COLUMBUS – The Starkville Lady Volunteers ventured across the Tombigbee River Tuesday night and head coach Glenn Schmidt was hoping they would take their good shooting with them.
It didn't take long for Schmidt to find out the answer to that question.
The Lady Volunteers scored the first 10 points of the game and went on to defeat the Heritage Lady Patriots 67-42.
"When you are shooting like that, you are running and able to rebound, that sets a tone for the game," Schmidt said. "You have to take the offense on the road. We hit the outside shots, but I was surprised that we got so many."
Anna Lea Little scored nine of her game-high 24 points in the first quarter as Starkville Academy went up 14-3. By halftime, the Lady Vols increased the margin to 31-11.
Schmidt was impressed that her team was able to accomplish such an early surge against a quality Heritage squad.
"Heritage has some basketball players that can score," Schmidt said. "They've got a point guard that's seasoned. They have some sophomores that have a lot of potential to score, and are working very hard at it and it's helped them.
"I think what happened was we jumped on them early and shocked them a little bit."
Schmidt was pleased to see Little take a more active role in the offense and was something she requested after the mid-season evaluation.
"We looked at the stats and she was taking nine shots per game," Schmidt said. "We went to the Magnolia Heights Tournament and half of the season was over so we looked at the stats and tried to evaluate what we were doing.
"I thought she was generous with her shots, not taking very many and I asked her to double it and in that to take the right shots. She's still got a little bit to learn about time and score, but in a game like this when things are going so well for us early, we were running and gunning. It just happened and it was working so well."
Sallie Kate Richardson scored in double digits for SA with 19 points, but only had four at halftime.
Schmidt said the Lady Patriots did a good job in the first half of taking away Richardson inside. Richardson was able to bounce back in the second half by scoring on putbacks and hitting several free throws.
Heritage played a much more competitive half, only being outscored 36-31 by the Lady Vols.
Schmidt wasn't surprised because of the reputation of Heritage coach Yandell Harris.
"He is as good a basketball coach as you'll ever coach against and the season is still young," Schmidt said. "This team is in our classification and I wouldn't be surprised to see them improve and get better every game because they are very young. I have a lot of respect for them, but our kids did come ready to play."
Starkville Academy, which improved to 19-3, host Presbyterian Christian on Friday night.
Heritage Academy 46,
Starkville Academy 30
COLUMBUS – The Volunteers had the early momentum in their game against the Patriots.
After jumping out to an 8-4 lead, Starkville Academy watched as Heritage secured a 13-8 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
The homestanding Pats increased the margin to 24-13 by halftime and 36-24 at the end of three quarters.
Carnail Minor was the only Vol to score in double figures with 12 points, while Kyle Loman was next in the scoring column with six points.
Starkville Academy's record fell to 7-12 with the loss.