High school tournaments abound this week
By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Dec. 4, 2000
Basketball fans in the area can't be blamed this week if they think it's February.
After all, it appears the temperatures are heading South, and there are plenty of basketball tournaments, as well.
No less than eight tournaments this week will involve teams from The Meridian Star's coverage area, including ones at Heidelberg Academy, West Lauderdale and Philadelphia that highlight this week's high school hoops schedule.
The December Holiday Tournament at Heidelberg Academy cranks up Tuesday and features all of the teams in Academy Division 3-A, while most of the area's other tournaments are in round-robin events that run Thursday through Saturday.
At Heidelberg, the host Oilers and Lady Oilers will entertain Kemper Academy, Central Academy, Wayne Academy, Sylva-Bay Academy and Newton County Academy.
West Lauderdale will have just Union and Kemper County in its event after Newton dropped out because of a scheduling conflict. Philadelphia entertains Neshoba Central, Forest and Bay Springs, while Louisville and Choctaw Central will be in a round-robin at Louisville.
Other tournament action this week includes Lamar School in the Hillcrest Christian Tournament in Jackson, Lake and Sebastopol in a round-robin at Morton, Nanih Waiya in the Ackerman Invitational and Sumter Academy in the Pickens (Ala.) Tournament.
The week's top non-tournament showdowns include non-division tilts between West Lauderdale and Choctaw Central, as well as Newton County against Kemper County on Tuesday as well as pair of showdowns Friday when Meridian visits Newton County.
Here's a rundown of the upcoming week:
Tonight: The slate is rather thin tonight, when a handful of Class 1A and private school games highlight the schedule.
Lake hosts Pelahatchie, Scott Central is at Puckett, Winston Academy entertains Kirk, Central Academy goes to Heritage and Heidelberg Academy is at Leake in the key matchups.
Tuesday: Choctaw Central and West Lauderdale, who had a couple of classic girls' battles a year ago, tangle for the first time this season Tuesday at Collinsville.
The Lady Knights and Lady Warriors, like last year, are expected to battle Newton County, Southeast Lauderdale and Velma Jackson for the Division 5-3A title.
Other key Tuesday matchups have Newton County at Kemper County, Neshoba Central at Louisville, Quitman at Wayne County, Taylorsville at Clarkdale, Bay Springs at Northeast Jones, Heidelberg at Raleigh and Livingston at Choctaw County.
Thursday: All of the area's round-robin tourneys crank up Thursday, including at West Lauderdale where Union and Kemper County meet in a girls' and boys' game at 6 p.m. and 7:30.
Thursday at Morton, Sebastopol and Lake have the early matchups with girls' and boys' games at 4:30 and 5:45 p.m.
Friday: One of the state's top girls' matchups Friday takes place at Decatur, where once-beaten Newton County battles 11-0 and second-ranked Meridian High School at 6 p.m., with the same two boys' teams battling immediately afterward.
Other matchups Friday include Northeast Lauderdale at Enterprise, Mendenhall at Quitman, Southeast Lauderdale at Velma Jackson, Wayne County at Laurel and Leake Academy at Newton County.
At West Lauderdale Friday, the Lady Knights and Knights take on Union at 6 p.m. and 7:30; while Friday's tourney breakdown at Morton has Lake meeting Piney Woods in the early games beginning at 4:30 p.m., and Sebastopol taking on Morton in the two late matchups starting at 7 p.m.
Saturday: Division rivals West and Kemper County wrap up the West Lauderdale Round-Robin by tangling Saturday at 6 p.m. and 7:30, and the area's other tournaments also wrap up Saturday.
That's where the championship games will be played at Heidelberg Academy; while at Morton, Sebastopol gets Piney Woods in the early games beginning at 4:30 and Lake tackles Morton in the nightcaps at 7 p.m. and 8:15.
One of the best non-tournament matchups Saturday is at Meridian, where the Wildcats and Lady Wildcats entertain Heidelberg. MHS swept the Oilers and Lady Oilers earlier this season, and Ted Williams' and Nedra Hosey's teams will be looking for revenge Saturday night.