The Starkville Yellowjackets might have had a different story to tell today if games were decided by a team’s performance in the first half.
However, the second half proved to be quite the boost for the Yellowjackets, who rolled to a 72-48 win over Noxubee County Friday night.
“Defensively in the first half, we were not very good,” SHS head coach Greg Carter said. “We let them get inside the paint too much, fouled them and sent them to the free-throw line.”
Although the Jackets struggled on defense in the first half, Noxubee County also had some trouble with their offense, keeping the game seemingly close in the first half.
The third quarter proved to be the momentum shift Starkville was looking for, as Avonte' Amos and Caleb Wilson led the Jackets to a 22-9 scoring run throughout the quarter. The newfound offensive flame propelled the Jackets to a 49-39 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Noxubee County cut the lead down to nine points with 5:45 left to go, but from there the Jackets caught fire once again, holding the Tigers to just nine points in the fourth quarter.
SHS went on another big scoring run to pull away in the fourth.
Defense became the key factor in the second half for the Jackets, who used the full court press to slow down the Tigers.
“We were able to get on a roll with the full court press in the second half,” Carter said. “Once we got a couple of steals early in the half, we were able to gain some momentum.”
Amos led the way for SHS with 17 points. Wilson also finished in double figures with 14 points.
Antonio Boyd had 12 points for Noxubee County.
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Senior Kelsye Reed led the Lady Jackets with 21 points in a game that went back and forth most of the way.
SHS pulled away down the stretch in the fourth quarter.
“We were able to step up off the bench,” Lady Jacket coach Kristie Williams said. “Although we had two of our best players in foul trouble, we were able to keep battling off the bench and persevere for the win.”
The Lady Jackets improve to 13-6 overall and 5-1 in the division.