Due to a Covid-19-related halt to athletic events at Yazoo City High School, the last time the Indians took to the floor against an opponent other than themselves in practice was 56 days ago against Brandon. The nearly two-month absence had Indian head coach Anthony Carlyle wondering what team would return to the floor when play resumed last week in their district opener against the Gentry Rams.
Much to the delight of Carlyle, the layoff seemed to have little effect on his Indians as they picked up right where they left off, disposing of the Rams 57-37 while improving to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in district play.
“It was good just to be back in competition after being off so long. With a lot going on during this pandemic, sports are all some kids have,” said Carlyle. “We played about how I expected us to. We made some turnovers, missed some easy shots and were late on some defensive rotations but we played well enough to pick up a district win on the road.”
The Indians utilized a balanced scoring attack to jump out to an early 21-10 first quarter lead against the Rams. Yazoo City picked up nine more points in the second half to Gentry’s five and led by a score of 30-15 at the half.
Utilizing their vaunted full court pressure defense the Rams were able to outscore the Indians 16-13 in the third quarter, but the momentum was short-lived as the Indians quickly solved the Rams’ press puzzle and outscored the home team 14-6 down the stretch to seal the win.
Leading the way in scoring for the Indians was Jacquaris Rogers with a game-high 13 points. Following Rogers in double figures were Jacquarrius Collum with 12 and Brendan Brown with 10. Other scorers were Daon Henry, William Grayson and Tamarion Hoover each with six, while Davione Bouldin rounded out the scoring with four.
While he was pleased with his teams’ performance, Carlyle expects his Indians to continue to improve as they enter the important district portion of their schedule.
“I think the guys responded well, and we’ll use this game to build and improve over these next four weeks before the playoffs start,” said Carlyle. “We want to be prepared as much as we can.”
The Indians returned to action January 12 at home against Greenwood and travel to Clarksdale on January 15.