Cougars lose pair at home to the Victors
Starkville Christian School's Micah Little (20) drives toward the basket during Tuesday's game. (Kim Murrell/SDN)
The husband and wife coaching duo of Jonathan and Kate Little at Starkville Christian School expressed the same concern about their teams following Tuesday night's home opener against the Jackson Victors.
After the Lady Cougars committed 24 turnovers in a 48-34 loss, the SCS boys had the same troubles as 27 miscues cost them in a 51-36 loss.
It was the debut of Jonathan Little as the coach of the Cougars and he said it's hard to win with so many turnovers. He pointed to two other areas that hurt his squad's effort.
"We missed layups and missed free throws so that was three keys to the game," Little said.
The Victors jumped out to an 8-0 lead to open the game, which included a pair of three-point shots.
After Jackson had taken a 22-15 advantage at the end of the first quarter, a free throw and follow-up basket by SCS's Paul Michael Calhoun cut the margin to four points at 22-18. That was as close as the Cougars got the rest of the game.
Despite 11 points from Calhoun by halftime, Jackson still held a 39-25 lead at the break and were up 45-30 after three quarters.
"I think our defense got better in the second half," Little said. "They only scored 15 points in the second half so that was a good way to go as opposed to 35 in the first half."
As Starkville Christian moves forward, Little said the half-court offense needs work. He was hoping a game would reveal what things the Cougars needed to focus on.
"You never know until you play a game because practice can only get you so far," Little said.
Calhoun finished the game with 14 points for SCS, while Ethan Willers also scored in double figures with 11 points.
Caleb Jordan hurt his ankle near the end of the first half, but the extent of the injury wasn't immediately known.
Jackson Victors 48, SCS 34
The turnover bug bit the Lady Cougars in the second half as they were outscored 28-18.
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Starkville Christian had 24 turnovers in the game which coach Kate Little said was the difference in the game.
"I told them that it was just lazy passes," Little said. "We would make a lazy pass and they would come down and get a two-point conversion off of it. I told them we lost by 14 and gave up seven baskets."
Jackson jumped out to a 16-7 lead after the first quarter, then a four-point burst by Sydney Whitehead, a transfer from French Camp, helped the Lady Cougars cut the margin to 20-16 at halftime.
A big third quarter by the visiting Victors helped extend their advantage to 36-25.
Whitehead led Starkville Christian with 11 points and was the only player to score in double digits. Mary Grace White was next in the scoring column with nine points. White also had eight rebounds.
"The mental part of the game is starting to come," Little said of her team. "They are thinking for themselves and starting to think through the process without me having to say it, but at the same time a lazy pass is a lazy pass."