After a thrilling victory against district-rival New Hope 67-63 Friday night, the Green Wave went on the road to face-off against long-time rival Starkville.
In the previous meeting between the Green Wave and Yellow Jackets on November 30, West Point was the victor after an edgy contest between two great foes 61-57. The win was the first over Starkville in ten years or more.
Saturdayâ€™s rivalry game was no different than the past games as both teams sought after bragging rights. In the first half, Starkville was able to shoot well from the floor taking advantage of their home-court. By halftime, the Jackets were up 32-23. The Wave again tried to put together another comeback to overtake Starkville. Yet it was not possible as Starkville was able to hold off the Waveâ€™s effort and win 69-59.
â€śThis game was a lot like New Hope,â€ť commented head coach Brad Cox about the proceedings of the Starkville game, â€śwe just had too many turnovers and Starkville played well.â€ť
Another factor West Point had to overcome was lingering foul trouble as multiple players picked up their third or fourth fouls before the fourth quarter. With foul trouble, the Wave had to use different personnel to match-up with Starkville.
Also the loss of Dequan Ewing to an ankle injury in the first quarter left a gap in the four spot for the Wave. Coach Cox decided to fill the spot in with Juan Davis and Kaelon Collins to make up for the missing Ewing.
â€śEwing goes out with an ankle injury and Lyndon [Johnson] picks up his fourth foul before I had a chance to sub him out,â€ť commented Coach Cox about the four spot situation, â€śJuan Davis filled in well even though he plays in the guard position for us.â€ť
The West Point rally began after an A.J. Jones time expiring three-pointer bringing an end to the third quarter with Starkville leading 52-40. Yet the Jonesâ€™ three was the spark that the Wave needed heading into the fourth quarter. Continuing his highlight second half, Demarius Calvert was absolutely huge for the Wave scoring 22 points in the fourth period. By the middle of the fourth, the Wave were trailing 59-49. Yet West Point continued to fight their way back into the game and with 1:17 left in the game had a chance to bring the game even only behind 63-59. Starkville was able to pull away on the free throw line and took the win 69-59.
West Point will return to the court tonight against West Oktibbeha, a game that was previously not on the schedule. The game will tip-off following the completion of the Lady Waveâ€™s game against West Oktibbeha.