By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
BEREA — The Madison Southern Lady Eagles (3-1) used an 8-0 run at the start of the second quarter to break open a close game and cruised to a 63-42 win over Model (3-3) Friday.
Samantha Parms led the way for the Lady Eagles with a game-high 23 points, while fellow sophomore Briana Lanham added 17 points. Sarah Smith and Kelley Freeman had eight points each, Adriana Willis had three and Rachel Ramey and Callie Cook added two each.
Eighth-grader Mallie Cornett had a team-high 12 points for the Lady Patriots and junior Darrian Botts, who is coming off an ankle injury, chipped in 10. Haley Hunt had eight points, while Kasi Schneid added seven and Abby Vicars chipped in five.
Model hung tough early, trailing 10-8 at the end of the quarter after Lanham hit a put back shot at the buzzer to give Southern the lead.
But the Lady Eagles cranked up their press in the second quarter forcing Model into numerous turnovers.
Model coach Ronald Preece said the press really bothered his young team as did the physical play of the Lady Eagles.
“Most of our turnovers, our point guard had the ball and nobody else wanted it. They just hid. But I think we had a lot more turnovers after we got through the press. It was just mental mistakes,” Preece said. “And they let it get pretty physical and Southern outweighs us and are stronger and once they let those things go on, it's hard for us to compete.”
The Lady Eagles shooters suddenly warmed up as well, hitting five three-pointers — two each by Parms and Freeman and one by Willis — in the last five minutes of the second quarter to give Southern a 29-20 halftime lead.
“At the beginning of the game we couldn’t hit one. We lost our focus on shooting the ball, then we came on,” Southern coach Summer Simmons said. “We’re a good shooting team. I just felt like some of the shots were looking too good for them and they were second guessing themselves and hesitating.”
Southern scored 12 of the first 14 points of the third quarter and stretched its lead to as much as 26 points before Cornett hit two free throws to bring Model to within 51-28 at the end of the quarter.
Model then went into a press of its own which seemed to bother the Lady Eagles. Aided by the press, the Lady Patriots went on a 12-3 run to begin the fourth quarter, to slice the Southern lead down to 54-40 with 3:15 left in the game.
But after a timeout, Southern got back on track and held Model to only two Kasi Schneid free throws the rest of the way.
Simmons said Model’s press bothered her team.
“Model is a good team, they changed up their gameplan in the second half and it rattled us,” Simmons said. “I knew they would press. I told our girls that, but it always rattles us. We’re still young in that respect, so we don’t have a lot of poise, but we’re working on that.”
Simmons, said she was still pleased to get the win and is happy with her team’s play early in the season.
“I am pleasantly surprised at where we’re at and what we’ve done so far,” Simmons said. “Our leadership is there even though we are young. We’ve got two seniors who are leading us and I think we are maturing as a team.”
Preece, who was unhappy with his team’s lackluster outing in their home loss to Burgin earlier in the week, said his team played a lot harder Friday.
“I think my young girls came in here tonight and gave a pretty good effort,” Preece said. “Tuesday I was disappointed in everybody’s effort, but I thought the effort was there tonight. We just made way too many mental mistakes tonight.”
Model is back in action today when they travel to Barbourville to take on the Lady Tigers at 7:30 p.m.
Southern is also back in action on the road today when they take on North Hardin at 5:30 p.m. in the Cameron Irvin Classic.