Tiffany Huddleston (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
COLUMBUS â€“ There are only a certain amount of spots allotted for players on All-Tournament teams.
If there was ever a reason to fill the entire Division 2-AAA State All-Tournament team from just one team, it would have to be considered for the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers.
In winning the Division 2-AAA State Championship with a 61-35 victory against East Rankin Academy Saturday afternoon at Heritage Academy, there wasn't just contributions coming from two, three or four players.
Starkville Academy, under the leadership of veteran coach Glenn Schmidt, exhibits the characteristics of what a team should be.
"Everybody that played did a great job," Schmidt said. "You've got April Burney, Lauren Atwell and Brittany Jacks that play roles for us and (winning state) means so much to them.
"Julianne Jackson comes off the bench and for a lack of a better word "beats up" a few people in there for us by being physical and aggressive."
Anna Lea Little, Nora Kathryn Carroll, Sallie Kate Richardson and Anna Prestridge were the four Lady Vols to make the All-Tournament team, but Schmidt felt there could have easily been one more.
"It would be hard to leave Tiffany Huddleston off," Schmidt said. "They would have to buy another trophy because she had a great game (Saturday). No disrespect to the committee, but she had a great game. They are limited to how many they can give out."
Huddleston had 12 points and was the second-leading scorer for SA against East Rankin.
Being able to claim a state championship was obviously very important to Huddleston and she played that way.
Huddleston said she wanted to be more aggressive with the basketball in her hands and was looking to shoot more.
"It's an amazing feeling to win a state title," Huddleston said. "This is something we've been working really hard for a few years for some of us, especially since last March. It's just great.
"I'm glad I was able to share it with all of these girls. I haven't played with all of them so it's been a new experience for all of us."
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