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Poplarville basketball moving into district play

The Poplarville Lady Hornets took part in a two-day tournament on Dec. 20 and Dec. 21 where Poplarville faced Hancock and D’Iberville.

On Dec. 20 the Lady Hornets lost to Hancock 51-30.

The following day was the match up with D’Iberville, which Poplarville lost 46-37.

Jeffries said the team didn’t perform well defensively against Hancock, but stepped it up against D’Iberville.

The Lady Hornets focused on getting the ball inside and using ball movement to create scoring opportunities.

The two games are the last before the start of the New Year for the squad.

The beginning of the season serves as a test, as coaches determine the lineups and systems they’ll use for district games.

District is just around the corner for the Lady Hornets, who take on Forrest County in an important district match up on Jan. 3.

A win against the Aggies would have Poplarville right in the middle of the race for a playoff spot.

However, a start with heavy losses would be a tall mountain to climb in a district containing such talented teams.

Jeffries said she purposefully scheduled tough opponents to start the season, so her players would be battle tested when district rolled around.

“I toughened up our schedule this year. We played tougher opponents this year in preseason, now that we’re going into district we’ll see if it pays off,” Jeffries said.

Jeffries said she’s giving her players a four-day break without any practice sessions before the game against Forrest County.

The break comes at a critical point of the season, but it’ll be up to the players to stay in shape during the layoff.

“I think overall we’re in pretty good shape. We’ll go back and have three practices scheduled (before Jan. 3),” Jeffries said.

The team has been struggling at the free throw line and turning the ball over, so Jeffries implemented some new drills in practice focused on those issues and other fundamentals that need work.

Jeffries said over the weekend the team showed progress in those categories.

“Our free throw shooting percentage was better and we had fewer turnovers.”

“We’re going to keep going down that road in practice,” Jeffries said.

Jeffries said she liked the progress her team made and hopes the upward trend continues against Forrest County.

“Just keep moving forward really. I think we played pretty well against D’Iberville. Just want to keep that and not go backwards,” Jeffries said.

Tip off between the Hornets and Aggies will take place at 6 p.m.