BREMEN – It was a heavyweight battle in Bremen tonight as the No. 2 team from Class 3A, Madison Academy, took on the No. 5 team from Class 2A, Cold Springs. The Lady Mustangs came out on top, 74-52.
Cold Springs got off to a good start offensively, as Emme Willoughby scored the first four points of the game. But Madison Academy got it going behind the hot shooting of Meri Wheeler as she scored 11 of the first 15 points for the Lady Mustangs, Jaden Langford went 4-of-4 from the free throw line and they went on a 15-4 run to take a 15-8 lead with 4:35 remaining in the opening quarter, forcing a Cold Springs timeout. Madison Academy kept the pressure on Cold Springs defensively, forcing turnovers and getting easy baskets down low as they took a 24-11 lead after one.
The second quarter was more of the same for Madison Academy, as Destinee McGhee scored the first three points for the Lady Mustangs in the quarter, to take a 27-11 lead, but Elizabeth Hill hit a huge three to cut the lead to 27-14 with 5:19 remaining in the first half. They cut the lead to 11 on a Kinley Campbell layup, but that was as close as they got in the first half, as Jasmine Gracie, Wheeler and McGhee helped keep the Lady Eagles at bay for the rest of the quarter and outscored them, 12-5, to take a commanding 39-21 lead at the half.
Cold Springs looked to start the second half strong, and they did, behind a Hill three and a Willoughby and one to cut the lead to 39-27, but the rally was short-lived as Madison Academy quickly stretched the lead to 49-27 after a 10-0 run. The Lady Eagles looked to continue to ride the hot offense of Willoughby as she scored six points, to make it a 49-33 game with 2:51 remaining in the third quarter. Madison Academy stretched their lead to 55-33 after three.
Cold Springs dug in for one last push in the final quarter as Camryn Crider and Hill combined for 15 points, but it was not enough, as McGhee was simply too much to handle down low and Cold Springs dropped just their second game of the season, falling to 20-2.
McGhee finished with 21 points, 11 rebounds and two steals. Wheeler had 16 points, three rebounds and four steals. Bolin ended up with 10 points and three steals. Langford ended up with 14 points and three rebounds. Gracie finished with eight points, four rebounds, a steal and two blocks. Madison Academy improves to 23-1 on the season. They will travel to Bob Jones tomorrow night.
Willoughby had 17 points and added a block for Cold Springs. Hill finished with 16 points, three rebounds, a steal and a block. Crider ended up with 14 points, six rebounds and a steal. Their next game will be Thursday night in the Cullman County Tournament at Wallace State, where they will play the winner of Holly Pond/Hanceville at 6:15.
"We did not have a girl who could match up against McGhee," Cold Springs coach Tammy West said. "We could have tried putting three on her, but we did not want to do that because they shoot really good from the outside. But, still, I am very proud of these girls for never quitting and fighting to the end. This was a really good test for us going into the county tournament."
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