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The Starkville Yellowjackets got an chance to wipe a poor first-day performance of the Travis Outlaw Slam Dunk at the Hump out of their minds with another opportunity on the home court of the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
In day two action Thursday night, the Jackets faced off against the Wildcats of Hamilton High in Tenn. After a closely fought battle, Hamilton walked off the court victorious 63-56.
â€śWe fought the whole game, especially at the end,â€ť Starkville coach Greg Carter said. â€śWe made a few shots at the end. It is hard to press them because they are so long and tall. They shoot it so well and they are so skilled. They handle the ball well and they shoot well. They made some tough shots down the stretch. They just donâ€™t miss.â€ť
Starkville started the game with a 3-point field goal from the left corner by Fontavious Smith. Fellow Jackets Avonte Amos and Richard Evans joined the scoring with a pair of jumpers to put Starkville up 7-0.
Later in the first, Starkville held an 11-5 lead before allowing Hamilton to go on a 7-0 run to end the period and take a 12-11 lead into the second.
Second period competition was highlighted by four ties and five lead changes. Dedric Lawson ended period by hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the key to end the first half with the Wildcats leading 28-25.
Dedric Lawson began third period action in the same manner as he ended the first half as his 3-pointer sparked Hamiltonâ€™s offense to go on an 8-0 run to make it a 37-25 ballgame.
Starkville did not pick up its first bucket of the half until the 2:15 mark as Amos scored on an offensive putback. Amosâ€™ score ignited the Jacketsâ€™ offense who engaged in a 7-0 run to close the period with Hamilton leading 37-32.
Fast-paced is the only way to describe fourth-period action. Battling back and forth, the two teams posted 50 points during the final 8 minutes of the game.
Midway during the fourth, Hamilton stretched its lead out to 13 at 58-45, before allowing Starkville to go on a 8-0 run which was highlighted by a Amos 3-pointer from behind the arc. The Jacketsâ€™ late game run came a little late as Hamilton hit its free throws to leave the court with the victory.
Offensively, Starkville was led by Amos with 16, followed by Zeb Rice with 11. Leading the Wildcatsâ€™ offense was Keelon Lawson who scored 24, while his brother Dedric was the second-leading scorer with18 points.
Heading into the final day of action, Carter said his team has â€śgot to develop some consistency of effort."
Day three action will begin at 11 a.m., with the Jackets scheduled to face Lanett, Ala., at 2 p.m.