STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury didn't get the result he wanted Thursday, but he was happy to see his team play better. MSU improved its rebounding, raised its bench production and saw leading scorer Ravern Johnson snap out of a scoring funk with 19 points against No. 19 Vanderbilt. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, an eight-point second half lead was wasted before falling to their second-straight defeat, 81-74.
Pat Summitt knows what it means to be tough. Growing up, Summitt was bloodied, knocked down, battered and bruised playing basketball with her three older brothers. The lessons Summitt learned -- "You can't be a sissy and play this game" -- steeled her resolve and have helped her become the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, men or women, in any division.
It's crunch time for the Mississippi State men's basketball team. MSU will play host to No. 19 Vanderbilt tonight on ESPN2.
STARKVILLE -- Coming off a 2010 campaign in which the Mississippi State football team earned nine victories, another Egg Bowl win, and drubbed the University of Michigan in the Gator Bowl on New Year's Day, the Bulldogs will continue their momentum on National Signing Day on Feb. 2. Coach Dan Mullen and several assistants will travel to five locations to speak and to interact with supporters around the state of Mississippi.
OXFORD -- Effie Morrison helped the New Hope High School girls soccer team keep its season alive -- and make history. Morrison's goal in the third minute of the first 10-minute overtime period Wednesday night lifted New Hope to a 3-2 victory against Oxford in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A North State playoffs.
Kye Van Someren feels the Caledonia High School boys soccer team is ready. The Confederates are rested after rain forced their Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A North State playoff game to be postponed. They also have motivation after letting a two-goal lead against district rival Amory slip away last week. The team's 4-2 loss cost it a chance at a district title and an opportunity to play host to a first-round playoff match. But a clean slate awaits at 6 tonight when Caledonia (13-5) will play at West Lauderdale in its postseason opener.
Kelsei Ewings is a hard to contain. The West Point High School senior has a smooth handle with either handle and shooting range that extends beyond the 3-point arc. The 5-foot-4 guard also isn't afraid to throw her body into the fray for rebounds against bigger bodies.
The New Hope High School boys basketball team hasn't had the biggest or the fastest or the most talented array of players the past two seasons. But the Trojans have made up for what they have lacked in those areas with a gritty, never-say-die mentality that has fueled their success. On Tuesday, New Hope coach Drew McBrayer saw signs that his latest team might have found that same mentality.
WEST POINT -- It was just a matter of time Tuesday before the Rachel Hollivay effect wore down Oak Hill Academy's girls basketball team. The Heritage Academy center made just 3 of 13 shots in the first half and saw her team trail 17-14 at halftime. What the Lady Patriots had failed to do in their four previous games, including a 19-point loss to the Lady Raiders, was effectively close games. At the center of Heritage Academy's attack, Hollivay had triple double and scored the go-ahead basket Tuesday night in a 40-38 overtime win against Oak Hill.
When shooters are "on" their "stroke" makes them feel like they can hit any shot from any spot on the floor. To get to that point where a shot becomes second nature, players often have to shoot hundreds -- if not thousands -- of shots before and/or after practice to become a sniper. Natalie Tate is working toward that goal, but she admits she has to develop the consistency she and her coach desire.
C.J. Johnson is comfortably a Rebel. The Philadelphia High School linebacker, blue-chip recruit, and All-American is the state's top-rated defensive player. He was Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen's second commitment in the fall of 2009. But Tuesday he confirmed he'll sign with the University of Mississippi on National Signing Day Feb. 2.
The state's top-ranked defensive player is headed to Ole Miss. Philadelphia linebacker C.J. Johnson, a five-star recruit according to Rivals.com, announced today he was spurning Mississippi State in favor of the Rebels. Rod Walker of the Clarion-Ledger broke the story earlier this afternoon. Once a Mississippi State commit since his junior year, Johnson de-committed the day after former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz left to take the same position at Texas.
Rain Monday night and today wiped out the slate of local Mississippi High School Activities Association playoff soccer games.
STARKVILLE -- Everything that could have went wrong did Saturday for the Mississippi State men's basketball team in its loss at the University of Georgia.
STARKVILLE -- Prior to Monday, Anna Albritton had one soccer player sign a college scholarship in her time as Starkville High School's girls soccer coach. She considers her second to be her first. Not many coaches get to see one of their standout players develop from grade school, but Albritton realized that feat Monday morning when goalkeeper Raevonne Shoemaker signed a scholarship to play soccer at Itawamba Community College.
STARKVILLE -- Anna Prestridge doesn't light up a stat box. The point guard for the Starkville Academy girls basketball team doesn't possess blazing speed or have a deadly outside shot.
Right or left? Steve Brand didn't have a lot of time to analyze which direction would work best, so he went with the flow. Veering right, Brand rubbed a defender off a screen at the top of the 3-point arc with the game in his hand.
The voice is distinctive. Even if they have tracked back into the defensive third and are lost in a sea of bodies, Megan and Cayla Chambers can pick out a call from their sister.
STARKVILLE -- There's something brewing at the top of the state soccer hierarchy. While Tupelo and Clinton high schools have kept an annual grip on the state title, Starkville High hopes to join them.
The Columbus Speedway will play host to the "Racin' for Life 200" United Speed Contest Sanction (USCS) Enduro Race for strictly stock cars at 2 p.m. March 5. The 200-lap race will benefit the American Cancer Society Relay For Life charity.
1. Columbus Christian ready to start softball program HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Logan enjoys fruitful career with MSU athletics COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Heritage Academy opens soccer season today HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS