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.
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 — 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.
Two girls basketball programs rich in tradition will meet at 7 tonight when the Sulligent Lady Blue Devils play host to Red Bay in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A Northwest Sub-Regional Tournament.
Russ Wallace respects any team that beats R.C. Hatch. R.C. Hatch has won 10 state championships, including consecutive championships from 2006-08.
CALEDONIA — Turn it up. Faced with elimination and the end of their seasons Tuesday night, the Noxubee County High School basketball teams answered the call. The challenge Thursday will be to ratchet up their pressure defense and their execution another notch to prolong their seasons. Daquarius Mallard had a game-high 25 points to lead third-seeded Noxubee County to an 86-58 victory against sixth-seeded Caledonia in the MHSAA Class 4, Region 4, District 4 Tournament at Caledonia High School.
STARKVILLE — There isn’t much left for Starkville Academy’s soccer team to do this season besides hoisting the state championship trophy. At 10-0 and with a plus-47 goal differential this season, the Volunteers enter today’s Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA playoff tie against Jackson Prep (11-7) as favorites. The No. 1-seeded Vols have mowed through opponents and closed tight games this season, putting down more expectations to bring the program its first piece of hardware since the 2005 squad topped the then-MPSA ranks. The anticipation leading up to today’s 3 p.m. kickoff at the Starkville Sportsplex hasn’t rattled the team down the stretch. Artie Cosby’s squad is built around nine seniors, which is why he feels his team needs no talking to about avoiding a letdown.
TUPELO — The game plan didn’t change. The pregame speech didn’t change. The only thing that changed Tuesday night was the degree of discipline and the level of execution the Columbus High School boys basketball team delivered. As a result, the Falcons will live to play again. Bobby Wrench and Akeem Toppin scored 16 points each to lead Columbus to a 62-59 victory against Tupelo in the Class 6A, Division 2, District 4 tournament at Tupelo High School.
BENTON –– Taylor Baudoin scored a game-high 24 points and had 16 rebounds, five assists, and six steals Tuesday to lead the Immanuel Christian Lady Rams past Tri-County Academy 58-33 in the MAIS Class A North Central State Tournament. Immanuel (18-12) outscored Tri-County each quarter and led 14-10, 24-12, and 39-24 at the quarter breaks. Also for the Lady Rams, Bailey Edwards had 15 points, nine rebounds, and three steals, and Abby Good had eight points and seven rebounds.
The second season begins tonight. It’s time for the area basketball teams to put the ups and downs of the regular season behind them and to take care of business.
STEENS — New role, no problem. A year ago, Justin James was the young gun in an Immanuel Christian boys basketball starting lineup with four seniors. It was natural for James to defer to his more experienced teammates and let them take the leadership role.
The West Lowndes High School boys basketball team earned even more legitimacy — at least in Lowndes County — on Friday night. Now the Panthers’ challenge is to back up what they earned from a season sweep of Columbus in their district tournament later this week. Demetrius Malone scored a game-high 25 points and Clemmie Hairston’s layup in overtime provided the go-ahead points that allowed West Lowndes to defeat Columbus 61-57.
MACON — The Starkville High School girls basketball team avoided an upset Friday, staving off a fourth quarter rally by Noxubee County for a 53-37 win. Starkville’s Shay Bonner led all scorers with 17 points, while teammate Kala Williams finished with 10. The Lady Jackets entered the game a day after dropping a one-point district home loss to South Panola.
The Columbus High School baseball team First-Pitch Banquet will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the school’s cafeteria. Former Columbus High, Itawamba Community College, and Mississippi State football standout Tyson Lee will be the guest speaker. “We use it to kick off the season, establish some alumni support, and get them back involved in the program,” Columbus High coach Jeff Cook said. “It’s a good way to come out and see the players we have and, of course, listen to Tyson, who is a fine speaker. It’s a good way to get the season started.”
WINONA –– Justin James scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds Saturday night to lead the Immanuel Christian boys basketball team past Winona Christian 40-37 in the championship game of the MAIS Class A, District 3 championship game. Ross Moore scored 11 points, A.J. Johnston scored six and Wade Lee scored five for Immanuel, which improved to 17-13. Immanuel had to rally to claim the victory. The Rams trailed 11-6 after the first quarter and 24-23 at halftime before outscoring Winona Christian 8-2 in the third period to take a 31-26 lead.
WINONA –– The Immanuel Christian girls basketball team made school history Thursday night. The Lady Rams earned a berth in the championship game of the MAIS Class A, District 3 Tournament for the first time by upsetting No. 1-seed Kemper Academy 55-53 in overtime. Immanuel (17-11) outscored Kemper Academy 7-5 in overtime to claim the victory. The Lady Rams will play Hebron Christian in the championship game at 7 p.m. Saturday.