COLUMBUS – Coach Greg Carter and the Starkville Yellowjackets were back in action on Saturday night in Columbus at the Joe Horne Christmas Classic and the results were the same as Friday.
After dropping an 80-76 decision to Provine on Friday night, the fate of the Jackets would be no different against the Road Runners of Ridgeway High School, falling 70-59.
Turnovers plagued Starkville from the early minutes of the contest helping the Road Runners build an eight-point advantage the Jackets would never recover from.
“We defended and rebounded well enough to stay in the game," Carter said. "We were just fighting an uphill battle with the turnovers. If we don’t turn the ball over, we give ourselves a chance to win.”
The Jackets were without their starting point guard Jacolby Mobley who was out due to a calf injury. His absence stretched an already thin bench that was no match for the depth and athleticism of Ridgeway.
“They’ve got so much length and the guard spot,” said Carter of the Road Runners. “We just couldn’t see the passing lanes and see the cutters. We just kept trying to make the skip pass and turning it over.”
The halftime deficit was nine points as Starkville trailed 39-31 and despite being down, Carter felt relieved to be down only single digits.
“I thought as much as we turned the ball over we should be down by 20,” he said.
Gavin Ware paced the Yellowjackets with another solid outing of a team-high 18 points and 17 rebounds. Ware continues to show range with his jumpshot and toughness around the rim, but his best efforts just wasn’t enough to overcome the athleticism of Ridgeway.
The Road Runners we lead by a pair of senior guards Cameron Golden and Adam Weary who scored 22 and 15 respectively.
The Brand brothers helped Starkville keep the game respectable as they scored points late. Mike Brand ended the evening with 14 points while Steven finished with 18 points.