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By DANNY P. SMITH
The Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers were held under 60 points during their game against Madison-Ridgeland Academy Tuesday night.
That's fine because the Lady Vols played well enough defensively to make up for it.
Starkville Academy welcomed MRA for its home opener and won a 52-36 decision to improve its record to 5-0.
The Lady Vols were focused on playing well on defense and accomplished that goal by holding the visiting Lady Patriots to 15 of 39 shots from the field.
"Our main focus on defense tonight was playing help-side, helping each other out and not letting them drive so we really did that well," SA senior point guard Anna Prestridge said. "We've got a lot of energy going right now."
The Lady Vols were able to hold the duo of Haley Cox and Anna Claire Henderson to a combined 27 points.
Starkville Academy coach Glenn Schmidt was especially pleased with the job Prestridge did on Henderson.
"The key to the game was controlling Henderson, their point guard," Schmidt said. "She scored 13 points, but that didn't matter. We just didn't want her to take the game over. Anna Prestridge did a great job on her.
"Anna Lea Little made some shots and although Nora Kathryn (Carroll) didn't make many shots, she did a good job on their forward (Cox). She did a good job of defending her. Tiffany (Huddleston), her assignment was to help a lot and she did a good job of helping when someone got open."
After the Lady Vols jumped out to a 26-15 lead at halftime, the scoring of Sallie Kate Richardson inside and Little outside gave SA the breathing room it needed against a tough MRA team.
The Lady Vols led 38-28 after the third quarter and held off MRA at the end.
"When the other team gives you the inside, you have to take it," Schmidt said. "You have to play the game from the inside out."
That kind of approach helped Richardson and Little record double-doubles for SA.
Richardson scored 19 points and pulled down 16 rebounds, while Little had 15 points and 12 rebounds.