Hornets slow start ends in quick exit of state tourney
Published 7:00 am Thursday, February 23, 2017
POPLARVILLE — The Hornets hit an early dry spell in the first round of the state tournament against Newton County, leading to its demise Tuesday night, losing 52-49.
Poplarville had an unorthodox start, blowing missed assignments on defense and giving up easy buckets for the Cougars, Poplarville Head Coach Chareck Cable said. However, the Hornets regrouped, trailing by five at halftime.
“They got on us pretty good early on, but we just didn’t capitalize on the small plays that we usually connect on,” Cable said.
Eventually, the Hornets took the lead in the middle of the third quarter as they strung together multiple scoring possessions to reach a 32-30 lead. After that, the lead flip-flopped between the two teams, until the final minutes of the game.
“We didn’t close out the third quarter the way we wanted to, and I think that put a big emotional toll on the guys,” Cable said.
After numerous missed shots and opportunities to build a lead, the Hornets lost by three points.
Poplarville has had a winning record in four out of the past five seasons, and made it to the district championship game this year against Columbia. But what excites Cable the most is the team’s consistent appearances in the postseason tournaments.
“We are beginning to have a winning mentality every season now, but we have got to elevate our game when it comes to the post-season,” Cable said. “It’s like shallow water compared to deep water. We’ve gotten our feet wet, now we just have to learn how to swim in the deep water.”
Cable said it is going to take a lot of commitment and extra hours to fill the shoes of the seniors, but he is excited with how the team is maturing.