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SMITH COLUMN: Things tougher than it seemed for Lady Vols

December 22, 2012


It was quite an impressive three days of basketball for the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers.
The way they took care of business at the Joe Horne Columbus Christmas Classic was especially noteworthy and worth the short drive over to Columbus to see.

After handling Noxubee County 75-31 on Friday, Starkville Academy came back with another strong effort on Saturday to defeat Provine 80-56.

It doesn't seem to matter what kind of team you put in the path of the Lady Vols, whether it be public or private school competition. Right now, they are finding ways to keep getting victories.

Even though on the court and looking at the scores, it seemed that Starkville Academy had an easy time this weekend.

That wasn't the case away from the gym for the Lady Vols and with the basketball in their hands.

On Thursday, it was learned that Jason Pigg, the father of sophomore forward Janiece Pigg, had passed away. It had to be an emotional night for Janiece as she took the court for Starkville Academy against Pillow Academy, but she played well in 32 minutes and pulled down nine rebounds to help her team win 57-20.

The funeral was held on Saturday morning, but Janiece was back on the bench for the Lady Vols by the afternoon and willing to lend a helping hand. Starkville Academy girls coach Glenn Schmidt and the team also attended the funeral to support Janiece.

The Lady Vols have also had to deal with an injury to sophomore Anna McKell. McKell had surgery on her collarbone and will be out for a while.

"I think we are real tired because of it," Schmidt said of dealing with adversity. "Everybody has had other thoughts. We have been thinking about Janiece and then Anna with the surgery and it is emotionally draining. It is inspiring because they want to play for the situation, but I think they are very emotionally drained."

The SA girls definitely deserve a rest after scoring 212 points over the last few days. They held opponents to 107 points during that same span.

Even though she thought playing in the Columbus Tournament was a good idea, Schmidt said playing three games in a row may not have been wise.

Schmidt saw times on Saturday when the Lady Vols were not quite as sharp as they needed to be.
"We were flat early and the only way I could tell it was through the rebounding," Schmidt said. "We just didn’t rebound early and I think it was because we were just a little bit sluggish."

Sluggish and still score 80 points and beat a Class 5A public school team by 24 points?

It may be a good for Provine that SA was a little tired or the point spread would have been much worse.

Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.

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