Basketball season comes to a sudden end

It was a strange feeling for me to go from a busy week of basketball with division tournaments one week to having basketball season suddenly end the next.
But  the road to Jackson came up short for a pair of county teams on the boys’ side that still had pretty successful seasons: Amory and Aberdeen.
Both teams’ seasons ending so quickly is an obvious sign of how tough both 3A and 4A have been this season – each had a handful of teams that were probably worthy of heading to Jackson this week.
And that includes both Amory and Aberdeen, who can each look back on this past season with a lot of positives.
For Amory, the biggest highlight has to be beating Aberdeen to win the Monroe County tournament, something that hadn’t happened in eight years. For much of the season, I think the Panthers were a bit underrated, and if that was the case, that win (and the one right after it against Shannon) put them on the map.
Every team Amory lost to this season turned out to be a quality opponent with all of them making North half with the exception of 6A school Horn Lake, and perhaps some of the real character of this team was shown in the ways they battled back in some of these recent close losses. And that includes last Tuesday’s loss to Houston, where the Panthers came from being down 20 points to only losing by 4.
Aberdeen is probably one of the biggest surprises to not make the state tournament – along with fellow 3A rival Mooreville, but those two teams being left out is further proof of how deep 3A North is this season.
It was a surprise to me to see them eliminated on Thursday by Velma Jackson, mostly because I think you would be hard-pressed to find a team as deep as the Bulldogs were this season. I often said to others that they had about 10-12 guys who were worthy of starting, and that wasn’t an exaggeration.
Like Amory, they are losing a fantastic senior class, and for the Bulldogs, it’s 10 players off this year’s team, but I don’t think there’s a reason to panic about next season.
Plenty of talent returns – Marcus Carothers, Sammie Burroughs and Tylan McMillian, just to name a few, and you won’t ever hear the term “rebuild” when it comes to Aberdeen basketball. They’re always going to be a force, and with other 3A powerhouses also losing some strong senior classes, there’s no doubt you’re going to see the Bulldogs back in the mix again next year.

Melissa Meador is the Sports Editor of the Monroe Journal. Contact her at melissa.meador@journalinc.com or follow her on Twitter: @MelissaMeador14.