Kayla Melson is making the best of a difficult situation. In the preseason, the University of Mississippi women’s basketball team lost junior guard Alliesha Easley to a season-ending knee injury. The loss of an experienced and versatile player like Easley would have crippled many other teams, but Melson is helping the Rebels make the best out of a trying predicament. Melson, a 5-foot-8 junior guard, is second on the tam in scoring at 11.8 points per game. She also is averaging 4.8 rebounds per game and is second on the team with 40 assists and tied for second with 12 steals.
Immanuel Christian coach Billy Thomas got something more out of a pair of underclassmen during Thursday night’s game against Starkville Christian School. Sophomore Ross Moore had 17 points to lead the Rams and junior Justin James added 12 points to defeat the visiting Cougars 50-44. James had a pair of baskets and two free throws to get the fourth quarter started, then Moore had five-straight points to give Immanuel a 39-35 lead with 4 minutes and 16 minutes remaining in the game.
Nineteen local prep football players and one coach were honored earlier this week when the Mississippi Association of Coaches announced its All-State teams. Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A state champion West Point and Class 3A runner-up Aberdeen led the way with five players recognized. West Point High’s Chris Chambless was chosen MAC Coach of the Year for guiding the Green Wave (14-1) past Wayne County 35-14 on Saturday for the school’s sixth state title.
MACON –– Ferris McGuire poured in a game-high 26 points Thursday night to lead the Central Academy boys basketball team past Russell Christian 53-48. Central Academy (2-4) trailed 33-26 at halftime before outscoring Russell Christian 13-4 in the third quarter and 14-11 in the fourth. McGuire was followed in scoring by Chris Newman with nine points, Cole Newman with six and Rowdy Rigdon with five.
STARKVILLE — Ravern Johnson understands the importance of playing defense. The Mississippi State junior guard never has been afraid to shoot the basketball, but defense hasn’t always come as easily for him. Even though the benefits don’t always show up in the boxscore, Johnson has learned concentrating on defense can make a difference.
STARKVILLE — East Mississippi Community College football coach Buddy Stephens couldn’t help sneaking a peak at the Starkville High School highlight video Wednesday night before sitting down for his meal.
The Pickens Academy boys basketball will have a chance to add a trophy to its school’s display case for the second-consecutive weekend when it plays host to its tournament. Pickens County, which won the Southern Academy Tournament in Greensboro, Ala., last weekend, will play host to the tournament Friday and Saturday.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen appeared surprised his name surfaced last week in connection with the vacancy at the University of Kansas. Not long after Kansas announced the resignation of Mark Mangino, Mullen’s name surfaced as a possible replacement in an Associated Press story by Doug Tucker. Mullen quickly put those rumors to rest and said he hadn’t been in contact with anyone at Kansas. He said his family loves living in Mississippi.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State offensive coordinator Les Koenning realizes how important junior offensive tackle Derek Sherrod is for the Bulldogs. Other coaches from around the Southeastern Conference have learned how valuable Sherrod is to the Bulldogs as they picked him on the All-SEC second-team on a list released Tuesday. “I’m very proud of him,” Koenning said. “It’s a great honor for him and this football team. It was a reward and a good deal for him. I know he’s proud of it and he’s well deserving.”
Bill Lee and Pat Byrd weren’t going to run and hide from losing records. Their decisions to leave Starkville and Amory high schools, respectively, were difficult despite what was perceived as the poor status of their programs. The coaches will now move on to other challenges. Lee has decided to retire and spend more time in the ministry and his family, while Byrd will try to resurrect the program at Saltillo High.
HAMILTON –– Tyler White poued in 18 points Tuesday to lead the Heritage Academy boys basketball team past Hamilton High School 56-45. Will West scored 12 points and Hunter Brown scored 11 for Heritage Academy (5-3). n Heritage Academy 63, Hamilton 21 (G): At Hamilton, Christibeth Nelson scored 13 points to help the Lady Patriots beat the Lady Lions. Joanna West scored 10 points and Madison Ford scored nine for Heritage Academy (4-7).
MACON — T.J. Billups had moments of relative relaxation doing double duty Tuesday night. Unfortunately, periods of aggravated twitching, frustrated twisting, and agitated standing ruined what could have been an overly satisfying evening for the Noxubee County High girls and boys basketball coach. Jeraldine Campbell scored 17 of her game-high 32 points in the fourth quarter to help the Noxubee County girls pull away and defeat West Point 55-49.
ABERDEEN — The Aberdeen and Starkville high school basketball teams split a varsity doubleheader here Tuesday evening in the Roy E. Hazzle Gymnasium. In a marquee matchup that was supposed to feature two unbeaten girls teams led by a pair of high-profile scorers, Aberdeen’s Dayana McGee came up with a clutch rebound and Regina Barker popped in a buzzer-beating layup to steal the spotlight from their more celebrated teammate and give the Lady Bulldogs a 64-62 triumph — their sixth straight win of the season. The nightcap didn’t bode as well for the recently re-stocked Bulldogs, however, as Aberdeen stalled in the third quarter and dropped a 67-49 decision to the Yellow Jackets in coach Roy Hazzle’s first game in the newly named gymnasium.
STARKVILLE — The postseason recognition continues for Mississippi State senior running back Anthony Dixon. One week after taking home the Cellular South Conerly Trophy as Mississippi’s top college player, Dixon earned first-team honors on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference team.
WEST POINT — Faith is an integral part of Michael Carr’s life. Without it, there’s no telling where Carr would be today. One thing is for sure, though, Carr wouldn’t have been on the field in Jackson on Saturday helping the West Point High School football team win a state title if he didn’t believe in God.
STARKVILLE — This is an important week for the Mississippi State men’s basketball team. The Bulldogs go back on the road, but it’s not going to be an easy trip.
Jackie Sherrill finds ways to be around the sport of football. Since retiring as Mississippi State’s all-time winningest coach, Sherrill has tried to stay close to the game by working in television and radio and with his sports nutrition company. There might be another way Sherrill will be able to satisfy his football desire: The United Football League.
BILOXI ---The East Mississippi Community College football team’s historical season continued Sunday with a 27-24 win against Arizona Western College in the second-annual Mississippi Bowl at Biloxi Stadium. The win allowed the Lions, ranked No. 5, to cap off head coach Buddy Stephens second season with a school record 11 wins to go win one loss. EMCC, which won its first state championship last month by beating Gulf Coast 75-71, made the school’s first bowl appearance since a 1963 visit to the Hospitality Bowl in Gulfport.
The picture was one of desolation. The 2009 season was supposed to be a coronation, a five-month love fest in which the West Point High School football team reclaimed what was rightfully something it had lost in 2005. But Shannon High didn’t get that message, and on Aug. 21 the Red Raiders spoiled the Green Wave’s plans with an exciting 27-20 overtime victory in the season opener for both teams.
ABERDEEN — Charles Davison picked the right time this weekend to make his first trip to Aberdeen. Davison, who lives in Atlanta, was one of more than 300 friends, family members, and citizens on hand Sunday at Aberdeen High School to attend the dedication of the Aberdeen High School gymnasium in the name of boys basketball coach Roy Hazzle. The gym, formerly known as the “Aberdome,” will now be known as the Roy E. Hazzle Gymnasium.
1. Whitley will miss MSU's bowl game COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Mississippi Bowl has emerged as top destination COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Offensive line drives Pickens County's success HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Ground game has been key for Georgia Military COLLEGE SPORTS
5. EMCC's Reed commits to Alabama COLLEGE SPORTS