Honeybees preparing for tough Pearl squad in semis

In a lot of ways, Greenville High School girls basketball coach Dakedreon Lampkin sees his team’s opponent Wednesday as a mirror image of his own team.

The undefeated Honeybees (31-0) face 29-1 Pearl on Wednesday at the Jackson Coliseum in the semifinals of the MHSAA 6A Girls State Basketball Tournament.

“We haven’t lost any games, but they have only lost one game,” Lampkin said. “We have one post player and a bunch guards, and they have one post player and a bunch of guards.”

Since he sees so many similarities between the Honeybees and Pearl, Lampkin expects a battle.

“We know this is going to be a tough game for us, but at this time of year, they are supposed to be tough. They are going to try and run it up and down the floor on us, and we are going to have to keep up with them

Six-foot-four senior post MaKayla Minett is the anchor on the Pirates team who last year came just one win away from claiming the state championship.

Minett is averaging 14.5 points per game this season, and a whopping 15.7 rebounds. In Pearl’s 101-44 victory over Meridian in the state quarterfinals, Minett scored 26 points and grabbed 16 rebounds.

Minett’s strong inside play has allowed Pearl senior Jayla Alexander to dominate from the outside of the paint. Alexander leads Pearl in scoring at 19 points per game.

While Lampkin and his players certainly respect Pearl, they say they will not be intimidated.

The Honeybees have been able to compile a perfect record this season because they always believe they will come out on top in the end.

This perseverance was on full display last Thursday when the Honeybees trailed Horn Lake 23-12 at halftime, but swarmed back to win the game.

Lampkin said he knew his players would come back and have a good chance to win.

“The way we play is that we never believe we are out of any game,” Lampkin said. “To be honest with you, I do not even look at the score during a lot of the games that we play. I am so focused on each possession that I am thinking about the score.”