Holiday hoops action galore during holidays
From Staff Reports
Dec. 16, 2001
Not too long ago, basketball games during the Christmas holidays were rare in these parts. Not any more.
Northeast Lauderdale, West Lauderdale, and Neshoba Central will all play in a three-day girls' only event at Birmingham, Ala., on Dec. 27-29.
The Bay Springs Round Robin is set for Dec. 27-29. Among the participants are the teams from Newton and Heidelberg along with Bay Springs.
The Newton boys will also play in the Peoples Bank Showdown at Mendenhall, Dec. 21-22.
East Central Community College will play host to its fifth-annual MPSA Mississippi Classic with nine academy girls' teams and 10 boys' teams participating in the Dec. 26-29 event at Decatur. The girls' teams competing are top-seeded Starkville Academy, No. 2 Leake Academy, University Christian, Newton County Academy, Macon Central, Indianola, Kemper, Washington, and Lamar. Boys' teams participating are top-seeded Starkville Academy, No. 2 Leake, Heidelberg Academy, Newton County Academy, Winston, Washington, University Christian, Indianola, Lamar, and Kemper.
Choctaw Central heads to North Carolina to play in a two-day tournament at Cherokee on Dec. 28-29.
The Clarkdale and Enterprise boys travel to Alabama to participate in the Sweet Water Boys' Invitational, Dec. 27-29.
Philadelphia will host an eight-team boys' tournament, Dec. 27-29, that will include Kemper County, Louisville, Neshoba Central, Newton County, and Union along with the host Philadelphia Tornadoes.
Nanih Waiya will host an eight-team girls' tournament, Dec. 27-29, that will include Kemper County, Louisville, Newton County, Union, Noxapater, Weir, and Montgomery County along with the host Nanih Waiya girls.
The Meridian boys will play in a pair of out-of-state events. The Wildcats travel to Lake Charles, La., for the Cameron State Bank Classic, Dec. 20-22, and to Poplar Bluff, Mo., for a Dec. 26-29 tournament.
The Northeast Lauderdale and West Lauderdale boys will participate in the annual Jackson Public Schools Capitol Classic, Dec. 26-28.
Wayne County will compete in a tournament at Hattiesburg, Dec. 27-29.
West, Northeast IV?
Northeast Head Coach Lewis Lightsey, for one, hopes his team has seen the last of the West Lauderdale Knights for this season. On Tuesday night, the Trojans went three overtimes with the Knights before pulling out a 98-95 win.
The two teams had split their previous two meetings with Northeast winning at West Lauderdale 79-75 while the Knights returned the favor at the MCC Tournament.
It is conceivable, the teams could meet for a fourth time. Both are entered in the Jackson Public School Tournament after Christmas. A bracket has yet to be published for the event.
Heartbreak hotel for Tigers
The last two games for the Southeast Lauderdale boys has ended in heart-breaking fashion.
Coach Ryan Miller's club got beat on a last-second three-pointer in overtime at Quitman on Dec. 8.
They then let a seven-point lead with a 1:40 left slip away in last Tuesday's game with Newton County.
Newton County pulled out an 84-82 win overtime when Richard Croft hit a put-back for the Cougars.
Southeast's Reed on fire
One area where the Tigers are getting help is from senior guard Ben Reed. Reed tossed in a game high 45 points in the loss at Quitman. He came back on Tuesday to score 31 against Newton County.
Reed was 16 of 21 from the free throw line in the Newton game, which included a 5-for-6 effort in both the overtime and the fourth quarter.
Robinson closing in on No. 500
Barring a total collapse, Philadelphia boys' basketball coach Keith Robinson should reach his 500th career victory this season.
Heading into Friday's game at West Lauderdale, the Tornadoes are 8-2, leaving Robinson only nine wins shy of No. 500.
Prep participation sets another record
For the 12th consecutive year, the number of students participating in high school athletics nationally has increased, setting an all-time high for participation.
Based on figures from the 51 state high school athletic/activity associations that are members of the National Federation of State High School Associations, participation for the 2000-2001 school year rose by 100,345 students to 6,657,257.
The girls' mark of 2,746,181 is an increase of 60,662, setting an all-time high for female participation.
An increase of 39,683 for boys raised that total to 3,911,076 and is the fourth-highest total ever for boys, trailing only the "baby boom" years of the 1970s.
The sports showing the biggest increase were soccer, golf, and cross country for girls and soccer, golf, and wrestling for boys.
Basketball remained the most popular girls' sport with 444,872 participants followed by outdoor track and field (415,666), volleyball (388,518), fast pitch softball (328,020), soccer (274,166), and tennis (164,282).
Football remained the most popular sport for boys with 1,012,420 athletes. Basketball was next with 539,849, followed by outdoor track and field (491,822), baseball (450,513), soccer (332,850), and wrestling (244,984).
Texas remains the state with the most athletes with 779,329 participants.
Full of cheer with the awards to prove it
West Lauderdale took first place in the Class 3A Small Squad competition at the MHSAA State Cheer Competition at Holmes Community College on Dec. 1.
Enterprise was second in the Class 2A Small Squad competition, while Neshoba Central was No. 3 in the Class 4A Large Squad competition.
Wayne County was second in the Class 5A Small Squad competition.
Wolverton narrowing the gap on 800
Leake Academy girls' basketball coach Doyle Wolverton needs only 14 more wins to claim his 800th career victory.
The Rebelettes are 10-2 heading into Friday's contest with Presbyterian Christian at Madden. Leake will also host Simpson on Saturday.
The 24th win this season for the Leake girls will be Wolverton's 800th.
Nanih Waiya seeking football game
Newton and Newton County aren't the only schools looking for an opponent on the second playing date of the 2002 football season. Nanih Waiya is also in the hunt. The Warriors' 2001 opponent that week, Sturgis, is consolidating with Maben for the 2002-2003 school year and will play Maben's schedule.
Nanih Waiya coach Ken McMullan said Raleigh had contacted him about the date, even agreeing to play at Nanih Waiya if everything else works out.