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.
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.
1. Caledonia softball continues magical postseason run HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Oak Hill Academy beats West Memphis to reach second round HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. New Hope advances in baseball playoffs HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Starkville falls to DeSoto Central in playoffs HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS