STARKVILLE — Technology has changed the way fans get their sports. From e-mail, to digital images, to high definition television, to the Internet, it’s easier and faster to get any information you need. The onslaught of gadgets can be imposing for veteran broadcasters who came up without iPods or BlackBerrys, but as much as the devices Dave Baker uses to do his job have changed one thing remains the same: There’s a story to tell.
TUPELO — Don’t let the smile fool you. Edward Townsel is an assassin. The Starkville High School senior guard has quickness reminiscent of Monta Ellis to blow by even the nimblest of defenders. He has the hops of an Energizer bunny who has just sucked down a Red Bull energy drink. Most importantly, his accuracy compares to a carnival marksman, only his daggers are jump shots and pinpoint passes to teammates for layups or dunks.
SALTILLO — A 14-point deficit couldn’t keep the New Hope Trojans from claiming their sixth-straight division championship Friday. A a furious second-half rally propelled New Hope past Oxford 66-56 in the championship game of the MHSAA Class 5A, Division 2 Tournament. The Trojans hit a low point in the second quarter when the Chargers extended their lead 30-18, but New Hope coach Drew McBrayer’s squad wasn’t about to throw a wrench in tradition.
MOOREVILLE — The finals of the six-team Class 3A, Region 2, District 1 basketball tournament turned into a win-win situation for Aberdeen High School on Friday night, as the Bulldogs and the Lady Bulldogs knocked off Nettleton to capture district championships. In the girls title game, Aberdeen built a 24-9 first-quarter advantage en route to a 68-54 win. The boys then claimed a 58-45 triumph in the fourth and final game of the night to complete the sweep. Both Aberdeen teams, who also carted off regular-season championships, will advance to the next round of the playoffs. The girls will the loser of the East Side-Charleston game Monday at home, while the boys will face M.S. Palmer, the No. 4 team from Region 3.
BRUCE –– The West Lowndes High School boys basketball team won a championship trophy Friday night to add to the school’s display case by beating Calhoun City 66-55 in the championship game of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2A, Region 2 Tournament. “It was real exciting,” West Lowndes coach Herman Peters said. “The guys played real hard. They played together as a team Demetrius Malone had 16 points to lead West Lowndes (17-6). Andra Lewis had 15 and Tyquan Lucious added 11.
STARKVILLE — The Los Angeles Dodgers’ loss is the Mississippi State baseball team’s gain. Most draft eligible juniors who are selected in the 11th round or higher of the Major League Baseball amateur draft take the money and turn pro. That wasn’t the case for Connor Powers, who turned down a chance to work his way through the Dodgers minor league system and a shot at the big time to return to Year 2 of John Cohen’s building plan at Mississippi State.
STARKVILLE — There’s no doubt Cara Capuano and Robin Muller love sports. Capuano grew up the daughter of a sports fan. Some of her earliest memories involve sports — watching pitcher Fernando Valenzuela with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981 and attending the AFC Championship Game between the Los Angeles Raiders and the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 8, 1984, in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with her father when she was 10 years old.
Swim Columbus will send 20 athletes to the 2010 Mississippi Swimming, Inc., Short Course State Championships on Friday through Sunday at the Laurel Natatorium in Laurel. The meet will feature the state’s top age-group swimmers, and will begin Friday with the senior girls 200-yard freestyle relay. The meet will conclude Sunday with the boys 15 and older 1,650 free.
Most water sports men and women you see wear sunglasses. Anglers wear them to see better while fishing. With polarized lenses, you are able to see underwater stumps and other cover that will likely hold a fish or two. During bedding season, anglers that bed fish wear polarized sunglasses to spot fish while they are on the bed. Pleasure boats are filled with men, women and children and most of them are wearing sunglasses for a number of reasons. Some wear them because of having to squint in the sunlight. Others wear them to look stylish.
