BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Deion Curry wasn’t going to let anything keep him from helping the Pickens County High School boys basketball team make it to its first state championship game in 39 years. The junior guard overcame being involved in a collision Tuesday to help Pickens County beat Sand Rock 59-54 in the Class 2A semifinals of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Final 48 State Tournament at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center.
Sports never follow a plan. If they did, Chris Hamm’s speech Saturday following the title game of the Alabama Christian Education Athletic Association Division I State Tournament would have praised the players for their effort and convinced them that the 2010-11 season was theirs to win a championship.
SCOOBA — The top eight seeds have advanced to today’s semifinals of the MACJC State Basketball Tournament, as all four No. 1 and 2 women’s seeds prevailed Tuesday in opening-round women’s action at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum. In Tuesday’s nightcap, which was a rematch of last year’s NJCAA Region 23 championship contest, the No. 3 nationally ranked Lady Wolves of Copiah-Lincoln remained unbeaten (24-0) with a 73-65 victory against East Mississippi Community College.
Brandon Johnson didn’t have a busy Saturday at the Columbus High School baseball jamboree. He’d like to hope the rest of the season will be as uneventful, but he knows better. The start of another baseball season has Johnson concerned he might be right.
STARKVILLE — Senioritis came on the wrong day for the Mississippi State women’s basketball team. With a chance to solidify its chances to earn a first-round bye to the Southeastern Conference Tournament next month in Duluth, Ga., the Lady Bulldogs played their most uninspired and unfocused game of the season. Alli Smalley and Auburn were only too happy to take advantage.
Time doesn’t stop in life or in sports. As soon as one task or game ends, another is ready on the to-do list or a click away via the remote. But sometimes special moments force you to pause for a moment of reflection.
Mark White isn’t sure what he’ll get today. His East Mississippi Community College men’s basketball team is still dealing with sickness that affected the Lions on Thursday in a loss to Northeast Mississippi C.C. in the regular-season finale.
STARKVILLE — Jarvis Varnado doesn’t spend much time thinking about his ascent to the top of the NCAA record books. But Mississippi State men’s basketball fans are keenly aware of the chance Varnado has to make history Wednesday night.
STARKVILLE — John Cohen admits his Mississippi State baseball team couldn’t have had a better start to the 2010 season. After sweeping the University of Rhode Island last weekend, the Bulldogs (3-0) will try in today’s home game (4 p.m.) against the University of Alabama at Birmingham to use youth on the mound and to get solid run support like they did against the Rams.
The beauty of having young, inexperienced players is coaches never know what they’re going to get. After falling behind 3-0 in the season opener to Winston Academy, Heritage Academy baseball coach Steve Hancock wasn’t sure how his team would respond.
At the beginning of the season, Pickens County High School boys basketball coach Russ Wallace didn’t envision his team being ranked No. 1 and making it to the Final Four. But that’s the case as Pickens County will play Sand Rock at 8:30 tonight in the Class 2A semifinals of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Final 48 State Basketball Tournament at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center in Birmingham, Ala.
CARROLLTON, Ala. — The trophy fits nicely in the hands of Tate Fuller, Catherine Johnson, and Callie Minor. With one of the nets from the team’s victory Friday against Lakeside Christian draped on the trophy’s basketball, the players’ reflections blurred together as Johnson held the trophy Monday for a picture.
The East Mississippi Community College women’s basketball team can accomplish a feat tonight that no other team has realized this season when it takes the court in the MACJC state tournament. The Lady Lions can be the first team to beat Copiah-Lincoln Community College when the teams tip off against each other at 7:30 tonight in Scooba.
STARKVILLE — Pearl Rack had dreams for her daughter. As someone who enjoys dancing and as a past sponsor of the Franklin High School (La.) dance team, Pearl imagined a day when her youngest child, Alexis, would take the stage for a performance and delight audiences with her moves. Pearl decided to assist Alexis with her steps by enrolling her in a dance class. But Alexis wouldn’t move.
STARKVILLE — The much-heralded but untested freshman pitching class of the Mississippi State baseball showed why head coach John Cohen had no qualms about leaning on the newcomers this year. In just the second game of the season, freshman starter Chris Stratton and freshman relievers Kendall Graveman and C.C Watson combined on a five-hit shutout to pitch Mississippi State past Rhode Island 9-0 on Saturday. MSU (2-0) will host Rhode Island again at 1:30 p.m. today in the final game of the season-opening series.
STARKVILLE — This time, there would be no Greenville-Weston upset at The Beehive. Starkville High School guard Edward Townsel said he and his teammates had long put last year’s shocking loss to Greenville-Weston in the MHSAA Class 5A North State Tournament behind them. But with the way the Yellow Jackets played Saturday it seemed like there was some revenge on tap in their 80-63 win to clinch the Class 6A North State championship.
In the end, their hearts couldn’t be questioned. That was little solace Friday night to coach Drew McBrayer and the members of the New Hope High School boys basketball team, who were left shaking their heads at what could have been. Four and seven tenths, or was it 6.9 seconds? Did Johnathan Brandon foul Callaway High’s Deville Smith on the last-second 3-pointer? Those questions will haunt a game New Hope team for a long time because the Trojans weren’t satisfied with the answers they received on their home floor.
BALDWYN –– The West Lowndes Panthers were outscored only one quarter Friday, but that quarter was the difference as they suffered a 53-49 loss to West Bolivar in the semifinals of the MHSAA Class 2A North State Tournament. West Lowndes (19-7) was outscored 20-15 in the fourth quarter to suffer the season-ending loss. The Panthers took a 34-33 lead into the final period after the score was tied 12-12 at the end of the first quarter and 22-22 at halftime. West Lowndes was led in scoring by Demetrius Malone with 16 points and Tyquan Lucious with 15.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. –– The third time was the charm for Wade Goodman and the Pickens Academy girls basketball team. Pickens Academy won the AISA Class AA state championship in Goodman’s third season as head coach by beating Laikeside Christian 53-39 at Huntingdon College on Friday. “It’s really the combination of three years of hard work,” Goodman said. “The girls deserve everything they got.”
Baseball fans in the state of Mississippi should have a new gold mine of information available to them very soon. Gene Swindoll, whose Web site, Gene’s Page, has been covering Mississippi State athletics, including recruiting, since 1996, hopes to bring Mississippi Hardball on line at the end of this week. The site, www.MississippiHardball.com, will focus on junior college, high school, and travel teams and players in and from the state of Mississippi. Swindoll said there will be some carryover of coverage of senior colleges, particularly when it comes to MSU baseball recruiting news, but he said the site will concentrate its efforts on recruiting.
1. Bulldogs will rely on Prescott COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Columbus faces Noxubee County in season opener HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Sentimore, EMCC begin title defense Thursday at Southwest COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU Football Depth Chart COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Mullen, MSU look ahead to opener COLLEGE SPORTS