By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
Madison Southern got off to a rough start against Powell County Sunday in the championship game of the Berea Holiday Classic.
The Lady Eagles’ top scorer — Briana Lanham — missed almost the entire first half with foul trouble and at halftime they faced a 26-19 deficit. In the third quarter, Powell County pushed that lead to a seemingly insurmountable 15 points (38-23).
But, Southern (8-2) battled back.
The Lady Eagles out-scored the Lady Pirates 27-10 in the fourth quarter and rallied for a 54-50 win at Madison Southern. Samantha Parms finished with a team-best 13 points and connected on the go-ahead three-pointer with 20.6 seconds left in the game. Kelley Freeman had 12 points, Lanham finished with 11 points and Kristen Hayes had 10 points.
“We didn’t play our game in the first half,” Southern coach Summer Simmons said. “We tried to change some things, but we just needed to keep it simple. The girls really dug deep and played super hard to come back. They showed heart and I am proud of them.”
After falling to Rowan County in the opening game of the tournament, Southern won its next three games.
The Lady Eagles started their comeback late in the third quarter when Freeman hit a three-pointer. In the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, Freeman and Parms each connected from long distance as Southern cut Powell County’s lead to 40-35.
Lanham hit a three moments later to get the Lady Eagles within two points (42-40) before Parms tied the game on a layup off a steal. A pair of Hayes free throws gave the Lady Eagles the lead, but Powell County tied the game at 47-47 with 38 seconds left.
Parms hit a three-pointer from the top of the key with 20.6 seconds left to give Southern the lead for good. Lanham hit four-of-four free throws in the closing seconds to seal the win.
Hayes was 5-of-6 from the line in the fourth quarter. Lanham had nine points in the final period and Parms had eight points in the fourth, including two three-pointers.
Marley Lawson had four points and Ashlynn Clark and Callie Cook had two points each for the Lady Eagles.
Southern is set to return to action Jan. 4 at Woodford County.