The Lady Hornets basketball team hopes to reach the state playoffs at season’s end

Published 7:00 am Thursday, November 9, 2017

Robin Jeffries hopes to lead the Lady Hornets to the state playoffs in her first year as head basketball coach of the Lady Hornets.

Last season, Poplarville’s girls basketball team finished with a 17-11 record and a 5-5 region 7-4A record.

The Lady Hornets qualified for the state tournament but fell against Northeast Jones 55-43 in the first round.

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Jeffries took over the head coaching position in late July.

“We definitely want to have a winning record, it’s a whole new team and there’s only one starter that’s back on the floor from last year,” Jeffries said. “Ultimately, our goal is to win and have a winning season, I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”

Five seniors graduated last year, so Jeffries will look to seniors Jasmine Merrill and Monica Rayne to lead the team.

“I have two seniors on the team and I always expect great things from them, whether that’s on or off the court,” Jeffries said. “Merrill and Rayne are my two seniors I will expect to step up and show the way for everyone else on the team.”

Merrill and Rayne said they are working on becoming better leaders as each day passes by.

“I want to be a better leader than I have been and I plan on doing so by leading by example,” Rayne said.

The Lady Hornets fell 37-35 in its season opener against Stone on Saturday.

“We committed too many turnovers, not enough execution on offense and the transition defense didn’t get back fast enough in our season opener,” Jeffries said.

Despite coaching a young team, Jeffries expects a great season for the Lady Hornets.

“We’re going to accept the challenge, keep pushing forward and work hard and we’re not going to give up,” Jeffries said. “We have high expectations and this team has great team chemistry, which is hard to have.”

The Lady Hornets will host Long Beach High School on Nov. 17.

“Our goal is to get better every day and be more consistent with our shooting,” Merrill said.