JACKSON -- The numbers likely will determine the Starkville High School girls basketball team's chances of winning a Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 6A State title. If Starkville can hold Olive Branch under 40 points at 6 p.m. Saturday at Mississippi Coliseum, it will be the 25th time this season the Lady Yellow Jackets have held an opponent to that scoring total.
A little extra practice never hurts, even if you have to find a way to sneak into the gym. Over the years, Ken "Buddy" Dill and his Oak Hill Academy boys basketball teammates have found ways to gain access to the school's gym to play impromptu pick-up games. Sometimes there have been only two or four Raiders putting in some extra work. There also have been times Dill said 25-30 players have been in the gym waiting to get on the court.
JACKSON -- Kelsey Jones wanted to give up the ball so bad. The only problem was the official, who was standing to Jones' left at midcourt, couldn't take it as the final seconds ticked off the clock at the Mississippi Coliseum. Yet Jones tried again, inching the basketball closer to him as the clock wound down to zero. Jones didn't want to hold the ball any longer. She wanted to celebrate.
JACKSON -- It always helps to have a contingency plan. When you have been to the state semifinals three years in a row, you have a sense anything can happen, which is why Starkville High School girls basketball coach Kristie Williams made sure to have several backup plans ready to show her players in practice to ensure they were prepared for everything against Biloxi on Wednesday.
STARKVILLE -- Torin Hamilton knew what Sam Cox could add to the Starkville Academy boys soccer team.
Vince Lemmers and Dalton Ford didn't look at the responsibility as a burden.
STEENS -- Da'Kameron Mitchell, Kimarri Whitfield, and Dawson Shaw will get one more opportunity to represent Columbus Christian Academy as All-Stars. Later this week, Mitchell and Whitfield will play in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) Senior All-Star Basketball game, while Shaw will play in the Senior All-Star Soccer game.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville High School baseball coach Travis Garner had been waiting for an inning like the first inning of his team's 4-3 victory against New Hope on Monday night for quite some time. He wasn't alone.
JACKSON -- A well-balanced mix of grizzled veterans and talented underclassmen have the West Point High School girls basketball team on a deep run into the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 5A State tournament.
JACKSON -- At this time of the year an ugly win is something worth taken.
JACKSON -- Dashmond Daniel, the fifth-year head coach of the West Point Lady Wave, paced the sideline with a fiery determination in his eyes. He stomped his feet on the hardwood and drove his voice hoarse, attempting to motivate his team for a second-half comeback on Friday night at the Mississippi Coliseum.
Lee Boyd sees Carson Forrester's best attribute as untapped potential; starting in the fall, that upside belongs to Mississippi Delta Community College.
The Mississippi Coliseum has always brought a wide range of players and coaches together with one common goal - winning a state championship.
STARKVILLE - Starkville Academy baseball coach Brooks Roberts was happy to look in his dugout and see it full Thursday night.
CLINTON -- The stance screamed frustration. It wasn't a proper defensive alignment, either, but Drew Smith wasn't concerned about that. With hands on hips and elbow pointed outward and his body tilted to one side, the Parklane Academy girls basketball coach was trying to find a way to spark his team.
JACKSON -- There were no tears. CJ Smith merely turned after his 3-point heave fell short and walked to his left to begin shaking hands with the Ashland High School players. Minutes later, with uniform tucked away for the season, Smith eyed the final stat sheet and was asked what stood out. "Free throws," the West Lowndes High junior point guard said.
STEENS -- Basketball always has had a special place in Kimarri Whitfield's heart. The Columbus Christian Academy senior loves the sport so much that at one time he strongly considered giving up other sports to focus on basketball.
STARKVILLE -- When West Point High School senior Bobby Woodard lacks confidence, all he has to do is look in the dugout and find his head coach. "Bobby is our senior leader," West Point High baseball coach Blake Hutchison said. "He is our go-to guy. I have complete confidence in him getting job done. When he is on the mound, you feel good. You feel like he will find a way." Woodard found that way Tuesday night at Danny Carlisle Field, as West Point beat Starkville 5-3.
PHEBA -- Don't underestimate the power of a pat on the back, a smile, or a piece of candy. Those often overlooked gestures of appreciation have taken on an added meaning this season for the members of the Hebron Christian School girls basketball team.
C.J. Smith feels more comfortable. The West Lowndes High School junior felt that way from the first moment he spoke with new coach Torry Dale. Smith didn't know what to expect from the conversation, but he admitted his face lit up when Dale told him the Panthers were going back to an up-tempo brand of basketball.
1. Changes to mental approach, swing have helped Rooker COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Ole Miss baseball team will take on No. 16 Arkansas COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Starkville Academy's Hamilton signs with EMCC HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Ole Miss softball edges Jacksonville State COLLEGE SPORTS