Madison Ford had a right to be tired. Playing on back-to-back nights after returning from a bout with mononucleosis can be considered too much to ask for any basketball player. That’s what Ford has done for the Heritage Academy girls team. The senior was strong, especially down the stretch against Starkville Academy, as the Lady Patriots rallied for a 44-41 victory against the Lady Volunteers. After scoring 29 points in a 58-45 loss to Oak Hill Academy on Monday night, Ford scored 17 points against Starkville Academy.
The evening started and ended with exclamation marks for the Columbus High School boys basketball team. The good news is senior center Bobby Wrench was in the middle of the action. Wrench opened Tuesday night with a dunk and finished it with another flush en route to a 23-point effort in Columbus High’s 75-69 victory against Noxubee County.
Everything has increased this season for Kala Williams. It’s not that Williams didn’t play an important role for the Starkville High School girls basketball team last season, it’s just that things are magnified when you’re a senior. But Williams is handling the added responsibility just fine. The 5-foot-9 guard is averaging 19 points a game and is second on the team in rebounding (six per game). She is coming off a three-game stretch last week at the Hattiesburg Classic in which she averaged 20.7 points. She had 24 points in a victory against Brookhaven and 25 points in a victory against Oak Grove.
WEST POINT — Oak Hill Academy girls basketball coach Stan Hughey didn’t like what he saw early in Monday night’s game against Heritage Academy. Hughey wasn’t pleased with the way his squad was playing on both ends of the floor, and he didn’t wait too long before delivering his message.
The Magnolia Heights Tournament didn’t produce any wins for the Starkville Academy boys basketball team last week. But it gave the Volunteers a chance to grow, which is what coach Clay Stringer wanted.
It is no secret that the economy has impacted everyone. Jobs have been lost by the thousands and businesses have cut back and several have closed down. Although this is no secret to anyone in our nation today, what is not seen as much is the impact it is having on bass fishing. Football, baseball, basketball, etc.... have all been sports that have been followed on the television, in the paper and even going to the stadiums. Teams rise and fall in popularity based upon their success each season and most never think of the millions of dollars each team generates for the sport each season.
STARKVILLE -- The best thing about playing in the Hattiesburg Holiday Classic for Starkville High School girls basketball coach Kristie Williams was seeing good competition. The Lady Yellow Jackets played against two fellow Class 6A school in Oak Grove and Natchez and also Class 5A Brookhaven. Starkville (12-1) swept those teams with ease by beating Brookhaven 79-55, Oak Grove 51-38 and Natchez 67-58.
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.
The left side of the 1997 Toyota Camry looks like a squashed bug. What is left of the windshield is crumpled on the dashboard. An airbag hangs lifelessly from the steering wheel in front of a broken seat on the driver’s side. That broken seat might have saved Rachel Hollivay’s life. On a rainy, Sunday night last November, Hollivay, 16, was driving home with her friend, Sabrina Harris, in the front passenger seat. She admits she might have been going a little too fast for the conditions, but her speed didn’t alarm her until she lost control of the car going around a curve.
STARKVILLE —Bethany Washington is used to the ritual. The heating pads start from the end of the Mississippi State bench and work their way from trainer to manager to teammate to her knees. The size of the pads vary from gym to gym, but Washington has pads she brings with her when she travels, just in case, so she can be ready. Once the pads find their home, Washington can stretch out and receive the warmth she needs to keep her joints loose.
It’s time for the University of Mississippi women’s basketball to take care of business. The message from coach Renee Ladner can’t be any clearer as her team prepares to tip off Southeastern Conference play at 2 p.m. today at No. 18 Vanderbilt. The players have compiled a scouting report for today’s game, the coaches have discussed what the Rebels (9-4) will have to accomplish in the 16-game SEC schedule, and now they have to invest the time and effort it will take to help realize the goal of returning to the NCAA tournament.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The numbers will mean a little more to Southeastern Conference women’s basketball coaches this season. Today, all 12 teams will play the first games in their 16-game SEC schedules. This is the first season the SEC, which started women’s basketball play in the 1982-83 season, will feature a 16-game schedule. The decision evoked mixed feelings from SEC coaches last year when they were asked about it at the league’s annual media days gathering in Birmingham, Ala.
Now that junior college quarterback Cam Newton has decided to play at Auburn, Mississippi State’s football team looks to move forward with the signal callers it already has on the roster. Newton, who led Blinn (Texas) College to the junior college national championship, signed with Auburn on Thursday. MSU was in the running for Newton’s services all the way up to New Year’s Eve, but Auburn came through the back door in the final days of the year to snatch him. Newton visited Auburn right before Christmas.
Stacy Hester began the year as the head coach of one of the state’s most noted high school baseball programs. By the middle of 2009, Hester was out at New Hope High School.
Still feeling the pain of losing his mother, Kent Willis has decided to postpone his Straight Path Baseball Camp for a year. The minor league pitching coordinator for the Atlanta Braves organization canceled the camp after his mother, Willie Mae Willis, of Columbus, passed away Nov. 12. She was 76.
HATTIESBURG — The Starkville High School boys basketball team have ended the 2009 portion of its schedule undefeated. The Yellow Jackets put the finishing touches with a sweep of three games at the Hattiesburg Holiday Classic with a 77-49 victory against Oak Grove High Wednesday afternoon at Watkins Gymnasium.
One statistic really bothers Mississippi State basketball coach Rick Stansbury. When a Stansbury-coached team gets outrebounded like it did Monday night against Mississippi Valley State (45-44), it concerns him.
STARKVILLE — The contact would have knocked a lesser guard to the ground. But not much stops Armelie Lumanu when she is in her element.
South Lamar High School girls basketball coach Josh Harper must feel like he has been sent a gift from above. South Lamar’s future looks promising thanks to freshman guard Angel Cunningham.
As of Thursday morning, five local teams are scheduled to play Saturday in the East Oktibbeha High School basketball tournament in Crawford.
1. Bulldogs turn attention to UAB COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Player of Week: Davis, Starkville off to fast start HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Heritage Academy looks to build on first win HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS