Jackets slow down Dogs with defense
James Donahue of Carroll (La.) looks to pass around Jacolby Mobley, middle, and Steve Brand (15) of the Yellowjackets Thursday night. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
Starkville High School beat its second consecutive Bulldog squad in a place where Bulldogs call home.
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The Yellowjackets beat the Carroll (La.) Bulldogs 59-45 on the second day of the Travis Outlaw Slam Dunk at the Hump Christmas Tournament.
The Jackets opened up the game on a 7-0 run and ended the first quarter on an 8-2 run to take a 19-8 lead.
SHS limited the Bulldogs to six points in the second quarter and took a 30-14 lead into the locker room at halftime. It was the defense that shined all night for the Jackets.
SHS head coach Greg Carter has been stressing defense to his squad the past couple of weeks.
The Jackets responded.
"We have been stressing defense a lot the past couple of weeks in practice," Carter said. "We looked good (Thursday) defensively."
Carroll played a zone defense for most of the game, and the Jackets were patient. They were happy with running a lot of time of the clock, but found ways to energize the crowd.
"A lot of times playing against a team that zones you tend to play almost like you're depressed, slow and lackadaisical, but once we made some big plays like the dunks, it seemed to energize us," Carter said. "We got out in transition and scored a couple of points. It helped us build a little bit of a lead."
The Bulldogs came in the third quarter and cut the lead to 12 points at 33-21 with a 7-3 run. SHS got back to good defense and took a 14-point lead at 42-28 into the final frame.
Carroll got as close as 11 points, but Starkville closed the door in the final minutes.
The Bulldogs were led by Dennis Price with 14 points, Josh Johnson with 11 points, and James Donahue with 10 points. Carroll finishes the tournament against Strong (Ark.) at 12:30 p.m. today.
Steve Brand led the Jackets with a game high 17 points. Gavin Ware chipped in 15 points and Tory Rice added 12 points.
SHS toughest test may come today when it takes on East High School (Tenn.) to end the tournament.
Carter thinks this will be a good test for his squad.
"It will be a challenge from them because they are so long and athletic," Carter said. "We don't get a chance to play against a team that long and athletic so it is going to be a good challenge for us."