It’s not often a team can say it “held” a player to 32 points, but that’s what the Northwest Whitfield Lady Bruins did on Saturday night.

Northwest spent almost all of its 66-52 win over Madison County trying to contain the Lady Raiders’ star post player, freshman Courtney Freeman.

Freeman — who stands 5-foot-10 — accounted for 61.5 percent of Madison County’s offense with her 32 points.

Lady Bruins coach Margaret Stockburger said she had an idea of how tough it might be to play defense on Freeman.

“I had a game tape of Madison County and had a scout at (Madison’s loss to Salem in the Region 8-4A Tournament consolation game),” Stockburger said. “The scout told me she was a player, and she definitely is a good player.

“However, we didn’t do anything specific in practice to get ready for (Freeman) because we didn’t want our kids to worry too much. We just tried to match up and have our guards double down on her.”

Northwest senior Larken Logan, who is 5-foot-9, started out guarding Freeman and limited her to a field goal and two free throws in the opening quarter.

Logan said guarding a player like Freeman, who averaged 22 points and 12 rebounds per game in the regular season, can be a trying experience.

“You just have to try to stay low and keep your head in the game,” said Logan. “(Freeman) is a good player and you know she’s going to make some shots. You just have to keep trying to stop her.”

After Logan went to the bench for a rest, junior Samantha Avery, the tallest Lady Bruin at 6-foot-1, came in to guard Freeman.

“Coach Stockburger had told us before the game that (Freeman) was their No. 1 player and that we had to make sure to box her out,” Avery said. “She was very quick and strong. Usually we only half-front the post players, but against her we had to play behind her and when she was out on the perimeter, I had to stay off her so she wouldn’t drive by me.”

After scoring 11 in the first half, Freeman got on a roll in the third quarter, hitting three more shots, all of which came while she was being fouled, and draining 6 of her 7 free throws to have 23 points going into the fourth quarter.

After using Logan and Avery to guard Freeman for most of the first three quarters, Stockburger turned to Vanessa Jackson and a defense rarely used by the Lady Bruins in the final period.

“On the offensive end, she’s the best post player we’ve faced all year,” Stockburger said. “After we played man-to-man on her, we did something that I hardly ever do, and that’s go to a 2-3 zone.

“I knew that if Madison County had any kind of scouting report on us, they’d know that we never play a zone defense. I knew Madison County hadn’t practiced against a zone defense and I think that made the difference down the stretch.”

Jackson and the zone defense did slow Freeman down a bit, but she still scored nine points in the fourth. For the game, Freeman went 10-for-23 from the field and 12-for-18 from the free throw line.

Of Northwest Whitfield’s 19 fouls, 12 resulted in trips to the foul line for Freeman, either for two shots or to try and complete a three-point play.

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