Newton County Academy tourney bracket set
Reality check for expanded playoffs
Classes 2A, 3A, and 4A doubled their playoff field for football this fall with 32 teams from each class making the playoffs instead of 16 as in previous years.
The No. 4 teams were a total flop, going 0-for-24 in the first round.
The No. 3 seeds won seven of their 24 first-round games, but by the time the 2A-3A-4A schools reached their semifinal round, only one No. 3 seed was still playing. Columbia in 3A was the sole team to still be alive from the new format that wouldn't have qualified last year.
No. 1 seeds making it to their respective Final Fours in the middle classes were Clarksdale, South Pike, and D'Iberville in Class 4A; Cleveland, Corinth, and Collins in Class 3A; and Ruleville Central and St. John in Class 2A.
No. 2s still around were Hernando in 4A and Ackerman and Loyd Star in 2A.
Taking an early season break
The boys and girls basketball teams at Louisville High School got an unusual week off of practice.
Due to scheduling conflicts, LHS had to wait until this week to get its basketball floor redone. That means no practice and no home games.
The Wildcats and Lady Wildcats will be able to practice on the floor again on Monday. The Louisville squads travel to Ackerman for regular season games on Tuesday. The first home games on the newly refinished floor will be Thursday in the Wildcat Invitational.
Coast hosting two big soccer weekends
Gulfport hosted one big high school soccer tournament Saturday and will be hosting another big one this weekend.
Thirteen boys' teams from four states met Saturday in the Mississippi High School Showcase at the Gulfport Sportsplex. Participants were from Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida.
The idea for the event was the brainchild of William Carey soccer coach Doug Stovall.
As a result of last year's Showcase, several players who participated in the tournament signed with Meridian Community College, William Carey, Spring Hill, and Central Florida.
The girls' tournament is slated for Saturday.
– Marty Stamper
Casper still playing for St. John
St. John linebacker Benny Casper was able to play in Friday's Class 2A state playoff game with Loyd Star as the temporary restraining order against the Mississippi High School Activities Association was extended through the state championship weekend by Harrison County judge Margaret Alfonso.
A final ruling on his eligibility will be made on Dec. 14 by Alfonso.
Casper transferred from Gulfport High School early in the season. St. John could be forced to forfeit all its games for using an ineligible player if Alfonso rules against Casper.
The MHSAA says Casper never received a hardship ruling and St. John has yet to present the necessary paperwork.
It will be interesting to see if all the schools St. John eliminated with Casper then sue that school for the amount of playoff money they lost should Casper ultimately be declared ineligible. That list would include Enterprise, Bassfield, and Taylorsville, who lost to St. John in the playoffs, and Mercy Cross which would have made the playoffs from Region 8-2A had the Eagles been forced to forfeit regular season games in which Casper played.
– Marty Stamper
Casey replaces Scott at Shannon
Offensive line coach Porter Casey was promoted to head football coach at Shannon Thursday, replacing Mike Scott, who resigned on Nov. 26.
Scott is in his 16th year with the Red Raiders, who were eliminated from the Class 4A playoffs with a 44-38 loss to Louisville after blowing a 38-20 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Casey has been an assistant for six years at Shannon. He spent two years at Baldwyn and two years at Houston before that.
Scott was 134-54 in his 16 seasons with the Red Raiders. His 1996 team won the Class 3A state championship, beating Prentiss 43-30 in the finals. His 1999 team lost in the 3A championship game to Forest.
– Marty Stamper