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Reserves mop up in 76-30 Loyd Star win

Reserve players from both teams flooded the court and turned the fourth quarter into a JV game Tuesday night in Loyd Star’s dominant 76-30 win over Enterprise.

Hornets shooters got open early and often to run the score up beyond the Yellow Jackets’ ability to close, leading 23-5 after the first quarter. The Hornets took the second quarter off, but continued scoring in the third before rotating through the entire roster late.

“We were just in rhythm tonight,” said Hornets senior Titus Sims. “We played hard, kept our heads on straight and worked as a team.”

Teamwork was abundant throughout the game, as unguarded Loyd Star shooters fired up three after three, blistering the net and the scoreboard. The Hornets sank 13 three-pointers on 28 attempts for a deadly 46 percent from beyond the arc. Six different white jerseys connected on three-point shots.

Junior Dane Smith had the most success on three-balls, hitting four of five attempts for 80 percent from long range.

“I just got more open shots than I usually do and I took advantage of it,” he said.

The team effort showed up in the non-scoring stats. Loyd Star grabbed up 43 boards, and eight different players threw in 15 assists. The team stole the ball 10 times and only gave up 12 turnovers.

The win moves Loyd Star to 8-9 overall and 4-2 in Region 7-2A, with two huge tests still to come against the region’s top teams — Amite County and West Lincoln. The Hornets handled Amite County in the first matchup but fell to West Lincoln.

“We’ve got to keep this momentum going, and don’t make turnovers,” Smith said. “Turnovers are what has cost us in the games we’ve lost.”

Coach Gene Britt used the big lead against Enterprise to prepare for those contests.

“We tried to play an eight-man rotation in the first half to get the guys some experience,” he said. “They ran the offense well, but we need to cut down on those turnovers. We turned the ball over a few times when we were just walking down the court.”

Both teams used the blowout to rest their starters and build up their benches. Younger Hornets started rotating in at the start of the fourth quarter, and Enterprise reserves soon followed. By the end, the court was awash in freshmen.

The Yellow Jackets notch another loss in the cruel season. They fall to 2-12 overall and remain winless at 0-6 in Region 7-2A. They host West Lincoln Friday night.

Loyd Star is on the road Friday for a makeup game at Salem.