By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
MADISON COUNTY —
Madison Southern coach Summer Simmons knew her team had its hands full against a very good Mercer County team Monday, and the Lady Titans proved to be as good as advertised in their 69-39 win over Southern.
Mercer jumped out to a quick 10-1 lead before the Lady Eagles settled down and fought their way back into the game.
Carli Souder connected on Mercer’s first three of the game to push the lead to 13-3, but the Lady Eagles scored eight straight points on a three-pointer and two free throws by Kelley Freeman and a basket by Rachel Ramey to slice the lead to four at 14-10.
After Mercer’s Reagan Freeman hit a free throw, Kelley Freeman drained a long three pointer to pull the Lady Eagles to within one at 14-13 at the end of the first quarter.
A Briana Lanham basket two minutes into the second quarter brought the Lady Eagles even at 16, but then the Lady Titans press began to take its toll.
Fueled by four turnovers, Mercer went on a 10-0 run to go back on top 26-16 with 3:26 left in the half.
The Lady Eagles once again didn’t quit scoring the final six points of the quarter on a basket by Marley Lawson, a free throw by Lanham and another three pointer by Ramey that cut the deficit to four at the half.
“I thought we did a lot of good things the first half,” Simmons said. “Mercer County is an excellent team and I was proud of our first-half effort.”
The Lady Eagles hung tough early in the third quarter and were trailing by only five points after Ramey’s third three of the game with 3:02 left.
But the Lady Titans ended the quarter with an 11-1 run to take a 43-28 lead at the end of the third quarter and never looked back, extending their lead to as much as 26 points in the fourth quarter.
Ramey was the only Lady Eagle to reach double figures, finishing with 10 points. Freeman added eight points and Lanham, Southern’s dominant post player, also finished with eight points despite being double teamed all night.
Lawson had five points, Hayden Westfall had three points, Adriannah Willis had two and Callie Cook added one point.
Simmons said her team was a work in progress, but she likes what she is seeing out of her young squad.
“My girls didn’t quit and I’m happy about that. We have quite a bit stacked against us. We are still young and we are still trying to put some pieces together,” Simmons said. “But our kids are working hard and their attitudes are pretty good considering what they have to face night-in and night-out.”
The Lady Eagles are back in action today when they host the Lady Jaguars of East Jessamine at 6 p.m.