By DANNY P. SMITH
The Columbus Falcons used to be in the same division as the Starkville Yellowjackets.
When realignment took place prior to this school year, Columbus remained in Class 6A, while Starkville dropped to Class 5A.
On Tuesday night, the Falcons saw they were out of their league in more ways than one.
Starkville stormed out to a 14-0 lead and never looked back in defeating Columbus 100-54.
It was the home opener for the Jackets, who improved their record to 3-0.
"They played a little faster tonight which surprised us," Starkville coach Greg Carter said of the Falcons. "We expected them to play a little slower pace. Playing at a faster pace surprised us, but really didn't throw us off.
"We play fast, but we like to play a little faster than they do. We've been playing fast so long that we are a little bit better at it than they are. (Columbus) will be a pretty good team in time. Early in the year, I predicted that they would win their district.
It's between them, Tupelo, South Panola and Grenada, and I think they will end up being the team to beat in their district."
Jacolby Mobley was involved early and often for the Jackets.
Mobley started the game by sinking three free throws after being fouled at 3-point range, then he scored on a dunk 1 minute later off an assist by Steve Brand.
Mobley was doing the passing on the next score as he set up Gavin Ware for a dunk.
"It feels good to get the whole team involved," Mobley said. "Usually, (Columbus) is one of the better defensive teams we play because coach tells us they pride themselves on defense. Tonight, we just came out played together and did what we had to do."
Starkville led 22-5 after the first quarter and extended the margin to 55-13 at halftime.
With former Starkville High School player Travis Outlaw of the New Jersey Nets in the stands, the Jackets put on the type of show to even put a grin on his face.
"We played fast, hard and under control than we usually do," Starkville's Mike Brand said. "We came out, shot the ball really well and we played as a team. That's why we got the victory."
Ware led SHS with 19 points, while Mobley added 18 points, Brand scored 16 points and Tay Gandy chipped in 14 points.
Mobley, who sank three 3-point field goals in the third quarter, had seven assists by halftime.
Carter likes his team's chances of winning when Mobley is playing well at point guard.
"It seemed like every other trip down the floor, he was getting an assist," Carter said. "His assists were either 3-point baskets or dunks. When he's getting assists like that and scoring, I don't know of anybody in the state that can compete with us or beat us. He was dominant."
The Jackets look to enjoy further success against Class 6A competition Thursday night when they make the trip to Grenada.