Starkville High School rocked the Beehive on Tuesday night as they advance in the Mississippi High School Association North Class 5A playoffs with a 77-33 rout of the Lake Cormorant Gators.
Lake Cormorant knew it was outmanned when they got off the bus and quickly turned to the stall offense.
Unfortunately for the Gators, the Yellowjackets have faced this tactic before and sprinted out to a 12-0 run to open the game and never looked back.
“We’ve seen it a bunch this year and we adjusted to it pretty well," SHS boys coach Greg Carter said. "We started half-court trapping and I thought that helped us as well."
Starkville held a 17-2 lead after the first period of play and continued to expand the gap, leading 39-5 at the half.
“It is hard to (stay focused), but we are fortunate to have faced it four or five times this year,” said Carter. “That experience helped a lot.”
The Yellowjackets’ size and speed simply wouldn’t allow the Gators to get into the game as Gavin Ware scored 12 and Jacolby Mobley added 16 points. However, it was senior guard Steven Brand that paced Starkville with 17 points.
“Steve’s been ready to play since we played the Canton game,” said Carter. “He felt a little disrespected because every time he caught it, they said back off and let him shoot it and he didn’t make shots like he normally does. So he’s been waiting to get back in here for a game since last Friday night.”
Next up for Starkville is a trip to either Callaway High School or Oxford High School, a site has yet to be determined, but the opponent will be a rematch with Jackson Provine, a team that handed the Yellowjackets a loss back in December. Provine defeated West Point 67-48 on Tuesday.
“I like the match up," Carter said. "I think we match up pretty well. We didn’t play very well the first time and they beat us up. We’ve got to be ready to play and not allow easy baskets. They rely on a lot of easy baskets, transition, offensive rebounds, free throws and we’ve got to cut out the easy baskets.”