Tournament host SHS sees a field competition filled
Starkville expects guard Jacolby Mobley (24) to be well-enough from a calf injury to play during the Travis Outlaw Slam Dunk at the Hump Tournament. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
The Starkville High School believes it has accomplished its goal by providing a boys basketball tournament bracket filled with tough competition.
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The Yellowjackets are set to host the Travis Outlaw Slam Dunk at the Hump Tournament at Humphrey Coliseum today through Friday.
The tournament will feature 11 teams, some local and some out of state.
Starkville head coach Greg Carter is excited about the tournament and the competition that it presents.
"There is a lot of competition in this tournament," Carter said. "I think this tournament is going to be really good. This is the first for Starkville and I hope we make this an annual thing."
New Hope head coach Drew McBrayer thinks this tournament is a good one for his players and the other players.
"It is really good for the kids," McBrayer said of the tournament. "It is good experience for them to get to play in the Hump. For most kids, this will be their only opportunity to play in a place like that."
Four out of the 11 teams are from out of state. The Yellowjackets will face three of these teams.
The Jackets will begin the tournament with Strong High School out of Arkansas today. The tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Even though Carter does not know much about the Bulldogs, he expects them to be pretty good.
"Strong is traditionally good," Carter said. "They are usually a pretty good football school and I think they won the state championship this year in their classification."
Starkville will square off against Carroll High School of Louisiana on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and will end the tournament against East High School out of Memphis on Friday at 3:30 p.m.
"Carroll won a state championship last year, so I expect them to be pretty good," Carter said. "I think East has the No. 12 ranked junior in his class, so they are going to bring a lot of competition to this tournament."
The other out of state team is Jackson Olin from Birmingham.
"Jackson Olin is always a good team," Carter said.
The Jackets are coming off their first two losses of the season after participating in Columbus' holiday tournament.
Pushing forward has been Carter's and his squad's attitude.
"We just have to keep doing what we were doing early in the year to be successful," Carter said. "We have to get back to defending and rebounding. I think we will be just fine."
Starkville played without one of its key players in their last outing due to injury. Jacolby Mobley was sidelined due to a calf injury but is expected to play in this tournament.
"We are all good injury wise," Carter said.
The seven local schools include Aberdeen, Kosciusko, East Oktibbeha, Louisville, and Columbus, along with host Starkville and New Hope.
East Oktibbeha will be in action all three days but will only play local schools.
The Titans will open up the tournament with Kosciusko today. They will play New Hope on Thursday and end the tournament with Louisville on Friday.
New Hope will finish the tournament against Jackson Olin on Friday. McBrayer does not know a whole lot about the school from Birmingham but understands that they come from a big city so is expecting a lot of energy.
"When you play an out-of-state team that comes from a big city, like they do in Birmingham, you know they are going to be athletic," McBrayer said. "The are going to play hard and bring a lot of toughness. We just have to bring that same energy, but I look forward to it."