Starkville's Jacolby Mobley stole the show in the Beehive Tuesday evening.
Mobley stung the Aberdeen Bulldogs for 35 points in route to the Yellowjackets’ 94–61 win.
Starkville (14-2) entered the showdown with the top team in 3A basketball without Gavin Ware, who did not play due to a coaching decision, leaving the Jackets searching for players to step up in his absence.
“I knew everybody was going to need to step up and do a little bit more of everything,” said Starkville boys coach Greg Carter. “I needed them to step up and help with not just scoring but rebounding, defending, helping in the post, helping on drives…just a little bit of everything. I thought everybody did that tonight. It was a total team effort defensively.”
Mobley took it upon himself in the first half to control the game hitting shots from 27 feet.
“I just came out feeling it,” said Mobley. “I knew Gavin was out and I was kinda upset so I just wanted to come out and play good and see what could happen. When I’m feeling it like that, I really don’t think I can be stopped.”
The game was closely contested during the opening minutes of the game until starting forward Elliott Johnson went down with an injury, drastically changing the complexion of the game according to Aberdeen head coach Roy Hazzle.
“Once we lost (Elliott) Johnson, we lost the edge we had in the game,” said Hazzle.
Hazzle's Bulldogs fell to 13-4.
As Carter mentioned, it wasn’t just Mobley who stepped up. Starkville received large contributions from Tory Rice who picked up a double-double with 13 points and 18 rebounds. Steven Brand added 20 points while Ravontae Gandy added 12 points of his own.
The effort for the evening gave Carter a good feeling knowing his team could win in different ways.
“It helps a lot to know that even with one piece missing everything else is still going to flow like it is supposed to,” said Carter. “You never know during a game what might happen so whenever something happens you just have to step up. It is more than just one person. You can’t put that responsibility on just one guy. All that Gavin does for us, one person can’t do it. Everybody has got to step up and chip in and that’s what happened tonight.”
SHS will be back on the court Friday night at home when they open district play against Yazoo City.
After a tied contest heading into the locker room with 29 points, the Lady Jackets made adjustments to a much more aggressive mindset on the offensive end help propel Starkville to a win over the Lady Bulldogs in the Beehive.
“It was our first game back after our Christmas break and I figured we would struggle a bit,” said SHS girls coach Kristie Williams. “They settled down and we’re better than we were showing. We finally turned up the juices.”
Imone Montgomery came off the bench with 18 points while providing the spark Starkville needed.
“She’s a sophomore that’s really grown up this season,” said Williams. “The potential for her is going to be great. She has the ability to take those big shots when we need her to.”
The Lady Jackets improved to 8-7.