Cov­ing­ton, Out­law help Lady Jack­ets re­turn to Jack­son

Starkville Daily News - - SPORTS - By ROB­BIE FAULK [email protected]­

Last sea­son's trip to Jack­son was sat­is­fy­ing in the end for Starkville Lady Yel­low­jacket coach Kristie Wil­liams.

The SHS girls had an un­de­feated sea­son on the line in the Class 6A State cham­pi­onship be­fore fall­ing in heart­break­ing fash­ion, but it was later re­vealed that Olive Branch played an in­el­i­gi­ble player. The Lady Jack­ets were awarded the ti­tle and that reign has been put on the line this month in the play­offs.

To get back to Jack­son for a fourth-straight sea­son, the Lady Jack­ets were go­ing to have to have the lead­er­ship of play­ers that have been there be­fore. That came from se­nior Jariyah Cov­ing­ton and Jal­isa Out­law last Fri­day night.

The two each played ma­jor parts in the re­spec­tive halves of the game against Clin­ton lead­ing the team to a 66-54 win. For their ef­forts, they've been se­lected as this week's OCH Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter Co-Ath­lete of the Week.

Both play­ers fin­ished the night with 22 points in the game. Cov­ing­ton's per­for­mance nom­i­nated her for the (Jack­son) Clar­ion Ledger Preps Player of the Week honor as well.

Out­law did the dirty work in the first quar­ter scor­ing 10 points in a 17-0 spurt that led Starkville out to a lead. Through the first three quar­ters, how­ever, Cov­ing­ton wasn't play­ing her best bas­ket­ball.

“She got rat­tled and that's some­thing that's go­ing to hap­pen in the course of the game,” Wil­liams said. “I re­minded her that we ex­pect her to step up and to take care of the bas­ket­ball and take the big shots. Once she was able to get in her groove, she was able to help us through the fourth quar­ter.”

Lead­ing 47-42 with 5 min­utes re­main­ing, Out­law sparked

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