By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
One night after falling to Mercer County, the Lady Eagles showed their resiliency, bouncing back for a big 61-44 win over East Jessamine Tuesday.
Madison Southern jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead and never trailed in the first half, taking a 27-21 lead into halftime.
That lead disappeared quickly though, as the Lady Jaguars scored the first seven points of the second half to take a 28-27 lead.
The lead changed hands two more times in the next two minutes before the Lady Eagles took a 37-32 lead on two free throws from Rachel Ramey and back-to-back three pointers by Kelley Freeman.
The Lady Jaguars cut the lead to two points, at 40-38, on two free throws by Sarah Rainwater inside the final minute of the third quarter, but the Lady Eagles refused to fold.
Leading 42-38, five-straight points — a three pointer and a short jumper by Adriannah Willis — gave the Lady Eagles a nine-point advantage and they never let East Jessamine get any closer.
Coach Summer Simmons said she was pleased with her team’s performance coming off the tough loss Monday.
“I’ve said my girls are resilient and they are. They know what adversity is, they’ve had it for several years and they tend to bounce back. I couldn’t ask for anything more right after a loss like that,” Simmons said.
Southern has struggled in the third quarter all season and things didn’t look very bright when the Lady Jaguars went on the run to take the lead coming out of the half.
But this time was different and the Lady Eagles re-established their lead immediately.
“The third quarter has been our demise this year. But tonight they didn’t quit and came back,” Simmons said. “We tried a new defense that we honestly hadn’t practiced yet, we came out in a man-to-man. It scares me to be that far out away from the basket because we don’t block out well. But tonight we did and we were able to rebound out of it. I commend my girls, they are putting things together and working hard.”
Three Lady Eagles scored in double-figures, led by Briana Lanham with 16 points. Ramey finished with 15 points and Kelly Freeman had 13 on the night.
The Lady Eagles got some good minutes out of their bench players as well.
Ashlynn Clark chipped in with six points, Willis finished with five points and Marley Lawson had four points. Starter Hayden Westfall had two points before fouling out in the third quarter.
Simmons said she was pleased with the play she is getting from everyone on the team right now.
“We are getting some productivity our of about every class we’ve got right now,” Simmons said. “My seniors are doing well, my sophomores are predominantly on the floor most of the time and I’m getting some stuff out of my freshmen and my seventh and eighth graders. I’m happy with it.”
The Lady Eagles will be back in action Saturday when they play Russell County at 10:30 a.m. in the Coaches Against Cancer event at East Jessamine.