Jalisa Outlaw

Jalisa Outlaw

Murrah and Madison Central had a pretty good scouting report on the Starkville Lady Yellow Jackets and Jalisa Outlaw.

Having already played twice this season, there weren't many secrets between the Class 6A, Region 3 members.

The Lady Mustangs and Lady Jaguars knew the ability of Outlaw, who is the leader of the Lady Jackets.

Even though stopping Outlaw had to be a priority for Murrah and Madison Central, it didn't happen.

Outlaw had a pair of 20-point outings last week as Starkville defeated Madison Central first 40-36 on Tuesday, then Murrah 51-35 on Friday to capture the district championship.

The senior Lady Jacket was chosen the OCH Regional Medical Center Athlete of the Week for the fourth time this season.

SHS girls coach Kristie Williams said opponents knew about Outlaw and they were going to be geared to stop her.

"Going into the district tournament and going to play teams for the third time around, you get comfortable with each other in the district and you learn details about each player," Williams said. "Of course, they knew that she was one of our top players going into that tournament, but she was still able to lead us to come out on top. It's a testament to how hard she continues to work knowing that teams zone in on her every single game."

Outlaw has been improving each year with the Lady Jackets and has elevated her game to another level in her final season with the program.

The game of basketball is very important to Outlaw and her family. She wants to play to the best of her ability.

“It’s like loving the game, having a passion about it and going in there and executing,” Outlaw said recently.

After going undefeated in district play during the regular season and winning the district tournament, Starkville has improved its record to 20-3.

The Lady Jackets turn their attention to the state tournament and host Horn Lake on Friday. The Lady Eagles are another team Starkville has seen before as it defeated them 54-45 in the Travis Outlaw Slam Dunk at the Hump Tournament in December.

Four more wins stand in the way of SHS and another Class 6A State championship and Williams can see the determination in the eyes of Outlaw and the other seniors.

"The class of 2019 wants to go back and get another taste of sweet victory so expectations are through the roof," Williams said. "That level of urgency has started to set in and they understand how important every game is from this moment on. We host on Friday so that gives us another opportunity to play on our own court and that always makes you feel good."

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