STARKVILLE — With so much at stake Thursday night, the Mississippi State Bulldogs picked a good time to snap out of a funk. After losing four-straight games on the road, the Bulldogs got 18 points from guard Ravern Johnson and held the Ole Miss Rebels to 38 percent shooting from the field to post a 71-63 Southeastern Conference win at Humphrey Coliseum. Mississippi State (17-7, 5-4 SEC) moved into second place behind Arkansas in the SEC Western Division with the victory.
STARKVILLE — Just one week away from opening day, Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen is anxious to see how his team takes shape. With a recruiting class ranked eighth-best in the nation by Baseball America, Cohen and his staff reeled in some of the best pitching prospects in hopes of shoring up the biggest weak spot of the Bulldogs’ 25-29 campaign in 2009. Cohen spoke at length about the new look of his team during a preseason press conference Thursday. Words like “exciting” and “potential” were used to describe the squad he’ll send out next Friday in the season-opener against Rhode Island.
STARKVILLE — Building on last year’s success, Al Schmidt and the Mississippi State track teams have seen immediate results on the recruiting trail. MSU’s men added another top-notch sprinter this week with the signing of Alabama prep sprinter James Harris. Harris won the open 400-meter event at the 2009 Junior Olympics and chose MSU over Texas A&M and LSU. MSU also added seven distance runners to the fold Wednesday, including Alabama Gatorade Cross Country Athlete of the Year Nathan Lewis, who won three state titles in his prep career.
Home-court advantage for the MHSAA North State tournament will be on the line tonight when the area's Class 6A and 5A girls and boys basketball teams take the court for their district tournament finals. In Class 6A, the Starkville High girls will take on South Panola at 6 p.m. in the District 4 final at Tupelo High. The Columbus High boys will face Starkville at 7:30 p.m. in the nightcap. In Class 5A, the New Hope High girls will take on West Point at 6 p.m. at Saltillo High. The New Hope boys will face Oxford at 7:30 p.m. in the second game.
CALEDONIA — Donquarius Mallard scored a team-high 25 points Thursday night to lead the Noxubee County boys basketball team to an 80-77 victory against Louisville in the MHSAA Class 4A, Region 4, District 4 tournament at Caledonia High School. The Tigers built a 44-28 halftime lead, survived a 29-16 third quarter by Louisville, and then held on in the fourth quarter to advance to the district title game at 8:30 tonight against Houston. The winner between Noxubee County and Houston will host a first-round Class 4A North State playoff game next week.
The Columbus High School baseball team First-Pitch Banquet has been rescheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the school’s cafeteria. Former Columbus High, Itawamba Community College, and Mississippi State football standout Tyson Lee will be the guest speaker. Inclement weather that is expected this weekend has forced the cancellation of the alumni game, which was to be played at 11 a.m. Saturday.
STARKVILLE — Back home after playing four of its past five games on the road, the Mississippi State men’s basketball team faces desperate times. During that span MSU (16-7, 4-4 Southeastern Conference) has lost four games — all on the road — ahead of a tip at 8 tonight against the University of Mississippi (17-6, 5-4) at Humphrey Coliseum.
STARKVILLE — Jackson Prep’s boys soccer team showed no signs of being an underdog Wednesday in its first-round Mississippi Association of Independent School’s playoff tie against No. 1 seed Starkville Academy, allowing just one shot on goal and dismantling the previously unbeaten Volunteers 5-0.
Sam Adams never intended to leave Caledonia High School in a rush. But when an opportunity came open last week to join his wife and children in Louisiana, he couldn’t say no.
Jessee Mims realized a goal Wednesday morning that had been more than five years in the making. Her dream blossomed in eighth grade when she started to play soccer. Not only did she fall in love with the sport, but her parents also took the sport.
STARKVILLE — Misty Flesher doesn’t like to sit still. She also doesn’t like to do nothing, so imagine her predicament when she encountered more pain in her shoulder at the start of the 2009 season and ultimately was forced to shut it down after only appearing in four games.
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