Caleb Wilson (23) of Starkville looks to defend against Aberdeen Tuesday night. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
The Starkville High School boys' basketball team gave itself plenty of opportunities to win, but when it was all said and done, it didn't capitalize.
The Yellowjackets dropped a 54-51 final to Aberdeen inside the Beehive.
"We had too many turnovers," SHS head coach Greg Carter said.
The Jackets turned the ball over 16 times, but shot 55 percent from the field.
Starkville entered the final quarter with a 34-30 lead over the Bulldogs. Aberdeen fought back and managed to make it 39-38 on a Rico Haughton 3-pointer. The Bulldogs never lost the lead from that point.
"(There were) a lot of swings in that fourth quarter," Carter said. "A lot of times it seemed like we were dead, and then we would create another opportunity for ourselves. It went back and forth a lot, especially down at the end."
The Jackets fought back. Avonte' Amos knocked down two free throws with 21.9 ticks left on the clock. Fontavious Smith missed two free throws late in the game to help ice the victory for Aberdeen.
"We had a lot of opportunities," Carter said. "All the way up to the final horn, we had a lot of opportunities. We turned it over too much and didn't make free throws the way we needed to."
The Jackets controlled most of the first half. The Bulldogs got two free throws before the game started due to one of SHS's players touching the rim during warm ups.
It didn't seem to bother SHS as it jumped out to a 9-4 lead early.
Aberdeen got two free throws before the first quarter was over to tie it 14-14.
The second quarter didn't see much scoring. Marcus Carothers made the first points of the period for the Bulldogs with 4:38 remaining.
Starkville's first points came from Richard Evan's 3-pointer at the 1:12 mark.
"It seemed like the lid was on (the basket) during that second quarter," Carter said. "They found a defense they were comfortable with and we were comfortable zoning them. They weren't making perimeter jumpers. The second quarter, I guess from a fan's point of view, wasn't a very pretty game."
The Jackets made another bucket to lead by three points right before half.
Aberdeen's Tylan McMillian knocked down a half-court shot as time expired to tie it at 19-19 going into the locker room at halftime.
"At the end of the day, the biggest difference in the game, they started the game with two points," Carter said. "They get two points at the end of the first quarter and they get three at the end of the second. Those seven points were a big difference."
Carothers led the Bulldogs with 17 points.
SHS was led by Evan's 15 points.
"The way they were guarding us, they were getting so far off and leaving (Evans) matched up one-on-one," Carter said. "He could drive, get in the gaps and kick. They stopped jumping and gave him some pull up jump shots and he converted them. He played well."
Ravonte' Gandy added nine points and Amos chipped in eight.
The Jackets are now 4-11 for the season. The Jackets travel to Yazoo City on Friday.
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