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Poplarville crushes Forrest County for a district win

The Lady Hornets beat the Forrest County Lady Aggies Tuesday evening 61-44.

Poplarville was without its star point guard, Tytiana Buckley, who’s currently in quarantine due to COVID-19 protocols.

The Lady Hornets needed a player to step up and senior Deanna Freeman answered the call.

Freeman had 24 points and 10 boards on the night as Poplarville worked the paint effectively.

Jamaya Harry added 11 points of her own along with Nashanti Tillman who had 11 as well.

The three seniors combined for 75 percent of Poplarville’s points against Forrest County as the Lady Hornets went to work down low.

“Our game plan was to get the ball inside and we did that, and that’s where we scored our points. We’re having to pick that slack up whether it be one or two people, or across the board (without Buckley),” Head Coach Robin Jeffries said.

Not only does Buckley contribute points, but she’s also a good distributor for her teammates while picking up nearly 10 rebounds a game.

Losing a player like that changes a team’s game plan, which was certainly the case for the Lady Hornets against Forrest County.

“It hurts us because one of our key players is out. We did what we had to do. We tried to make adjustments throughout, the entire game we were looking for adjustments. We just kept making them,” Jeffries said.

A win is a win so the result against Forrest County will help Poplarville’s position within the district, but there are still areas that need to be worked on; chief among them free throws. The Lady Hornets shot just 35 percent from the free throw line against Forrest County and Jeffries said her players have to do a better job of staying sharp at the line.

“Free throws are mental. There’s no one contesting your shot, no one standing in front of you. It’s just you and the rim. Mentally we should be able to step up and put the basketball in. (Right now) I don’t think we’re focusing when we shoot those. I think we’re just throwing them up there with no focus,” Jeffries said.

Next up for Poplarville is another district match up against Purvis Friday.

The Lady Hornets will study plenty of film before the game Friday as the team looks to fix some of the mistakes made against the Lady Aggies.

The squad will once again be without Buckley, and while her production on the court is important, her leadership will also be sorely missed.

“We’ve seemed very scattered and that’s because the leadership just wasn’t there. Whether it be vocal or not vocal, it’s like we’re always looking for her and she’s not there,” Jeffries said.

The game against Purvis will be at home Friday night and will start at 6 p.m.