Focus of SHS girls 'to find a way'

Starkville's Kirsten Thompson, middle, powers into the post.
Staff Writer

It doesn't matter who, when or where to the Starkville Lady Yellowjackets.

Even though the Lady Jackets face a big challenge against Mississippi State signee Daphane White and St. Martin in an early 9 a.m. tip on Saturday morning at Jackson State, they only have one thing on their minds.

"Find a way," SHS senior center Kirsten Thompson said. "We've just got to find a way to play good defense. As long as we can keep Daphane at bay, I think we have a really good chance of winning."

White made headlines earlier this season when she scored 69 points, pulled down 19 rebounds and had seven blocks in a 92-69 St. Martin win over Pass Christian.

The Lady Jackets know it will be tough against White, a 6-5 Dandy Dozen player who averages a double-double this season, but denying the post will be a key.

"She is a dynamic player, but you still have to get the ball in to her," SHS girls basketball coach Kristie Williams said. "I think if we can put pressure on their guards and put havoc on them. she won't be able to get the ball as easily as she wants because they are the ones that have to feed it to her. I think going in, we've got a good game plan. If we can execute according to what we have, we'll be alright.

"If we go in playing at our very best, I think it's going to be a good showing. We're not going to be able to stop Daphane, but if we can contain her, I think we'll have a very good shot."

It has been another very good season for the Lady Jackets coming off their Class 6A State championship of 2017.

Starkville has a 25-2 record with the only two losses being 56-52 in overtime to Choctaw Central and 51-42 at Murrah. The Lady Jackets came back to defeat Murrah twice 43-38 at home and 45-42 to win the Region 3 championship.

In the state playoffs so far, SHS defeated Clinton 66-54 to reach the quarterfinals in Jackson.

It will be an early wakeup call for the Lady Jackets on Saturday, but they have made arrangements to head down this afternoon so they will be able to get up and get ready to go.

"We didn't get to choose the game time, but you just have to be prepared whether it's 9 a.m. or 9 p.m." Williams said. "If you are ready to battle, it doesn't matter what time frame they throw at us. Your mind frame is that it doesn't matter."

There is no margin for error this time of year because with one loss, the season will be over.

That's why Starkville looks to put forth the best effort possible regardless of any adversity that's sent its way.

"It's that time of the year that if you don't go out and do your very best, that's it," Williams said. "With three games left in the season, you don't want this to be your end and use the excuse that it was an early morning game."

For senior starters like Thompson, Jariyah Covington and Tabreea Gandy, the golden trophy is the motivation.

"This is our last go around," Thompson said. "This is our year and I want to go out winning a championship."