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Coach Kristie Williams' Starkville High School girls' basketball team has lost their last three games by a combined five points.
That's something they are looking to change that in the next couple of days when they compete in the Magic City Showdown in Holly Springs.
The Lady Yellowjackets lost by one point to Canton, lost by one to defending 4A State champion Lawrence County, and lost by three to New Albany in the past week.
Most teams would have a hard time boosting its energy in practice after a week like that, but not Williams' squad.
"They see the bigger picture," Williams said of how her team has responded in practice this week. "We did allow our mental mistakes to take control of our game and it caused us to lose. I am telling my girls that you always have to bring your A game or you can lose. They are ready to play hard and are excited about the tournament."
Starkville will begin the tournament today when they play Ashland at noon. Williams does not know much about Blue Devils and that is usually how these holiday tournaments are structured.
"I got a scouting report from another coach and they are a younger team who don't seem to be intimidated by an older team," Williams said. "They play hard and they are a very scrappy team."
These tournaments bring teams from all over the south to compete and give a lot of schools competition that they would usually not get from local teams.
Starkville will be pitted against Forest Park from Georgia Friday at 4:30 p.m. The Lady Jackets have already played some tough competition this year, but will be challenged Friday afternoon.
"They have a guard who signed with High Point University, so they are going to be a challenge for us," Williams said. "They are one of the top teams from Georgia, but I am glad we are playing great teams.
These games now will really help us prepare for the second half of the season and the playoffs."
The Lady Panthers are 6-1 with their only loss coming against Fayette County (Ga.) on a neutral court. All of their wins have been by double digits except for one.
The Lady Jackets are changing it up this year and this is their first time to compete in this tournament.
Williams is excited about the opportunity and is expecting her team to compete at a high level.
"We usually always go to the coast, but I have always heard wonderful things about this tournament," Williams said. "Jason Thompson at H.W. Byers spearheaded this tournament and it seems to be a great one. This will strengthen our abilities and hopefully a great way to finish up 2011."
The Lady Jackets are on a three-game losing streak and have dropped their record to 6-6 for the year, but hope this latest tournament experience will be spark needed.