GIRLS: Starkville 71, Prairie View 29
Lighting it up for seven 3-pointers in the first quarter, Starkville Academy won its 50th straight game in emphatic fashion, posting a 71-29 verdict over Prairie View in the MAIS Overall Tournament quarterfinals Wednesday afternoon at Mississippi College.
Summing up the day succinctly, Prairie View coach Ed Bain said, “We got what you call schooled.”
Starkville (41-0), winners of two straight Class 3A state titles and the reigning Overall champion, assumed command from the outset. Four different Lady Volunteers — Nora Carroll (3), Anna Lea Little (2), Tiffany Huddleston and Maggie Proffitt — knocked down 3-pointers and Sally Richardson scored three buckets from the paint as Starkville streaked to a 33-6 first quarter lead.
“Them jokers were filling it up,” Bain said. “They took off on us. It was unbelievable the first few minutes.
“We were trying to play a zone and they had three shooters out there. We weren't rotating right and they were knocking them down. We didn't do too much defensive-wise to stop them.”
Starting the second quarter with a 14-1 run, the Lady Vols upped their lead to 47-7 early in the second quarter, before carrying a 49-14 bulge into intermission.
Starkville was up 65-20 as the third quarter drew to a close.
“I had heard about how good they are,” Bain said. “All five of their starters are long, lean and real quick. They can all handle the ball and they all have perfect form.”
Starkville shot 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) from 3-point range in the first quarter and 9-of-19 (47.4 percent) for the game. Equally effective inside, the Lady Vols outscored the Lady Spartans 36-10 in the paint and held a 40-24 edge on the boards.
“We're not used to getting out-rebounded like that,” Bain said. “We're usually as big or bigger than anybody we play. They had one taller than Dani (Anderson), three as tall and one almost as tall and they could all play.
“I might enjoy watching them play if we weren't playing against them.”
Proffitt led the Lady Vols with 19 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Janeice Pigg was next with 12 and Little added 10 points and seven rebounds. Rounding out the scoring were Carroll with nine points and seven assists, Huddleston with nine points, Richardson with eight points and seven boards and Marty Higginbotham and Taylor Campbell with two points apiece.
Prairie View received eight points from Tori Simmons, six from Kristen Oliphant, five from Kaylah Hobbs, four from Anderson and two from Amery Clark, Jay Hicks and Madison Fisher.
Coming off of its first-ever Overall Tournament victory — a 68-51 triumph over Mt. Salus on Tuesday — the Lady Spartans closed out the season 30-8. Three of the losses were to the three MAIS state champs — Starkville, Class 2A Bowling Green and Class 1A Claiborne Academy.
“We had a great season,” Bain said. “We beat the people we were supposed to beat.”
Starkville advances to play Bowling Green in the semifinals on Friday at 1 p.m. Bowling Green (37-1) brings a long winning streak of its own into the contest. Since dropping a 51-45 decision to Starkville in the season opener for both teams, the Lady Buccaneers have won 37 straight.
Leake and Presbyterian Christian collide in the second semifinal at 2:15 p.m.