By Paul Jones
STARKVILLE – In Friday’s win over Vicksburg, Starkville standouts Rashad Perkins and Gavin Ware struggled with their production due to foul trouble. But that wasn’t the case Saturday night, and that meant bad news for Greenville in the Class 6A North State championship game.
Perkins, a senior Southern Miss signee, had 20 points and 11 boards to help lead the Jackets to an easy 80-61 victory. Ware, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, added 15 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots.
“For me and Gavin, that is our main priority – rebounding and defending,” said Perkins. “I don’t really care too much about scoring because rebounding is what wins championships.
“It felt real good to bring back the championship back to Starkville. It feels good to put Starkville back on the map.”
Starkville (27-2) and Greenville (15-14) both advanced to the Class 6A state tournament in Jackson and open play on March 3rd.
“Last night was a very frustrating game for those two,” Starkville coach Greg Carter said of Perkins and Ware. “But tonight they came out, played well and played very physical. They didn’t let Greenville’s extra-physical play take them out of their game.”
For the second night in a row, Starkville’s Edward Townsel had a 20-point outing and Jaquez Johnson also had 11 points for the Jackets.
On Friday night, Starkville managed to jump to an early lead and followed that same recipe for success 24 hours later.
The Jackets scored the first nine points of the game and held a 27-10 advantage after the opening quarter. Starkville led 45-28 at the break and never allowed the visiting Hornets to get within 11 points the rest of the night.
“I knew we could get back up after our Vicksburg win,” said Carter. “I figured it would be a dog fight but we made some shots and got a good lead early in the game. That helped us out a lot and was real important. If you don’t get up on Greenville, they are going to hold the ball on you.
“But when they went zone, we attacked it well and hit some shots.”
Danny Bolden had 18 points for Greenville, which is coached by former Starkville head coach Ernie Watson.