CLINTON – The path to a third-consecutive State tournament championship this season continues for the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers.
The Lady Vols scored their 41st victory of the season as they defeated the Lady Spartans from Prairie View Academy 71-29.
“It was a huge win,” SA coach Glenn Schmidt said. “We were focused and very intense. We shot so well (Wednesday). That really set the tone for the game and took them completely out of their game early.”
Sallie Kate Richardson opened scoring with two quick baskets to give Starkville Academy a 4-0 lead with 6:05 remaining in the first half.
After allowing the Lady Spartans to post two points, 3-pointers compliments of Tiffany Huddleston, Anna Lea Little and Nora Kathryn Carroll allowed the Lady Vols to take a 13-2 lead.
Starkville Academy further extended its lead to 21 points with 2:31 left before closing the first period with a 33-6 lead.
The Lady Vols went on a 14-1 run to start second period action pushing the score to 47-7. Prairie View closed the half outscoring Starkville Academy 7-2, making it a 49-14 ballgame at the half.
In the first period alone, the Lady Vols were 7-of-12 from behind the arc, while Little led the team through the first half with 10 points.
Right on Little’s heels were Carroll and Maggie Proffitt with nine points, followed by Richardson with eight points and Huddleston who ended the first half with seven points.
Proffitt stepped her game up in the second half. The senior opened the frame with two 3-pointers giving Starkville Academy a 55-14 lead. Proffitt scored two more baskets providing the Lady Vols with their first 10 points of the half.
Highlighted by Proffitt’s offensive prowess and the team’s outstanding defensive stance, Starkville Academy carried its largest lead into the final period.
Leading by 45, the Lady Vols entered fourth period action with the score standing at 65-20.
Compared with earlier action, the fourth quarter was much milder. With both teams scoring under 10 points, the frame was highlighted by a half dozen defensive rebounds compliments of the Lady Vols.
The defensive pressure throughout the course of the final period allowed Starkville Academy to leave A.E. Wood Coliseum victorious.
Led by Proffitt with 19 points and Janeice Pigg with 12 points, the Lady Vols ended the contest shooting 50 percent.
Defensively, Starkville Academy pulled down 40 rebounds on Wednesday, highlighted by Huddleston who brought down eight of her own.
Wednesday’s triumph expanded the Lady Vols current win streak, which spans two seasons, to 50 games and on Friday they will go for 51 as they tip off against the Lady Buccaneers from Bowling Green High School.
Friday’s competition will not be the first between Starkville Academy and Bowling Green. The pair met for the very first game of the season where the Lady Vols handed the Lady Buccaneers a 51-45 loss which just happened to be Bowling Green’s only loss of the season. The teams also met on this very stage last season with Starkville Academy knocking off the Lady Buccaneers on their way to the 2012 Overall State championship title.
Tip on Friday is set for 1 p.m. on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton.