By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Madison Southern Lady Eagles picked up their third win in four tries this season Monday, 44-18 over Jackson County (0-3).
Junior Kristen Hayes jump-started the Lady Eagles early, personally outscoring the Lady Generals 10-3 in the game’s first two minutes.
Hayes finished with a game-high 14 points, while Briana Lanham added 11 for the Lady Eagles.
Southern’s swarming full-court pressure made it hard for the Lady Generals to even get the ball up the floor in the games’ first eight minutes.
And when they did, the Southern defense forced them into contested shots which missed, and missed and missed some more. Jackson County scored only three points in the quarter as Southern raced out to a commanding 21-3 lead.
The second period wasn’t much better for the Lady Generals as their shooting woes continued and they only managed a pair of free throws.
Fortunately for them though, the Lady Eagles didn’t fare much better in the second quarter. They seemed to lose their focus and had more turnovers in the quarter than they did points, but still took a commanding 27-5 lead into the half.
“I think that when we got up we stopped doing the small disciplined things we had been teaching them, like not reaching,” Southern coach Summer Simmons. “They thought they could steal every ball and every dribble because they got them early. But they got those doing things the right way. But then we just got complacent and undisciplined.”
The second half was more of the same as the game evolved into a turnover-fest, with both teams committing numerous turnovers, many of which were unforced.
The Lady Eagles went up 35-7 on a basket by Rachel Ramey and two free throws by Lanham mid-way through the quarter.
Jackson County finally began to find the range, scoring six straight points before Lanham got the final four points of the quarter to give Southern a 39-12 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Simmons emptied her bench to start the fourth quarter, pulling all five starters.
The Lady Generals made it a little more respectable margin against the substitutes, outscoring the Lady Eagles 9-2 in the quarter.
Simmons said she was happy to get the win, but didn’t like her team losing focus like it did.
“I’m glad to have a win and I’m glad we defended our court and stuff, but I felt like our body language wasn’t where it needed to be tonight,” she said. “I felt like we weren’t defending like we should and we went away from the things we know we need to do because it might have been a little easy for them early.”
Marley Lawson and Ramey finished with five points each. Kelly Freeman and Ashlyn Clark had three apiece and Kelle Scott had a basket.
Southern is back in action on Friday when they host Model at 7:30 p.m.