New Hope boys coach Drew McBrayer didn't have to really use a timeout Friday.
Zaria Jenkins was just relieved to get to overtime.
Starkville High moved to 11-0 with a pair of girls' basketball victories in the Joe Horne Columbus Christmas Classic.
Luther Riley is used to big-time basketball.
CALEDONIA -- Briann Benson plays with a sense of calm when she is on the soccer field. The noise from the crowd doesn't matter. Benson can tune it out. Disruptive play from a defender or an opposing team? That's fine, too, because the Caledonia High School senior midfielder has refined her touch on the ball to escape the most perilous situations.
STARKVILLE -- A.J. Brown expected a victory Saturday. As one of the leaders for the Mississippi team against Alabama in the 29th-annual All-Star Football Classic, the Starkville High School senior wide receiver knew his team had talented players and the right recipe for a victory. But the early practices didn't indicate a win was going to happen. "It was kind of rough with the practices and stuff," Brown said. "We weren't really just confident like that, but we progressed. It showed in the game because they couldn't stop us, we just stopped ourselves."
CALEDONIA -- The term pest should be a coveted moniker for defenders. After all, the term typically is associated with forwards because the offense usually creates the buzz that generates the headlines. But Caledonia High School boys soccer coach Mark Box wants to turn that notion on its ear. Box has just the player to do do it, too: Andy Blakney.
STARKVILLE -- Chase Nicholson was blessed with some good players in his first year. The Starkville Academy coach took over for Jeff Terrill this season and he knew he had some talented players. The Volunteers finished 10-2 for the second-straight season and advanced to the second round of the playoffs before losing to Simpson Academy. As an assistant coach, he saw players compete in All-Star games, but the thrill was bigger as a head coach.
STARKVILLE --The Columbus High School boys basketball team entered its game Saturday against Starkville with new uniforms, a new coach, and the state's top ranking. But Starkville still has the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A state championship trophy in its case. Playing its most complete game of the season, No. 4 Starkville proved it intends to defend that title by notching an 80-61 victory at the Bee Hive.
MACON -- Timorrius Conner enjoys proving people wrong. The Noxubee County High School quarterback also is adept at erasing bad memories. A little more than two months ago, Noxubee County was coming off a 29-28 loss in overtime to Kemper County. The fourth-straight loss dropped the Tigers to 2-4 and left many doubting they would be able to regroup in a competitive Region 4 and make another run at a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A State title.
OXFORD -- Timorrius Conner knew from the first possession it was going to be his night.
OXFORD -- Don't disrespect the defense.
STARKVILLE -- Tyson Carter is getting a lot of attention from opposing teams.
Madison Thrasher couldn't contain her enthusiasm.
Sometimes things just fall into place.
OXFORD -- Andreus Swanigan has watched Avery Brown lead the Starkville rushing attack all season long.
OXFORD -- Ricky Woods has developed a reputation of winning championships.
MACON -- Tyrone Shorter knew what kind of team he had. For every dropped interception, fumble, busted coverage, or miscommunication he witnessed by his players, the Noxubee County High School football coach had to temper his frustration and realize he had a team capable of getting to Oxford and winning back-to-back Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A state titles. A lot of Shorter's frustration came to a head during a four-game losing streak -- the program's first since 2006 -- that tested his patience and saw four players quit the team.
STARKVILLE -- Maleke Bell has seen a lot of positive things happen on the gridiron. The Starkville High School senior defensive lineman won a state championship as a freshman in 2012. He was the only freshman to play in that title run. In 2013, Bell helped the Yellow Jackets make it to the second round of the playoffs in 2013. Last season, he played a key role in the team's march to the North Half state championship game last season.
MACON -- The script seems awfully familiar to Tyrone Shorter. A year ago, a lot of the talk surrounding the matchup between the St. Stanislaus and the Noxubee County high school football teams for the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A state title centered around how the Tigers were going to stop quarterback Myles Brennan and the Rock-a-Chaws' prolific passing game.
1. Weatherspoon's rebounding takes off in SEC play COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Columbus basketball teams sweep Tupelo HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS