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Six area MPSA teams still have shot at bringing home state title

By Staff
THE GAME PLAN n Kemper Academy coach Russell Cruise goes over a play with from left, Leslie Beach, Alicia Dufour, Jennifer Knox, Blair Johnson, Jen Myers, Megan Whitaker and Eve Darnell during a timeout last week. The Lady Rams return to action this week in the MPSA Class A State Tournament. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star.
By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Feb. 12, 2001
The number of area Mississippi Private School Association teams chasing a state championship has been dwindled to just six, and each of them are in action this week in their respective classifications.
Central Academy's girls, fresh off a somewhat surprising Class A Central Region championship, join District 3-A rivals Kemper and Heidelberg Academy in this week's Class A State Tournament at University Christian.
Lamar School's boys are in the Class AAA state tourney at Central Hinds Academy; while Winston's boys and Leake Academy's girls made the Class AA event at Grenada-Kirk Academy.
Each of the MPSA state tourneys will play its semifinals Friday, with consolation and state championship games set for Saturday.
The top three finishers in each classification keep playing at next week's Academy Overall Tournament at Mississippi College.
Here's a very brief look at when each of the area schools hits the floor this week:
Class AAA: Lamar's boys finished fourth in last week's Class AAA South State tourney, meaning the Raiders got quite a tough draw this week.
Lamar takes on North State champ Prairie View (La.) Academy Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. in its state tournament opener.
A loss obviously ends the season for the Raiders, who currently own a 10-21 record.
A win, however, sends Lamar into a 7:30 p.m. state semifinal contest against either Indianola Academy or Manchester Academy Friday.
Class A: For the first time in several years, no boys teams from the area made the Class A State Tournament.
But just like last year, there are three area girls' teams.
The first to see action will be Kemper Academy. The Lady Rams (16-16) get Class A powerhouse Porter's Chapel Tuesday at 7 p.m. in an opening-round game of this 12-team bracket.
Both Heidelberg Academy and Central Academy got byes and are already in the quarterfinals.
The 17-12 Lady Rebels take on either Central Holmes or Trinity Episcopal School Wednesday at 4 p.m. Central, now 20-17, gets either Strider or Mt. Olive Christian School Thursday at 4 p.m.
Kemper could also see action Thursday at 7 p.m. against North Region champ Delta Academy if the Lady Rams get past Porter's Chapel Tuesday.
Class AA: Leake's girls, after a third-place finish in the Class AA South State event, take on North State runnerup and host Kirk Academy Tuesday at 7 p.m.
A win by the Rebelettes gets Leake a 2:30 p.m. semifinal matchup against either top-ranked Brook-haven Academy or Marvell.
Winston Academy's boys hit the court Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The Patriots, who finished fourth in the Class AA North State tournament, are matched against South State champ Simpson Academy.
Should Farrell Rigby's Pats win Wednesday, Winston gets either Canton or Kirk Academy Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Rocky Higginbotham is the sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rhigginbotham@themeridianstar.com.

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