Bowling Green girls open with big win

Published 4:06 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bowling Green began the girls’ basketball season in style Monday by ending Starkville Academy’s 52-game winning streak with a 62-48 victory in the East Rankin Academy Preseason Tournament.

The Lady Buccaneers, who captured the Mississippi Association of Independent School’s AA State Championship last season, trailed 23-21 at halftime but responded with a strong second half.

Coach Pat King said his team got into early foul trouble, and he thought they came out a little too fired up. He said he stressed at the break to play smarter on both ends of the floor.

King said there are question marks with this team. The club lost two seniors last year, and they are playing without sophomore Ashley Foret, who has a torn ACL. Foret was an all-state player her eighth- and ninth-grade seasons and is expected to be out until mid-January.

King said he rotated seven players, including three freshmen who had never played varsity ball.

King said they didn’t always play smart but continued to fight hard.

“I’m proud of their effort,” King said. “Our freshmen did a pretty good job of getting in there and not backing down. I’m also proud of my older players for their leadership throughout all of it.

“Game one doesn’t always mean a lot because you’re normally learning about things you have to work on, but you’re talking about a team (Starkville) that has ended our season two years in a row in the overall tournament. This has become a little rivalry. It’s a good win to get our team’s confidence up.”

Kristina Jerrell topped Bowling Green with 19 points, while Reagen Moody tallied 14 and Melissa Crowe finished with 12.

Bowling Green goes for a 2-0 start tomorrow against the host team. The junior varsity plays at 6:30 p.m. with varsity scheduled for 7:45.