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From Staff Reports
VICKSBURG â€“ The Starkville Yellowjackets have punched their ticket for a return trip to Jackson and the Class 6A State Tournament.
With Friday's 52-48 victory over Jackson Murrah in the North Class 6A Tournament, the Jackets get another opportunity to defend its state title won at the Mississippi Coliseum (a.k.a. the Big House) last season.
"It's good to get back," Starkville boys coach Greg Carter said. "When we started the season, our goal was to make it back to the state tournament."
It did not look good for the Jackets (19-7) early in the game against the Mustangs took a 10-6 lead after the first quarter. Starkville closed the gap to 23-21 by halftime.
After the two teams traded 13 points in the third quarter, the Jackets out-scored the Mustangs 18-12 in the final frame.
"It was a pretty close game and neither one of us had more than a six-point lead in the game," Carter said. "We played hard, but our inability to hit free throws and to finish around the basket reared its ugly head again. We were able to fight through it and pulled it out."
Steve Brand and Chris Harris scored 13 points each to lead SHS, while Mike Brand also scored in double digits with 11 points. Harris and Stanley Childs had eight rebounds each and Jacolby Mobley dished out seven assists.
Gavin Ware missed his third-straight game for the Jackets with a bruised knee.
Starkville plays Vicksburg in its own gym tonight for the Class 6A North crown. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Vicksburg defeated Tupelo 77-72 in overtime.