By DOUG EADS, CJ Correspondent
The Somerset Lady Jumpers got a little ‘defensive’ after an 0-2 start to the season.
After falling in their first two games of the year — a pair of seven-point losses to Garrard County and Southwestern — Erin Walker’s club turned up the heat on Saturday night at The Briar Patch.
Somerset forced visiting Madison Southern into 32 turnovers for the contest, went on a 15-0 spurt in the opening stanza, and got a team-high 19 points from Maranda Mills.
In all, it completed a totally dominant game by the Lady Jumpers, as Somerset cruised to a 70-48 victory over the Lady Eagles, giving Walker her first win as Somerset’s head coach.
“They (Madison Southern) really don’t have a true point guard, and they had lost (Kristen) Hayes, so as far as ball handling, (Samantha) Parms was really the only player they had that could do anything with the ball,” stated Walker, after her club moved to 1-2 on the year.
“I told our team before the game to just go out and pressure them, and if we would do that, Madison Southern was going to turn the ball over,” pointed out the SHS coach.
Madison Southern hit the first shot of the contest taking a 2-0 lead over Somerset, but after that, this one was all Lady Jumpers.
Walker’s club went on a 15-0 run after the Lady Eagles first score of the night, taking a very comfortable, 15-2 lead midway through the first stanza.
And, that was that — Somerset was never really threatened again.
Just how bad was it for Madison Southern?
At halftime, the Lady Eagles had 20 turnovers compared to only six made field goals.
After three quarters of play, Madison Southern had 27 points, but the Lady Eagles also had 28 turnovers.
That stat in itself was a large reason why the Lady Eagles found themselves down 55-27 at that juncture, as Walker would play her jayvee squad for much of the rest of the game.
One bright spot for Madison Southern was the play of Brianna Lanham, who posted a game-high 21 points for the Lady Eagles, as well as pulling down 16 rebounds.
Samantha Parms also hit for double figures with 12 points, but on a night when the Lady Eagles had more than a two to one margin in turnovers to made field goals — 32-15 — Summer Simmons’ club was never really in this affair.
Meanwhile, Somerset got solid play on the inside from Madison Brooks and Virginia Scott, while Mills hurt the Lady Eagles with her ability to take defenders off the ball and drive to the basket for some easy scores.
Brooks notched 13 points in the win, while Scott added 15 points, on a night when the Lady Jumpers got well and got well in a hurry, putting the bitter disappointment of an 0-2 start to the season way back in their rear-view mirror.
“This was just a huge win for us,” stated Walker after the contest. “We lost those two tough games right out of the gate, and we were right there in both of them, but fell just a little short.”
“We don’t want to get complacent and just be happy about coming back in a game and almost winning it, yet coming up just short,” continued Walker. “At the end of the day, it’s still an ‘L’. I told them before the game that we had to get a ‘W’ in this one, just to get our confidence going, because we play a big district game this week.”
The Lady Jumpers will return to action on Friday night at The Briar Patch, when Somerset will host Rockcastle County in a girl-boy doubleheader.
The Lady Jumpers will play the first game of that twinbill, beginning at 6 p.m.
MS — 13 3 11 21 — 48
SHS — 19 17 19 15 — 70
MADISON SO. — Lanham 21, Parms 12, Freeman 6, Lawson 4, Cook 4, Westfall 1.
SOMERSET — Mills 19, Scott 15, Brooks 13, Edwards 8, Johnson 5, Bigelow 4, Brown 3, Ford 3.