Lady Eagles photo

Madison Southern's Samantha Cornelison looks for the ball in a loss to Henry Clay.

The Madison Southern Lady Eagles’ quest for its first-ever region championship ended in the first round of the region tournament with a 64-53 loss to Henry Clay last Thursday.

Coach Summer Simmons said the game boiled down to guard play as Henry Clay’s duo of Kiya Thompson and Amiyha Jenkins proved to be a handful for Southern’s defense.

“We tried to face guard Thompson with our guard Sunni Walters who has been doing a great job defensively at that assignment in our district games,” Simmons said. “Thompson is super quick, though, and they set her screens to free her up.”

The effort was there all game long, Simmons said, but when the shots aren’t falling, it’s hard to compensate.

“We had lots of chances to score, but we just couldn’t find the bucket,” the coach said. “We rebounded well, offensively, but we just couldn’t convert those putbacks.”

Samantha Cornelison led Southern with 23 points and 5 rebounds. Zaria Carter added 10 points, while Skylar Sparks finished with 7 points; Aleigh Richardson added 6 points and 5 rebounds.

The Lady Eagles ended their 2018-2019 campaign with a 16-14 record. Simmons said the season had its share of up and down moments, but felt toward the end is when her team started putting it together.

“I felt like we were playing our best ball when we needed to in the postseason,” she said. “I’m proud of our team, and the hard work they have put in is immeasurable.”

Southern bids farewell to seniors Carter, Emily Rowland, and Anna King.

“(They) were the best teammates and role models and they will be missed,” Simmons said.

“You know it has been a successful season when your players truly don’t want it to be over. They are fighters.”

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