STARKVILLE -- Anna Prestidge is the answer to the trivia question: why has the Starkville Academy girls basketball team been so successful? At least that's what Lady Volunteers coach Glenn Schmidt said after her team's 40-25 victory over a powerful Pillow Academy squad.
Load up the pistol because the Heritage Academy football team is about to learn a new system. Barrett Donahoe, the architect of that system at Copiah Academy and Marshall Academy, was in Columbus on Friday to take the first step in building the Heritage Academy football program into a state title contender.
Racing has always been a big part of Mike Mauldin's life. "I love it dearly," said Mauldin, who is from Fulton. "The Bullring is one of the places where I got my start. To be able to contribute to the success of the Columbus Speedway means a lot to me. We are looking forward to a great year of racing."
Two college basketball teams headed in opposite directions will meet in Nashville today. Unfortunately for Mississippi State, it isn't the squad on the positive end of that equation.
OXFORD -- Porsha Porter, Diamber Johnson, and the rest of the Mississippi State women's basketball team picked the right time Thursday night to play through mistakes quickly. With their lead being tested in the final five minutes, Porter delivered a five-point spurt that provided a cushion and Johnson added the dagger to lead MSU to a 51-46 victory against the University of Mississippi before a crowd of 1,294 at Tad Smith Coliseum.
OXFORD -- The plan didn't include an effort like this, especially in a rivalry game. But University of Mississippi coach Renee Ladner found herself in the awkward position of trying to energize her team Thursday night in its home game against arch-rival Mississippi State. Ladner and Ole Miss never found that spark.
STARKVILLE -- Not having the game of baseball last year changed Nick Brooks' life. On Thursday, that same game paved the way for him to take the next step in a positive way when he signed to play baseball at East Mississippi Community College.
Porsha Porsha has been one of the most consistent performers for the Mississippi State women's basketball team this season. Whether it has been darting to the basket, draining 3-pointers, or ballhawking opponents, the senior guard has helped anchor the backcourt with classmate Diamber Johnson. But MSU may need Porter to do more if it is going to realize a goal she still believes is attainable.
OXFORD -- Mississippi State University men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury played the percentages Wednesday night and came out on the wrong end. For the first time this season, the Bulldogs' 14th-year head coach decided to use a 2-3 zone defense. The philosophy was clear, MSU was going to make the University of Mississippi, which entered the game shooting 29.6 percent from 3-point range, to shoot over the top of them to win.
OXFORD -- The University of Mississippi men's basketball team had No. 18 Mississippi State University right where it wanted it Wednesday night. This time, the Rebels closed the deal. Playing perhaps its most complete game of the year, Ole Miss built an early lead and held on for a 75-68 win at the Tad Smith Coliseum.
OXFORD -- After further review, it's still incredibly difficult to win Southeastern Conference road games. That's at least true for the Mississippi State University men's basketball team. For the first time in four years, MSU players walked away from Tad Smith Coliseum with a sour look on their face after playing the University of Mississippi.
"It's pretty much a done deal." Those were Barrett Donahoe's words this morning when he was asked if he had officially become the new football coach at Heritage Academy.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State men's basketball team has another opportunity to damage the University of Mississippi's hope for a successful season. In the past two seasons, the Bulldogs not only have successfully retained momentum in the rivalry game, but they also have made sure to leave the Rebels in a state of disarray and unable to recover in the following weeks.
Eleven days isn't a lot of time to make progress. But Columbus High School boys basketball coach Sammy Smith liked what he saw from his team Tuesday night in a 49-41 loss to Tupelo in a Class 6A, Region 1 game at Columbus High School. In the girls game, Kiandria Patterson had 25 points and Maggie Proffitt had 19 to lead the Columbus girls to a 69-41 victory.
Junior forward Cade Lott knew right away where his Heritage Academy boys basketball team's performance Tuesday night ranked this season. "It was the best game we have played all year," Lott said. "Easily. There is no question about it. We played really well." Few in attendance at the Heritage Academy Gym disagreed. Heritage Academy scored the game's first eight points and rolled past Immanuel Christian 65-37. The teams managed a doubleheader split, as the Immanuel Christian girls earned a 51-45 victory in the opener.
Renee Ladner is sticking with the plan. Last week, the University of Mississippi women's basketball coach preached that her team was a "work in progress" and that it was developing confidence and a better understanding of what it needs to do even after a 0-3 start in the Southeastern Conference. Ladner's message hadn't changed Tuesday after the Rebels (12-6, 2-3 SEC) had won their second-straight league game, a 69-55 victory Sunday at the University of Alabama.
STARKVILLE -- Passing showers Tuesday afternoon didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the Mississippi State University softball team. The Bulldogs worked their way through their initial practice of 2012 inside the MSU Indoor Softball Complex as the first step toward the Feb. 9 season opener against the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala., and the debut of new coach Vann Stuedeman.
In the long winding road of a high school basketball season, teams can learn lessons along the way. When Starkville High lost its first two games of the season at the Joe Horne Christmas Classic in Columbus, Carter fell like his team could learn falling twice, while being the state's top-ranked team.
East Mississippi Community College men's basketball coach Mark White repeatedly points out that there are several more basketball games left in the 2011-12 regular season. In the very next breath, White talks about the extreme importance of the game at hand. The Lions take on No. 17 Northeast Mississippi Community College with the early North Division lead on the line tonight.
STARKVILLE -- The first thing Rick Stansbury said in the preseason that his team has more pieces to work with in the 2011-2012. The queen on Stansbury's hardwood chess board is junior forward Arnett Moultrie because he can play in whatever style of play the opponent wishes.
1. Notebook: Self enjoys career day as Bulldogs enjoy sweep COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Starkville routs Murrah in playoff opener, falls in second game HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. New Hope starts postseason with win over Lake Cormorant HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Moyer, Jr. wins at Bullring for first time LOCAL SPORTS