SHS girls turn up defense to get easy home win

Jalisa Outlaw and Amaria Strong of Starkville High School

Sports Editor

Aniya Sanders has the reputation of being a strong and physical guard for the Warren Central Lady Vikings.

Starkville High School girls basketball coach Kristie Williams knew that prior to Saturday's matchup against Warren Central in the third game of the SHS Thanksgiving Classic.

Sanders got her points, but only finished with 12 total and the Lady Yellow Jackets only allowed the Lady Vikings only two field goals in the second quarter on the way to a 71-38 victory.

"We knew how aggressive (Sanders) was going to be after watching game film and seeing just how good of a player she is," Williams said. "We knew going in that zone was going to be our best option with the way she likes to attack the rim. I think after we saw how their offense was going to run and we got in our zone, it became easier to pick pockets, get steals here and there and forced them into shots they normally wouldn't take."

Amaya Ford scored a basket and Jalisa Outlaw had a 3-point play as SHS jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first quarter.

The Lady Jackets held a five-point advantage a couple of more times in the first quarter, but scoring by Sanders kept Warren Central close. Starkville only held a 13-12 lead after one quarter.

That's when the Lady Jackets locked down on defense and out-scored the Lady Vikings 19-8 in the second quarter to expand the margin to 32-30 at halftime.

"We were able to get a second wind and found what we needed to work on from the first to second quarter," Outlaw said. "We were able to execute in the third quarter."

Starkville continued to widen the gap throughout the second half to 20 points then 30 points.

Outlaw finished the game with 26 points and Williams has come to expect big scoring games from her senior.

"She's a Dandy Dozen and we expect her to score game in and game out," Williams said. "This game was no different.

"I was able to see that Amaya Ford and Amaria Strong were able to score as well. The balanced scoring is something we've got to be able to take the rest of the season."

Strong and Ford contributed 14 points each for the Lady Jackets.

Starkville's girls (3-2) won't be back on the court for competition until it travels to Noxubee County on Dec. 7.