Lady Hornets are overcoming injuries

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 5, 2019

A season that started with promise has been hampered by injuries to key players for the Poplarville Lady Hornets basketball team.

However, the squad has adjusted to its new reality and earned a victory over county rival Picayune on Dec. 3.

The final score was 50-39 and the Hornets were in control for most of the game.

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Contributing to the team’s success has been a recent return to fundamentals in practice.

Mistakes on the court can occur when putting players into roles they aren’t used to.

To minimize those issues, Head Coach Robin Jeffries has had her players work on the basics.

“Since the injuries we’ve struggled a bit. We had to back up a couple steps and last night (against Picayune) I saw more of that playing together and leadership,” Jeffries said.

A bright spot for the Lady Hornets this season has been sophomore Tytiana Buckley who is averaging 13.5 points per game even after missing a game due to injury.

Jeffries said Buckley has a love and passion for the game of basketball and now it’s just about concentrating her energy on playing smart.

“I want her to be aggressive, but she is so young so I’m trying to teach her how aggressiveness can be used in a positive way. She just has to learn how to use it,” Jeffries said.

Finding leadership on the floor has been a tough task for the team as players adjusted to more minutes on the court.

To try and find a solution, multiple team meetings were held.

Not only were the meetings used to better educate players on their new roles, but also fix some of the issues Jeffries has seen on film.

“We’re taking too many shots and not going inside enough. I’m hoping those things in the end will come out in a good way to help us when it comes to district,” Jeffries said.

District is when the pressure turns up a notch as playoff spots are put on the line.

The first game against a district opponent for Poplarville will be against Sumrall on Dec. 10.

Before the Hornets start district play they’ll face the Vancleave Bulldogs.

It’ll be a good test for the Hornets so Jeffries said she wants a few things to be cleaned up in practice before the first whistle.

An increase in shooting percentage and free throw shooting percentage accompanied by a dip in turnovers will have the team where Jeffries wants it.

Along with those improvements the team will have to face multiple games on the road and Jeffries said with the amount of traveling her squad has to do there isn’t a way to lessen the impact.

“I just think we’ll have to wait until after Christmas when we play home and away conference games before we settle in. Playing that many games on the road I don’t think you get used to that,” Jeffries said.

The game against Vancleave will be an away match up for the Lady Hornets and tipoff is set for 6 p.m. A call to Toby Bush, the basketball coach for the Picayune Lady basketball team, was not returned before press time.