By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
The Lady Eagles hadn’t played in a week and coach Summer Simmons was somewhat concerned that her team might be a little rusty heading into Friday’s district showdown with Model Laboratory (7-13).
And they showed it in the opening minutes, jumping out to a quick double-digit lead.
Madison Southern hit six three-pointers in the first quarter, built a 21-point halftime lead and cruised to a 78-61 victory in Richmond. The Lady Eagles hit 14 three-pointers and got a balanced offensive attack as they improved to 16-5 on the season with a fourth-straight win.
“I was really nervous,” Simmons said. “It’s hard to practice for seven days this time of year and get something out of it. They’ve come to practice every day with a good attitude. They are doing the right things.”
Senior Darrian Botts turned in a tremendous performance for Model. She scored 39 points, which is believed to be a single-game school record.
Botts was 16-of-24 from the field, hit seven-of-13 free throws, had seven rebounds and also had two assists.
Botts had 17 points in the first half, then scored 22 of her team’s 33 second-half points.
“Darrian is a great player,” Simmons said.
Southern never trailed and led by as many as 30 points in the third quarter.
The Lady Eagles were up 25-11 after one quarter and took a 49-28 lead into halftime. Southern was 9-of-13 from three-point range in the first half, led by Samantha Parms, who connected four times from long range.
“We were just finding the open shot and taking the easiest one,” Simmons said. “We had 15 offensive rebounds too. Some of that was that we couldn’t make a layup, but we dribbled some of those out and hit threes.”
Southern get hot from outside in the third quarter, back-to-back-to-back three-pointers from Parms, Briana Lanham and Parms that stretch the lead to 63-36.
For the game, the Lady Eagles were 14-of-24 from three-point range.
Parms finished with 19 points. She was five-of-six from three-point range. Lanham had 18 points, including four three-pointers, Kristen Hayes had 10 points and Marley Lawson added eight points and 16 rebounds.
Southern out-rebounded Model 56-33.
“We just talked about working on the things we’ve been doing practice — and I felt like they did,” Simmons said.
Southern won the other regular-season meeting with Model, 74-38, on Dec. 13 in Berea.
Hayley Hunt added 14 points for Model, while Abby Vicars had eight points, including two three-pointers.
For Southern, Kelley Freeman and Adriannah Willis both had six points, Callie Cook had five points, Ashlynn Clark had four points and Kelle Scott had two points.
Model is set to return to action at 3 p.m. today at Wolfe County.
Southern is set to return to action Tuesday at South Laurel.