January 4, 2010 10:33:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- Coach Greg Carter doesn''t know how much longer his Starkville High School boys basketball team can remain undefeated this season.
It''s something he doesn''t discuss with the Yellow Jackets.
Carter says the 13-0 record is something to take pride in, but "it''s nothing we harp on."
His main concern is for Starkville High to focus on what it can do to become a better team.
Carter knows the Yellow Jackets play in a division with quality teams and the playoffs will provide stiffer challenges going into next month, but he said the competition isn''t even really against another team.
"We always talk about competing against ourselves," Carter said. "By that I mean even though you are playing against another team, you try to be as good as you can be in that game. You try not to worry about the other team and where their level of play is. We just need to make sure we are at a high level."
Right now, the level of Starkville senior Rashad Perkins'' play is pretty high.
The Southern Miss signee averaged 18.6 points for the three games played at the Hattiesburg Holiday Classic this past week and Carter said Perkins is "steadily improving" his game as the season progresses.
Perkins had 21 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocked shots in a 73-63 victory against host Hattiesburg and nearly had another double-double with 19 points and nine rebounds in a 77-49 win against Oak Grove.
The Yellow Jackets began the classic with a 70-41 win against Brookhaven.
One surprise in the first-half of the season for Starkville has been the play of junior guard Jacolby Mobley.
Mobley scored 15 points against Brookhaven and 12 points against Oak Grove.
"If (Mobley) was a senior people would be recruiting him right now," Carter said. "He''s been playing well and shooting it well and making good decision. He''s just got to continue to grow and develop on that."
Carter liked the way his squad performed in the bookend games of the classic, but didn''t think the Jackets played Hattiesburg as well as they should have. He didn''t see playing three games in three days to be a problem, but said the Yellow Jackets "just came out sluggish and didn''t play very well against the home team."
As Starkville looks to beginning the second half of its season and resuming Class 6A, Region 2 play at South Panola on Friday, there are things that Carter said his team needed "to improve on definitely."
Carter wasn''t specific, but he mainly wants the Yellow Jackets to be consistent and he has visited with other coaches during tournament time to see how they approach that issue.
"Some games we come out like gangbusters and other games we don''t," Carter said. "(Other coaches) talk about how their teams will come out sluggish. Hopefully that won''t be a problem for us.
"We''ve got to continue to get better as a team and keep playing together. If we keep doing that, we''ll be fine."