STARKVILLE — Already part of a strong sophomore class, Price Day earned the captain’s arm band and made it his mission to make the Starkville High School boys soccer team the best defensive team in the area.
STARKVILLE — Raevonne Shoemaker likes being an individual and standing out, so it makes sense she plays goalkeeper. The Starkville High junior started all of the Lady Jackets’ games this season and has been a fixture in Anna Albritton’s lineup for several years. It started when she was a seventh-grader, having to beat out two seniors and a junior to earn the starting job.
If current NCAA tournament bracket forecasts pan out, the Southeastern Conference will continue its shift down the national pecking order.
Thankfully, Lee Boyd didn’t have to choose. Too many times, teams deliver one part of the equation, leaving coaches to hope for a player or another element to provide a spark. Dillon Hawkins made sure Boyd knew right away what he was getting. The junior right-hander threw a five-inning no-hitter and received the backing of an 11-hit attack Tuesday night to lead the New Hope High School baseball team to a 13-0 victory against Columbus. The game was stopped after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
STARKVILLE — When options are few, you just have to go with what you’ve got. The Mississippi State men’s basketball team has played without solid depth in the post and at point guard this season, but has managed a Southeastern Conference Western Division title and a first-round bye in the conference tournament. Luckily, the team has avoided injuries, and hope starting point guard Dee Bost’s hip pointer doesn’t affect his status or play this weekend.
If the East Mississippi Community College baseball team needs a clutch hit, Coach Tony Montgomery wants Drew Vaughan at the plate. Montgomery has confidence in Vaughan in clutch situations with the way he’s swung the bat this season. Vaughan, a sophomore second baseman who is a 2008 graduate of Heritage Academy in Columbus, gave Montgomery a reason to have confidence in him when he belted a game-winning, two-run homer against Arkansas Baptist on Feb. 20.
STARKVILLE — Rick Stansbury doesn’t believe showing his Mississippi State men’s basketball team the game film of its loss to the University of Tennessee on Saturday will help it prepare for the Southeastern Conference Tournament. But the veteran coach hasn’t been able to get the deflating defeat off his mind.
Although the Southeastern Conference tournament begins Thursday, SEC Player of the Year ballots have been submitted to the league, which is why coaches had to answer plenty of “who’d you vote for?” questions Monday on the weekly teleconference.
STARKVILLE — Rashad Perkins didn’t want to take too much credit for Starkville High School’s run to the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A state title, but it’s hard to deny his impact. Perkins had 21 points, 14 rebounds, and 13 blocked shots against Biloxi in the state semifinals before scoring 25 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in the state final against Meridian. For his accomplishments, Perkins is The Commercial Dispatch Prep Player of the Week.
STARKVILLE — The lengthy saga and NCAA investigation surrounding the eligibility of Mississippi State freshman Renardo Sidney reached a conclusion Friday after the NCAA decided to suspend him for nine games next season and make him repay $11,800 in “impermissible benefits” received before enrolling at MSU. However, MSU officials will appeal the decision.
JACKSON — Finally. After returning home with state championship disappointment in four other trips with Greg Carter as the coach, the Starkville High School boys basketball teaam rode forward Rashad Perkins’ 25 points and 14 rebounds to win the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A state title Saturday. Starkville won the elusive state championship by beating Meridian 57-51 at Mississippi Coliseum.
DULUTH, Ga. — The Mississippi State women’s basketball team took the first punch. The Lady Bulldogs handled the second and third blows, and even dished out a few. But when it came time to weather the barrage of round-house haymakers they knew were going to come in the second half, MSU didn’t have an answer.
DULUTH, Ga. — Pressure defense can make a game crazy. University of Kentucky women’s basketball coach Matthew Mitchell doesn’t mind when things get crazy because that means his Wildcats are playing with energy and forcing mistakes. But sometimes a helter skelter pace can affect the wrong player. In the first 20 minutes Saturday, Mississippi State proved to be even better at forcing turnovers, as Kentucky committed 14 to MSU’s 13.
The lengthy saga and NCAA investigation surrounding the eligibility of Mississippi State University freshman Renardo Sidney has come to ruling after the NCAA reached a decision to bench him for nine basketball games next season and make him repay $11,800.
STARKVILLE — When Jarvis Varnado and Barry Stewart sat together Monday and spoke about Senior Night, they didn’t think their already slim chances of making the NCAA tournament would be even slimmer. Following Wednesday’s 89-80 loss at Auburn, the Mississippi State Bulldogs (21-9, 9-6 Southeastern Conference) enter Senior Night on Saturday looking to pull an upset on their home court against No. 16 Tennessee.
The time is now for the Mississippi State women’s basketball team. The Lady Bulldogs have had four days to regroup and to reflect on a disappointing loss at LSU. Fortunately, the other results Sunday in the Southeastern Conference worked in MSU’s favor and allowed the Lady Bulldogs to earn a No. 3 seed, the highest in program history, and a first-round bye for the SEC Tournament. At 8 tonight, MSU (18-11) will get a chance to live up to that lofty seeding when it takes on sixth-seeded Georgia at The Arena at Gwinnett Center.
CLINTON –- For the second straight year, East Mississippi Community College will be represented in the NJCAA Division I Basketball Championship. Last year the EMCC women made it to the national tournament and this year it’s the men’s turn. The 12th-ranked EMCC Lions punched their ticket to the national tournament Thursday by beating Itawamba Community College 78-64 in the championship game of the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament at A.E. Wood Coliseum on the Mississippi College campus.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen didn’t know when his team would face its first bout of adversity, though he knew it was coming after a 4-0 start. This past weekend’s three-game sweep at the hands of the Southeastern Louisiana Lions left the Mississippi State Bulldogs at 4-3 heading into this weekend’s BankFirst Baseball Challenge at Dudy Noble Field. The Bulldogs topped it off last Sunday with a 6-5 loss in which they had a two-run lead. That followed Saturday’s 8-5 loss when they commit five errors.
STARKVILLE — Three months have passed since the Starkville High School boys basketball team rallied to beat the Meridian Wildcats. Whether or not that game at Meridian really matters now is up for debate. Starkville will play Meridian in a rematch Saturday in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A state championship game and there are some interesting story lines. Among them, the teams have arguably two of the highest-rated players (Starkville’s Rashad Perkins and Meridian’s Rodney Hood) in Mississippi.
STARKVILLE — Starkville High School’s run to the state championship game is head coach Greg Carter’s first since 2003 and with as much that’s changed since then he hopes his evolution as a coach translates into a title. Back in 2003, Starkville lost the championship game to Vicksburgl. As exciting as making it to the championship game was for Carter, getting back to the final game seemed possible, if not probable, especially after qualifying for three more state tournaments the next six years.
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