The distance — three feet — is negligible. At one or two steps, most players travel that distance countless times in the blink of an eye during a game. But that three feet could turn out to play a big difference in Mississippi High School Activities Association fast-pitch softball this season. MHSAA teams will play on fields with pitching rubbers at 43 feet. Last year, the pitching rubbers were at 40 feet. It might take a blink of eye to cover the added three feet, but any added time players get to see pitches could help give them an advantage at the plate.
BALDWYN –– The West Lowndes Panthers pulled away in the second half Thursday to beat Williams-Sullivan 89-70 in the MHSAA Class 2A North State Tournament. West Lowndes (19-6) held a slim 42-38 halftime lead before outscoring Williams-Sullivan 20-12 in the third quarter and 27-20 in the fourth. “They played really well,” West Lowndes coach Herman Peters said. “They played well as a team. They played with great effort. It was spread out. It wasn’t like a one-person show.”
STARKVILLE — Picked by league coaches to finish last in the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference, the Mississippi State baseball team’s excitement about the 2010 season has an obvious reality in the team’s reconstruction. Year 2 of John Cohen’s command will see 18 fresh faces open the season at 4 p.m. today against Rhode Island at Dudy Noble Field. They’ve also gotten their first taste of just how celebrated MSU baseball is by experiencing Dudy Gras.
STARKVILLE — MississippiState men’s tennis coach Per Nilsson thinks his team might not have been fully tuned-in during a 3-3 start to the season. Today’s home opener against UAB at 2 p.m. starts a three-match homestand after MSU suffered a 4-2 loss to Brigham Young and 5-2 setback to No. 24 Washington. Mississippi State rebounded from the Washington loss with a 5-2 win against East Tennessee State, but Nilsson believes the team could very easily be 5-1 heading into today’s matches. The Bulldogs opened the season with a 4-3 loss to Ole Miss at the River Hills Cup in Jackson.
STARKVILLE — What could have been a spectacular night, with a national television audience watching the Mississippi State men’s basketball team bid for an upset of No. 2 Kentucky, turned ugly Tuesday. Mississippi State’s image suffered a black eye when unruly fans threw bottles of water onto the court at Humphrey Coliseum after Kentucky rallied to beat the Bulldogs 81-75 in overtime. Mississippi State Director of Athletics Greg Byrne isn’t happy about it. Neither is university president Dr. Mark Keenum.
STARKVILLE — Pitching was an emphasis for the Mississippi State baseball team heading into the offseason. With a new stable of young arms someone’s got to set an example. The Bulldogs will turn to sophomore Nick Routt to lead a relatively green group of pitchers this season after the Maryland native turned in a stellar true freshman year in 2009.
Pulling tires up and down a mile-long road might sound like a training tactic used for a Strongman competition. Zach Taylor isn’t there yet, but he used the specialized form of exercise to open his track and field season with a bang. Competing last week at the South Zone Indoor Championship in Baton Rouge, La., the Heritage Academy freshman finished first in the 60-meter dash (7.24 seconds) and fourth in the 200 (24.59) in the intermediate boys division.
STARKVILLE –– Stan Miller’s retirement has been put on hold for a second time, but this go around he has Starkville as the final destination. Miller has put off retirement to become the Athletic Director at Starkville High School. Once a Jersey City, N.J., high school baseball player, Miller made the trek to Florida to play junior college baseball before moving to Starkville to attend Mississippi State University.
Melissa Word wants the ball in the hands of LaPrecious Thompson at the end of the game. Not only does the Canton High School junior guard have a smooth handle, but she also has a sweet touch from the free-throw line.
STARKVILLE — The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team found a way to close at the end. It should be expected from the No. 2 team in the country, but the Wildcats had to grind for it. The nip-tuck match saw Kentucky mow down a seven-point hole to force overtime, where it clinched the foul-ridden match — 45 in all — 81-75.
The New Hope High School boys basketball team didn’t bowl anyone over Tuesday night with its offensive effort. But the Trojans threw all strikes on the defensive end.
STARKVILLE — Senior guard Edward Townsel scored 20 of his game-high 26 points in the second quarter to help the Starkville High School boys basketball team turn a 10-point deficit into a nine-point halftime lead en route to a 79-68 win against Grenada in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A North Half State Tournament.
Demetrius Malone wanted to make the most of his final home game in a West Lowndes High School boys basketball uniform. The senior shooting guard scored 24 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead West Lowndes past Broad Street 70-52 in the opening round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2A North Half State Tournament.
JACKSON –– The Columbus High School boys basketball team couldn’t find a way to stop Dundrecous Nelson. Nelson, a University of Mississippi signee and member of The Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen team, poured in a game-high 37 points Tuesday to lead Murrah to a 70-58 victory in the opening round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A North State Tournament.
ABERDEEN — A poor first quarter and an even worse fourth quarter, which was fueled by a sterling performance by Rashad Pargo, proved to be the undoing for M.S. Palmer here Tuesday, as the Aberdeen High School boys basketball team posted a 76-61 victory in the first round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A North Half State Tournament.
Campbell University women’s basketball coach Wanda Watkins is thankful for a telephone conversation she had with Brian Alexander. That conversation led Watkins to recruit and to sign shooting guard Courtney Cannon of Itawamba Community College in Fulton.
There’s a star in Oxford that must shine brighter for the University of Mississippi men’s basketball team to earn an NCAA tournament berth. The Ole Miss staff wants more from guard Terrico White.
STARKVILLE — Quickness versus strength has long been a matchup that favors the fleet of foot, so long as strength doesn’t wear down the lighter opponent. Mississippi State University men’s basketball team will be the lighter team at 8 tonight (ESPN) in its Southeastern Conference matchup against No. 2 Kentucky, but John Calipari’s big boys can move, too.
STARKVILLE — Starkville High School will look to its past for a new athletic director. Former SHS principal and current Arkansas High School administrator Dr. Stan Miller has been selected by Starkville School District Superintendent Judy Couey to replace Bill Lee, whose retirement becomes effective at the end of the school year.
MACON — Daquarius Mallard smiles when he hears the description of his game: “Drop-dead shooter.” The words are those of Noxubee County High School boys basketball coach T.J. Billups, and Mallard doesn’t quibble with the moniker.
2. MSU softball set for Citrus Classic COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Ole Miss relishes opportunity against MSU COLLEGE SPORTS
5. MSU prepares for final home game against Ole Miss COLLEGE SPORTS