Starkville's Rogers was major factor against Minor

Staff Writer

In the 21st edition of the Joe Horne Christmas Classic, the Starkville Yellowjackets may have played a team called Minor, Alabama, but Blake Rogers was something major.

Rogers lit up the gym on Friday night to the tune of 25 points with 18 of those coming in the third quarter as the Jackets blew away their opponents 93-41. Rogers was selected the game’s Most Valuable Player hitting 5-of-9 from long distance and all six free throws.

“It was just regular shooting,” Rogers said of his big night. “My teammates were getting me open looks and I was just knocking them down.”

Starkville had 14 players get minutes in the win that moved them to 7-3 this season.

The game was ultimately decided in two quarters of the game. The first quarter was the start SHS coach Greg Carter wanted from his team as it jumped out to a 15-0 lead holding Minor scoreless. In the second, Minor began to get things going offensively after falling behind 21-0. The first basket came with 5:30 remaining in the half and the lead was cut to 12 points before Starkville pushed it back out to 33-17 at the break.
“We lost a little bit of focus in that second quarter, but we really got going in the third quarter,” Carter said. “We got out in transition, got some easy baskets and some quick 3s. That really got us going.”

After halftime, the Jackets pushed the gas pedal down once again and it was Rogers that applied the pressure.

Rogers helped string together a 20-0 run for SHS with his 18 points in the quarter and he nailed four 3-pointers in the process. It was 69-27 after three quarters and the rest of the game was up to the bench to handle.
Along with Rogers in double figures was Jordan Temple who was an efficient 6-of-9 from the field with 16 points.

Rogers was the key for the Jackets, though, as he took the game over in one stretch in the third quarter. After totaling 18 points against Columbus earlier in the week for another win, his work lately has been the difference in wins and losses for Starkville.

“When he gets into a rhythm, you better be up into him or he’ll beat you,” Carter said. “Once he gets going, he doesn’t have to have his toes on the 3-point line. He’ll shoot it from deep.”