Poplarville basketball hit with key injuries

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, November 19, 2019

There’s a divided opinion in the world of sports on if having a long break between competitive games is helpful or a hindrance to a team’s performance.

The Poplarville Hornets girls basketball team had nearly four weeks in between games, but Head Coach Robin Jeffries said initially it looked like the long layoff would be in the team’s favor.

After playing in a jamboree in late October the squad had plenty of time to practice before taking on the D’Iberville Warriors on Nov. 15 and ended up losing 55-21.

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Heading into halftime Jeffries said she was really happy with her team’s performance as the Hornets were up by three.

However, things took a turn for the worse starting in the second half.

In a strange set of circumstances three of the team’s starters suffered injuries.

Without those players Jeffries was forced to go deep into her roster and put players on the floor she hadn’t planned on playing significant minutes this season.

The youth and inexperience showed as the lead slipped away for the Hornets.

“We went from winning in the first half to falling completely apart in the second half,” Jeffries said.

Even with the positive start of the game against a Warriors team, who had already played two games this season, the injuries have cast a cloud on the team’s initial performance.

Coaches always stress having depth on a team and being able to have another player step up if one is injured.

However, to lose three starters in such a short time span has thrown a wrench into Jeffries’ plan for the season.

“I was very pleased with the first half, but (the injuries) puts a damper on our season because I don’t know when I’ll get them back,” Jeffries said.

The team had been preparing to have a certain number of players in the rotation, so to lose that many in one game has several consequences.

A major issue with the injuries is the team loses a lot of experience on the floor.

Two of the three players who went down were the main ball handlers for the Hornets.

Now, Jeffries will be having a player who’s never played point guard bringing the ball up the court and orchestrating the offense.

Poplarville will face Bay High on Nov. 19 and Jeffries isn’t sure how her team is going to match up with all of the missing players.

However, Jeffries said if the team wants to have a successful season they’ll need to overcome and adapt to these injuries.

“Either we’re going to sink or we’re going to elevate. There’s going to be a lesson learned here,” Jeffries said.