Starkville High School's Zeb Rice (12) defends against Midfield, Ala., Wednesday night. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
The Starkville High Yellowjackets were hoping the post-Christmas part of their schedule would bring a more successful result.
On Wednesday, the team tipped off in its first game of the Travis Outlaw Slam Dunk Christmas Tournament against the Patriots of Midfield, Ala.
While Starkville started the game off with a scoring streak, Midfield quickly took control of the game as they left Humphrey Coliseum with a 41-25 victory.
â€śWe didnâ€™t shoot well at all,â€ť Starkville coach Greg Carter said. â€śWe dug a hole for ourselves in the second quarter, really during the end of the first and whole second quarter. We played really well in the third, (but) we just couldnâ€™t sustain as we ran out of gas at the end.â€ť
Starkville, which saw its record slip to 4-6, started the game off with a 5-0 run as Avonte' Amos started the game with a field goal. Zeb Rice then entered the scoring with a shot behind the arc, before the Jackets allowed Midfield to get its first score.
After the scoring run by Starkville, the Patriots managed to outscore the Jackets 16-4 during the remainder of the period to make it a 16-9 ballgame at the end of one.
Second period action was relatively slow in the scoring category. The Patriots posted the first eight points before the Jacketsâ€™ picked up their lone points off a Rice jumper from the right elbow. Following Riceâ€™s jumper and with 2:36 left in the half, the score stood 27-11. Both teams remained scoreless the rest of the period and Midfield carried a 16-point lead into the halftime break.
Rice led Starkville's scoring during the first half with five, followed closely by Ravonte Gandy with three. Arron Gaines was the leading Patriot with eight, while teammate Alvin Murry was right on his heels with five points.
Midfield started action coming out of the half with a 5-0 run to make it a 32-11 ballgame. Starkville then took the reins. Led by Amosâ€™ 10 points, the Jackets engaged in a 12-1 scoring run to close the third period down 33-23.
â€śAmos was able to make some baskets during the run,â€ť Carter said. â€śHe made a couple of jumpers and he finished some baskets in the paint. It was key for us at the time. We just need to be able to do that for the whole game.â€ť
The final 8 minutes of basketball were slow in the scoring category. The Jackets scored two, while Midfield put up eight to close night one of the tournament. Starkvilleâ€™s lone points came from Amos who scored on an offensive rebound put back to end the Jackets scoring for the night.
With 14 points, Amos led Starkville. Rice followed his Jackets teammate scoring five. Leading the Patriots was Gaines with 14 and Murry who posted seven points.
Tournament competition continues at Humphrey Coliseum today beginning at 3 p.m., with Starkville set to tip at 6 p.m. against Hamilton, Tenn.
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