Poplarville overcomes adversity to win first district game against Purvis, 42-38

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, January 17, 2017

After a tough loss against Columbia, Poplarville Hornets boy’s Head Basketball Coach Chareck Cable was anxious to see how his team would respond.

“This game meant a lot to us. It was a huge test of our character and I am proud of the team for sticking together throughout the game,” Cable said.

On Friday, Poplarville’s Tamiljah Merrill notched 18 points, which led the Hornets (8-7; 1-1) to their first district game of the year against Purvis, 42-38. Teammate Tyler Griffin added six points.

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“We still got a lot of improving to do, but it’s nice to see us get on the right track,” Cable said.

In preparation for this district battle, Cable stressed to his players the importance of setting the tone early. On Friday night, they answered.

Poplarville limited Purvis to scoring only five points in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the Hornets found an early offensive groove that produced 15 points in the opening quarter.

“We know that if we can set the tone defensively, all of the other aspects of our game will fall into place,” Cable said.

Toward the end of the first half, the Tornadoes made a decent run that tiptoed them into striking distance of the Hornets as the half ended 22-20, in the Hornets’ advantage.

The Tornadoes made another run late in the fourth quarter, but Poplarville held onto its lead after multiple Hornets made big plays in the final minutes of Friday’s nail-biter.

“We expect a lot from ourselves, so it was great to see that we didn’t put our heads down after Columbia. Instead, we rose up through adversity and played great basketball for all four quarters,” Cable said. “This was a big win for us.”

Purvis outlasts the Lady Hornets, 64-54

The Poplarville Hornets had four players who scored double-digits Friday night against district foe Purvis. But, it wasn’t enough to stop the Tornadoes as they went on to win 64-54.

Hornets’ Mallory Smith led Poplarville with 16 points, Jasmine Merrill scored 13 and Zanaisha Turner and Lizzie Hughes both added 10 points each.

Tornadoes’ Kennedy Hudson etched 21 points.