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By DANNY P. SMITH
Immanuel coach Billy Thomas has observed Starkville Christian School's boys basketball program getting better each year.
For the SCS Cougars, they are trying to improve each time out.
Starkville Christian fell behind the visiting Rams from Columbus 48-28 at halftime, but were more active in the second half before dropping an 80-53 decision at the Cougar Cave.
SCS boys coach Mark Horstmeyer did notice the difference in the Cougars from the first half to the second half.
"It just took a while for some of the guys to get going," Horstmeyer said. "It wasn't everybody, but a couple of guys. You could tell clearly in the second half, they were different people than in the first half."
The trio of Caleb Jordan, Paul Michael Calhoun and Jesse Little combined for 23 points in the first half for Starkville Christian, but finished with a healthy total of 36 points and all reached double digits.
Jordan led the Cougars with 15 points, while Calhoun added 11 points and Little chipped in 10 points.
"They played better tonight than they did the last two games," Horstmeyer said. "I think you saw Paul Michael more involved. He's now played three games and that's good. It's more than just the points with him, but it's the other dynamics of the game â€“ it's the passing."
Immanuel had three players to score in double figures as well as Christian Good and Darrius Jones had 18 points each and Jason Davis added 15 points.
Davis scored the first eight points of the second quarter to extend the margin for the Rams from 26-14 to 34-14.
"He's an extremely good athlete for us and this is the first year he's played basketball in a while," Thomas said of Davis. "Both he and Darrius both (have been away from the game). They are improving and we expect them to get a lot better as the season goes on."
Horstmeyer said Good, Jones and Davis proved to be too much for SCS to handle.
"It seems like each game, the other team has a person we have trouble matching up with," Horstmeyer said. "We don't have an elite person like some of these other teams."
The Cougars won the junior varsity game 37-34 as Little scored 16 points and Nick Wylie followed with nine points.
Immanuel Christian 32,
Starkville Christian 14
The Lady Cougars kept the game close for a half, but began to lose control in the second half.
After leading 12-6 at halftime, the Lady Rams did their damage behind the scoring of Bailey Edwards, who finished the game with 11 points.
Charity Morris led SCS with six points. She also scored nine points as the junior varsity girls lost a 20-15 decision to Immanuel.