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Poplarville basketball loses district game against Purvis

The Poplarville Lady Hornets and Purvis Lady Tornadoes faced off Friday night with Purvis coming out on top 51-32.

Poplarville is still without its star player Tytiana Buckley, so Head Coach Robin Jeffries has had to do some tinkering with the team’s line up.

“I’m playing with two 9th graders one 10th grader and two seniors. You’ve got some experience and then not so much experience on the court at same time and it’s hard to play that way. It’s hard to play with one group at one level (of experience) and the other group at another level (of experience). It’s very choppy,” Jeffries said.

Putting younger athletes on the court gives inexperienced players a chance to grow and understand how to play basketball at the varsity level.

While Buckley’s presence on the floor is missed, it’s allowing her teammates to take advantage of new opportunities.

“What I’m hoping is that while Tytiana has been out that they can find their way a little more, and can contribute when she does come back. Hopefully they’re honing in a little more on what their strengths could be,” Jeffries said.

However, with inexperience comes growing pains, and that’s something the Lady Hornets are currently dealing with.

Buckley is the team’s leader, not only when the basketball is in her hands, but defensively as well.

To make up for her absence, Jeffries is having to switch up some of the team’s defensive strategies.

“Within a week we’ve changed (our defense) three times and it just doesn’t create consistency. When (Buckley) gets back we can get back to where we were and start trying to do what we were doing because we were (playing) well,” Jeffries said.

There’s still plenty of time for the team to get back on track, especially with Buckley’s return on the horizon.

A big part of that turnaround, according to Jeffries, will come down to how well the team does with the basics.

“It’s just about doing small things. Making good passes, boxing out, getting better shots, all of that comes with experience and we don’t have enough of that on the court right now,” Jeffries said.