WEST POINT – The Starkville Lady Yellowjackets came out with a defensive mindset from the very beginning against the West Point Lady Green Wave Friday night.
Starkville put the clamps on West Point, especially in the second half, and left Clay County with a 66-37 victory.
The Lady Jackets held the Lady Wave to 25 points in the first half and did even better by holding the hosts to 12 points in the second half.
"That's what we are priding ourselves this season," SHS girls coach Kristie Williams said. "We want to get more intense on the defensive side of the ball, because we know if we can execute well on defense, it leads to easy buckets for us on the offensive side. That's what we've been stressing. As the season has progressed, we've noticed the intensity has increased."
Imane Montgomery scored 12 of her game-high 24 points in the first quarter as the Lady Jackets took a 17-8 lead.
Blair Schaefer joined in on the fun in the second quarter by getting 15 of her 21 points, including a successful 3-point field goal with 17 seconds remaining in the second quarter to put SHS up 46-25.
Montgomery scored the first four points of the third quarter as the Lady Jackets pushed the advantage to 50-29.
"Imane has been one of our leaders and she continues to be our leader," Williams said. "She shows that she's versatile to where we can post her up or she can handle the ball. She's one of our x factors and she is bringing her best effort every night."
Following Montgomery and Schaefer in the scoring column was Kelsye Reed with 11 points.
Starkville improved its record to 3-2 overall and plays its first division game at home Tuesday against Neshoba Central.
"We've been battling with some great teams and we know that has been preparing us," Williams said. "We have our first division game at home Tuesday, so we hope these games we've been battling through will show that we are ready for our first division game."
West Point 61,
WEST POINT – The Jackets let a first-half lead slip away and lost to the Green Wave.
Starkville raced out to an 11-3 lead by the 5:20 mark of the first quarter, but West Point chipped its way back into the game to only trail 18-13 after the opening frame.
The two teams went back and forth throughout the second half until the Green Wave took advantage of Jacket turnovers to gain a 14-8 advantage in the fourth quarter and secure the win.
"We made some bad decisions down the stretch," SHS boys coach Greg Carter said.
Ravonte' Gandy, Fontavious Smith and Avonte' Amos had 11 points each for the Jackets, who saw their record fall to 2-3.