders improved to 2-0 in the region.
“We were focused and played hard and were able to dominate them from the beginning,” said Lady Raider head coach Dan Lampe. “We were able to press them and they didn’t have an answer.”
Elise Coberly led Madison County with 19 points followed by 16 from Nekeia Brown and 12 from Mya Moss. Macy Rutledge chipped in nine.
Lampe noted that Coberly and Brown always provide a scoring punch. But he said Moss and Rutledge were effective too.
Walnut Grove opened the game in a full-court press, something the Lady Raiders have struggled with this season. But the Lady Raiders were too quick on offense and broke through the Warriors’ pressure defensive attacks.
Madison County wasted little time pulling away at Walnut Grove.
Rutledge connected on two consecutive shots beyond the three-point line to push Madison County out to an early 14-4 lead. The Lady Raiders were able to capitalize on Walnut Grove turnovers and what seemed to be missed desperation shots by the Warriors. On the flip side, the Lady Raiders had little trouble hitting their shots and working the ball inside to Brown, who connected on an inside shot with 3:11 remaining in the first quarter to give the Lady Raiders a 23-5 lead. Coberly drilled two three pointers in the middle of a 14-0 run to extend the lead to 31-5.
Madison County’s defense held Walnut Grove to single-digit scoring in each quarter. The Lady Warriors scored just five points in the second quarter and trailed at halftime, 51-14. The Lady Raiders opened the second quarter with a 10-2 run that extended the lead 46-11.
Madison County was able to shift gears from that point, allowing their two junior varsity players Leah Gearing and Christian Carruth to get some varsity playing experience. Both Gearing and Carruth contributed with three points each in the final quarter. Coberly’s game high 19 points included three three-pointers in the first quarter.
Clarke Central 67 Lady Raiders 51
While Friday’s game provided little challenge for the Lady Raiders, Saturday’s matchup with Clarke Central was quite the opposite.
The visiting Lady Gladiators captured a 67-51 win over the Lady Raiders to complete the season two-game season sweep. Madison County fell 47-37 back on Dec. 7 in their first meeting in Athens.
Again, the Lady Raiders faced a pressure defense that gave them fits all afternoon.
“We just got off to a slow start and were missing open shots,” said Lampe. “We also turned the ball over 32 times, which led to 18 points for them.
Madison County connected on just four of 11 first quarter shots and held senior Coberly scoreless in the first half. Coberly finished with a game high of 16 points, but didn’t score her first basket until the 4:59 mark of the third quarter.
Brown followed with 15 points and Macy Rutledge finished with 14 points, 12 of which came beyond the three-point line.
Clarke Central closed the first quarter with 10-2 run to earn a 16-8 lead. Madison County’s best quarter of the night came just before halftime in a 16-point second period. The Lady Raiders connected on 10 of 17 shots and were able to pull to within six points midway through the quarter following two free throws from Rutledge.
But Clarke Central, led by Kayonnah Perrin’s 20 points, answered every Madison County scoring run.
Clarke Central, which led 34-24 at the half, sealed the win in the final period with a 9-0 run that extended the lead to 62-42. The Lady Gladiators ended the final quarter, connecting on 14 of 19 shot attempts.
JV girls on a roll
The Madison County junior varsity girls’ basketball team has been on a roll recently, winning its past four games.
The Lady Raiders defeated Walnut Grove Friday, 35-29, and Clarke Central Saturday, 29-26.
The squad will hit the court again at North Oconee Saturday, Jan. 19.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
The author does not allow comments to this entry