By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
In the opening minutes Saturday against cross-county rival Madison Central, the Lady Eagles knocked down a trio of three pointers and jumped out to a 10-5 lead.
Then the Lady Indians made an adjustment.
“The first couple of possessions, we weren’t in (our 2-2-1 press defense),” Central coach Robbie Cooksey said. “We made just a little switch and it went from there.”
That switch made a big difference.
Madison Southern had just three more field goals the rest of the game as Madison Central (23-3) pulled away for a 67-36 win on the road. Larryn Brooks had 22 points, seven steals and four assists and Ashton Feldhaus added 12 points and seven rebounds as Central won its ninth-straight game.
“Their 2-2-1 is huge,” Southern coach Summer Simmons said. “They are just bigger than us at most positions. We just looked at everything too long and when you do that you get trapped.”
Southern had 26 turnovers, which led to 24 Central points. The Lady Eagles (11-17) shot just 16.7 percent from the field and were four-of-17 from three-point range. Southern was 20-of-31 from the free throw line.
In the first couple of minutes, Southern was in control. Samantha Parms and Briana Lanham each hit a three-pointer as the Lady Eagles went up 6-0. After Freeman converted on a four-point play, Southern pushed its lead back to five points with 4:50 left in the first quarter.
“I thought we came out well,” Simmons said. “We moved the ball well and had a lot of confidence.”
Central answered back, quickly.
After Brooks banked in a half-court shot at the buzzer, the Lady Indians had a 17-10 lead. By halftime, they were up 36-18.
“It takes a lot to get them rattled,” Cooksey said of his team.
Central was without one of its starters — Bailey O’Bryan (personal reasons) — but still had eight players score. Shadae Bosley had eight points and eight rebounds. Emily Fultz had eight points, Heather Hinkle and Aryn Singer had seven points each, Hailey Christian had two points and Emily Willoughby had one point.
Central shot just 38 percent, but hit 15-of-19 free throws.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well,” Cooksey said. “We’ve been shooting in the 40s. We didn’t shoot the ball well last night either (against Franklin County). But, we played well. I’m happy with how we rebounded and how we played defense.”
Lanham had 12 points and seven rebounds to lead Southern. Freeman added nine points, Parms had six points, Marley Lawson had four points, Sarah Smith and Ashlyn Clark had two points and Rachel Ramey had one point.
Southern is set to return to action Thursday at home against Boyle County.
Central is set to return to action Tuesday at home against Tates Creek.