Backed by some clutch free throw shooting and tough defense, the Lady Eagles staved off a late Bryan Station rally to hang on for a 71-64 win on Monday at home.

Madison Southern (8-5) hit on 9-of-10 at the line in the fourth quarter after the Lady Defenders (4-7) tied the game up with two minutes left to play.

The Lady Eagles had an eight-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter after Samantha Cornelison's layup made it 59-51.

After that, Bryan Station buckled down and closed the gap on an 11-3 run.

A three-pointer from Tania Woodall capped the run and made it 62-62.

However, the Lady Eagles answered at the charity stripe in the remaining minutes with Sunni Walters connecting on both of her free throws to give Southern back the lead.

Meanwhile, the Lady Defenders failed to connect on both their trips to the foul line in the remaining minute to play.

Walters sank two more at the line and Morgan Flannery put the Lady Eagles ahead 70-64 with less than six seconds to go.

Cornelison led the Lady Eagles with 20 points, while Walters came off the bench to add 16 points.

The senior had four three-pointers for the game and was 4-of-5 from the free throw line.

"I had been in a free throw slump before this game. I had missed a few," Walters said of her clutch shooting at the line. "I had to calm down and breathe, but I put them in. My team really fueled (the shooting.) It's a different girl every night for us for shooting. I just happened to be on tonight."

Southern coach Allie Turley said he was proud of the senior's contributions on Monday.

"I pulled her out of the starting line-up because I told her we needed energy off the bench. We really needed someone to give us that boost. She came out tonight and that's what I've been waiting for. She was great," Turley said of Walters.

The coach said he was proud of how his team came together and was able to fend off Bryan Station's rally.

"That's one thing that's been great about this team from the get-go. No matter what happens, they don't ever quit. The fight that is in these girls is unbelievable. That's something that you can't coach," Turley added.

The Lady Eagles led by just one point, 19-18, after the first quarter and had to battle against some hot shooting by the Lady Defenders in the second quarter.

Bryan Station made five threes in the second quarter -- with Woodall responsible for four of those shots.

The Lady Defenders took a 30-26 lead with three minutes left in the first half, when Walters came off the bench and got the Lady Eagles back in the game.

Walters made back-to-back three-pointers to end the Lady Defenders run.

However, Bryan Station answered with three-straight three pointers to pull ahead once again with a 39-34 lead with less than a minute to go.

Skylar Sparks rebounded a last-second half court shot off the glass and made a layup at the buzzer to bring Southern back within striking distance at halftime, 39-36.

The Lady Eagles outscored Bryan Station 21-12 in the third quarter, with Cornelison contributing 13 of Southern's points that quarter.

A basket from deep from Walters gave the Lady Eagles a six-point lead, 57-51, going into the final quarter.

Turley said the win was a team effort and praised Caylen Conrad and Hallie Harrison defensive stops in the final quarter.

"They really did what I needed them to do. I'm very proud of how everyone stepped up. If we hadn't made free throws it would have been a different ending to that game. It was really nice to see us do well at the line, we've been struggling. Everyone stepped up and hit them down the stretch and kept their heads and pulled together," Turley said.

Morgan Flannery had nine points while Aleigh Richardson and Skylar Sparks had eight points each. Macie Daniels contributed seven points. Hallie Harrison had two points and Caylen Conrad added a point.

The Lady Eagles return to action on Friday when they face district rival Lady Pirates at Berea Community.

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