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Poplarville basketball taking care of business

The basketball team for the Poplarville Hornets took on the Greene County Wildcats Feb. 4 and won 67-55.

The win secured the number four seed for the Hornets in the district tournament with one regular season game left to play.

With 67 points on the night, it was the highest scoring output for Poplarville this year, but Head Coach Run Bowen said his team also executed defensively.

“We actually played well on both sides of the ball. We shot well and we actually defended,” Bowen said.

As the number four seed, Poplarville will play Greene County in the first round of the district tournament.

Poplarville has already beaten Greene County twice this season, but a win in the tournament would secure a playoff spot for Poplarville.

The Hornets still have one more game to play before the start of the district tournament and it’ll be against the current number one seed in the district Forrest County on Feb. 7.

Bowen said he wants his players to approach the game against Forrest County like any other, even though the seeding for the team has already been determined.

“With Forrest being the best team in district we’re going to go into it just like every other game,” Bowen said.

Over the past couple of weeks the Hornets have been on a roll winning three out of their last four games.

The wins could be a useful source of momentum for the Hornets heading into the district tournament.

However, Bowen warned that getting over confident wouldn’t help the Hornets as they look to secure a playoff spot.

“It’s a slippery slope because my kids can feel too good about themselves and have a false sense of security, or they realize what got them to this point and get better,” Bowen said.

Leaving it all on the court hasn’t been an issue for Bowen’s players.

He said his athletes play hard no matter the score, but the team’s youth has been a hindrance at times this season.

Inexperience can lead to mistakes on the court and in the district tournament the margin for error will be smaller than usual.

“For the most part all season, win or lose, my kids have played hard. Sometimes they haven’t done the right things and made mistakes, but (giving effort) is one thing you don’t’ have to encourage them to do,” Bowen said.

Over the past couple of weeks the team has minimized those mistakes and it’s translated into wins.

The desire to win, along with experience gained throughout the season, has put the Hornets in a position to possibly earn a playoff spot.

Bowen said the recent uptake in form has come down to fewer mistakes being made on the court.

Forrest County will give the Hornets one more shot to clean things up before it’ll all be on the line against Greene County in the district tournament.

“Over the past three or four weeks we’ve gotten better. I think the kids responded to that. I know they want to win and give all they’ve got,” Bowen said. Tipoff against Forrest County is set for 7:30 p.m.