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Busy week for high school hoopsters

By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Nov. 27, 2000
For East Central Community College basketball coaches Sammy Pace and Jay Bowen, it's recruiting made easy.
ECCC plays host to 12 high schools in this week's Central Mississippi Classic basketball tournament, including 11 from the two-year school's recruiting district.
Twenty-four prep teams in all will be in the tourney at two ECCC gyms, which highlights this week's slate of basketball games for teams in The Meridian Star's coverage area.
The tourney begins today at both the ECCC South Gym which is the old Decatur and Newton County High gym and EC's Brackeen-Wood Gymnasium with four games in both locations.
Today's girls' games have Lake facing Newton at Brackeen-Wood at 4 p.m., while at the same time, South Leake and Noxapater square off at the South campus gym. The 7 p.m. girls' game at Brackeen-Wood pits Carthage against West Lauderdale, the only school in the tournament not in East Central's recruiting district. Also at 7 at the South campus gym tonight, Edinburg faces off against Philadelphia.
Day one boys' contests at Brackeen-Wood have Newton and Lake squaring off at 5:30 p.m. and Scott Central facing Carthage at 8:30. At the South Campus gym, Edinburg plays West Lauderdale at 5:30 and Noxapater takes on Philadelphia at 8:30.
The tournament takes a day off Tuesday, but cranks back up Wednesday.
That's when the Newton County, Forest, South Leake and Neshoba Central boys' teams will be in action after getting first-round byes. Girls' teams who will see their first action Wednesday include Newton County, Scott Central, Forest and Neshoba Central.
Eight losers' bracket games in the tourney which guarantees every team at least two games will be held Thursday, four at each gym. Friday's action includes semifinals in both the winners' and losers' brackets.
All of Saturday's games will be held at Brackeen-Wood, beginning with the fifth-place girls' and boys' games at 1 p.m. and 2:30. The third-place contests are at 4 p.m. and 5:30, followed by the girls' championship at 7 p.m. and the boys' title game at 8:30.
Here's a rundown of the other local basketball action this week:
TODAY: A pair of Academy 3-A division matchups highlights a light schedule tonight.
Heidelberg Academy is at Wayne Academy and Newton County Academy entertains Central Academy. Winston Academy also visits Cruger-Tchula in Academy 2-AA contests.
TUESDAY: A host of big games are on tap for Tuesday, including Southeast Lauderdale hosting Choctaw Central and Northeast hosting Clarkdale right here in Lauderdale County.
Outside the area, Kemper County visits Heidelberg, Forest is at Newton, Quitman entertains West Jones, Wayne County is at Northeast Jones, Union is at Edinburg and Leake Academy hosts Lamar School.
THURSDAY: Like Monday, Thursday's schedule is highlighted by a pair of Academy 3-A matchups: Kemper Academy is at Wayne Academy and Newton County Academy goes to Sylva-Bay.
Other contests include Winston hosting University Christian, Lamar at Starkville Academy and Nanih Waiya hosting Ackerman.
FRIDAY: There are plenty of big contests on tap Friday, none bigger than at Meridian High School when Wayne County comes calling.
It will be WCHS coach Geary Jackson's first trip to MHS since he coached the Wildcats, and the girls' contest will pit the Lady War Eagles against the No. 2 ranked Lady Wildcats for the second of what could be several battles this season.
Other big matchups Friday have Southeast visiting Northeast in a cross-county battle and Kemper County entertaining arch-rival Noxubee County. Clarkdale is at Enterprise, Quitman hosts New Hope, Louisville entertains Starkville and Heidelberg is at home against Laurel.
SATURDAY: Heidelberg entertains Bay Spring Saturday night in a pair of Jasper County wars. The boys' game pits a highly-touted Oilers' squad against high-scoring Jason Forte, while the girls' matchup has Heidelberg coach Nedra Hosey going up against her old high school.
Also Saturday, Enterprise is at Morton and Kemper Academy is at Heidelberg Academy, while Sumter Academy goes to Morgan Academy.
Rocky Higginbotham is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rhigginbotham@meridianstar.com.

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