Lady Jackets focused on Lady Jaguars

SHS girls coach Kristie Williams talks to her team.
Staff Writer

It doesn’t matter to Starkville High School girls basketball coach Kristie Williams that her Lady Yellowjackets have two convincing wins against Madison Central during the regular season.

She knows the third time the two teams meet in the first round of the Class 6A, Region 3 Tournament Tuesday night at Jackson Murrah will come in a different environment. The tip is set for 4 p.m.
With the middle of February comes the high school postseason and Williams knows anything can happen.

”It’s that new season as I like to call it,” Williams said. “It’s a very exciting time because this is when the best of the best starts to rise to the top.”

The Lady Jackets (22-2) began the defense of their Class 6A State championship in earnest tonight.

Starkville may have defeated Madison Central 68-23 and 59-38 in the two regular season meetings, but Williams doesn’t want her team to look past the Lady Jaguars.

“In playing them for the third time, you have to go out with that focus,” Williams said. “You can’t take anything for granted no matter how many times you play. We’ve been able to outscore them in the first two meetings, but this is a brand new game and brand new season for both of us so we have to go out prepared to give our very best.”

The Lady Jackets have a veteran starting lineup that’s made up of senior guards Tabreea Gandy and Jariyah Covington, junior guard Jalisa Outlaw, senior center Kirsten Thompson and junior forward Amaria Strong.

Starkville comes into the district tournament with a little bit of momentum with a five-game winning streak since a loss to Murrah on January 25.

Even though she likes the way they are playing, Williams said there are certain things the Lady Jackets can do better.

“Overall I think we are in a good spot,” Williams said. “Some of those small things we need to work on are aspects of the game that comes with repetition from being on the floor.”

The winner of the SHS-Madison Central game will meet the winner of Murrah-Northwest Rankin in Friday’s championship game at 7 p.m. The two losers will play in the third place game at 4 p.m.