STARKVILLE - Starkville Academy spent practice Wednesday working on being more aggressive and putting the ball in play with two strikes.
CARROLLTON, Ala. -- Poise in the circle can lead to perfection. But Shelby Lowe doesn't think in grandiose terms like that. It doesn't matter she is a freshman because the Pickens Academy freshmen is mature beyond her years. You only need to talk to the left-hander pitcher for a few minutes to realize she knows her stuff and can handle herself in tough situations.
New Hope High School baseball coach Lee Boyd has spent a lot of quality time with his players coaching third base this season. Boyd would like to see more of those players get from third base to home. In a recurring theme for the season, the timely hit alluded New Hope in a 4-2 loss to Oxford on Tuesday night in a Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 5A, Region 2 game at Trojan Field.
Logan Sneed dominated on the mound and at the plate Tuesday night to lead the Heritage Academy baseball team to a 6-2 win against Starkville Academy Volunteers on the opening night of Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) Class AAA, Region 2 play.
JACKSON -- As the clock moved inside three minutes remaining in the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 6A State championship game, quite a battle was going on between two of the state's top players. Olive Branch's Myah Taylor and Starkville's Kelsey Jones were trying to power their teams to a title in their final high school games. The teams were trading slim one-point leads and the capacity crowd was hanging on every possession. Jones then fouled out and Starkville never recovered. Fourteen second-half turnovers provided the difference as the Olive Branch girls beat Starkville 57-54.
JACKSON -- West Point High School girls basketball coach Dashmond Daniel coaches in an intense manner. Never one to sit down, Daniel coaches every possession whether his team is up 10 or down 10. The passion is obvious, as is the burning passion to compete. With one minute left in the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 5A State championship game Friday night, Daniel sat down, looked at West Point High boys basketball coach Brad Cox and shook his head.
JACKSON -- West Point High School junior Aamiya Rush felt a big game was coming. "It was the state championship game, so I really wanted to bring it," Rush said. "The way our team has played this season, someone is going get the job done. It was just a matter of coming out and playing our game. I was excited for this opportunity, so I wanted to make some type of statement."
JACKSON -- When he entered the coaching profession, West Point High School girls basketball coach Dashmond Daniel took advice from several coaches. One suggestion was to build offseason conditioning around a theme. Daniel found his latest theme Friday in the Mississippi Coliseum. In its first state championship appearance, West Point dropped a 56-45 decision to Neshoba Central in the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 5A State championship.
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.
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