The Starkville High School Yellowjackets received a performance from the usual cast.
Jacolby Mobley and Gavin Ware helped the Jackets turn away the Canton Tigers 77-56 in the Beehive Friday night.
SHS improved to 16-3 this season thanks to the intensity on both ends of the floor.
“That’s something we talked about coming into the game,” said Head Coach Greg Carter of the Jackets. “They were going to play fast and we like that tempo. We wanted to make a special effort to get out and run. In the first half, we ran really well but we missed some opportunities too.”
Mobley, who has been red-hot recently, led all scorers with 27 points while setting the pace for Starkville. His offense as well as his defensive pressure helped Starkville hold Canton (6-15) to just 16 first-half points.
“We defended really well tonight in the first half,” said Carter. “We defended with a lot of energy. Our guards did a good job rebounding in the first half and when they do that, it is so much easier for us to get in transition and get the offense going.”
Ware followed suit running the floor well and scoring in transition.
For the night, Ware picked up 22 points in virtually three quarters of play.
While SHS made rather easy work of the Tigers, Carter did see areas his team could improve.
“We went through spurts tonight where we defended and rebounded really well, then we went through stretches when we didn’t do so well,” Carter said. "They went to a diamond and one in the second half and we haven’t seen that yet this year. It took us two or three trips down the floor to adjust to it. I think we are getting better. It is a slow process but we are getting better.”
The Yellowjackets will be on the road in Macon tonight as they take on the Tigers from Noxubee County.
Coach Kristie Williams and the Lady Yellowjackets had an opportunity to steal a victory from the Canton Tigers as they led after three periods, but too much pressure from the Lady Tigers led to the SHS loss.
After battling in the first half, the Lady Jackets erased a 13-point deficit in the third period to take a three-point lead as the period expired. They used full-court pressure and tenacious halfcourt defense to provide easy buckets, flustering the Lady Tigers.
However, Canton turned the table on SHS in the fourth with pressure of its own and the Lady Jackets simply had no answer down the stretch.
Starkville was led by Brittany Brown with 23 points as she was very active on the offensive glass. Janay Townsel was aggressive on the defensive end and was the benefactor of several easy layups scoring 22 points for the night.
SHS fell to 9-9 for the season, while Canton improved to 15-7.