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Area schools ready to host South, North state tourney

By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Fri., Jan. 26, 2001
If they're still alive when the MHSAA North and South State Tournaments roll around, five area high school basketball teams will be hosting the events.
The Mississippi High School Activities Association has selected the sites for the North and South State events, which will be held Feb. 23-24.
Schools which were selected to host aren't guaranteed a tournament, however. The host team must be in the four-team field.
That means Meridian High's girls, Quitman's boys, Choctaw Central's girls, Philadelphia's boys and Scott Central's girls can all host their respective South State events provided those teams advance that far.
Each of those five schools was chosen as the top pick to host the South State Tournament in their classification. A host of others, including Meridian's boys and Newton County's girls, have been selected as alternate choices.
Should none of the choices make the "Final Four" of their North or South State Tournaments, then one of the four teams remaining in the tournament will host.
Public schools are in division tournament action the week of Feb. 12-17, with the top two girls' and boys' teams advancing to the state playoffs. Teams must then win a first-round game on either Feb. 19 or Feb. 20 to advance to their respective North or South State Tournament.
Class 5A: Meridian's girls are the top choice to host South State, with Natchez listed as a runnerup. Pascagoula was chosen as the first choice to host the boys' South State, with Meridian as the first alternate.
The boys' teams from South Panola and Columbus and the girls' teams from Horn Lake and Tupelo were chosen as the top two choices for their North State Tournaments.
Class 4A: The Quitman Panthers were chosen to host South State, with St. Stanislaus being the second boys' selection. The girls' South State goes to McComb or West Jones.
In the North, Oxford and Aberdeen are the top boys' choices and Aberdeen and Clarksdale lead the girls' selections.
Class 3A: Choctaw Central and Newton County are the No. 1 and No. 2 choices to host the girls' South State, while Pass Christian is the only choice thus far to host the boys.
In the North, Nettleton and Rosa Fort are the first two boys' selections, while South Pontotoc and New Albany lead the girls' choices.
Class 2A: Philadelphia is the top choice for the boys' South State, with Hinds AHS listed second. Taylorsville and East Marion were the first two choices among girls' teams.
In the North, the boys' teams from Booneville and Shelby Broad Street and the girls from Belmont and Bruce are the top choices.
Class 1A: Defending Class 1A state champ Scott Central is the top choice for girls' South State, while Bogue Chitto was second. There South State boys' host will be decided later.
In the North, Biggersville and Ingomar are the top boys' picks, while Myrtle and Walnut lead the girls' field.
Rocky Higginbotham is the sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rhigginbotham@themeridianstar.com.

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