Poplarville hoops picks up wins against Greene County
Published 7:00 am Thursday, February 4, 2021
Poplarville went two for two against Greene County on the hardwood Tuesday night with both Hornet teams adding wins to their record.
The Lady Hornets defeated the Lady Wildcats 50-33 thanks to a strong offensive showing.
Poplarville’s full court press gave the Lady Wildcats fits all night, and the Lady Hornets were able to get several easy lay ups off of missed shots and Greene County turnovers.
The Lady Hornets embraced their identity and gave it their all the entire game, which is what Head Coach Robin Jeffries was hoping to see against a district rival like Greene County.
“We played exceptionally well. We’re not doing anything different, they just have to step up and play like I know how they can play. Everything we did tonight we’ve been practicing. We just finally decided to step up and do our best at it,” Jeffries said.
Deanna Freeman was a bright spot for the Lady Hornets offensively not only in the paint, but also showcasing her range by stepping outside and hitting some threes.
Jeffries said Freeman’s multifaceted game allows her to take advantage of defensive mismatches.
“She’s a versatile player. Her number one priority is her inside game, but if the inside game is not going very well we can very easily pull her out on the perimeter and have her shoot some outside shots,” Jeffries said.
Poplarville and Greene County went back and forth all night with lead changes being the one constant of the game. However, it was the Hornets’ execution in crunch time that led to the team’s 43-41 victory.
Amari Gilmore hit a clutch fade away to put the Hornets up, but Greene County responded with a bucket of their own to tie it 41-41 with time running out.
On Poplarville’s next possession a miss led to a Semaj Young put back that cleared the net as the buzzer sounded to give the Hornets the last gasp victory.
Not only did the Hornets get the win, but there were plenty of positives to take away from the performance, including the play of some of the squad’s younger athletes.
“I’m proud of my younger guys. Will Harry hadn’t played this year, but he came in and got us some big rebounds. I told him, ‘Your job is to defend and rebound.’ And he did that (for us tonight),” Head Coach Run Bowen said.
Dante Buckley heated up in the second half after a defensive system change by Greene County allowed for more one on one match ups.
Bowen has been trying to get Buckley to be more aggressive on the offensive end of the court, and in the second half Buckley’s offensive performance helped the Hornets seal the victory.
“We’ve run a dribble-drive offense since I’ve been here, but this year we’ve been trying to grind it out and try different things. Once we had a little lead, once (Greene County) went to man, we went spread and once we do that it feeds his skill set and he’s able to attack the rim,” Bowen said.