Bruce gets long-awaited shot at Richton

By John Wilbert and Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – Just for any extra motivation, the Bruce High boys basketball team brought up the fact that it would be facing the same school in the semifinals that its school’s baseball team was to play in the 2010 state baseball finals.
In May, the Trojans baseball team thought it had won its state semifinals series against Hamilton and was to play Richton High in the MHSAA Class 2A state championship series.
Unfortunately, the Trojans’ semifinal series victory was nullified due to one of their pitchers throwing too many innings in a seven-day stretch than permitted by the MHSAA.
So, it was Hamilton, not Bruce, representing the North in the championship series, which was won by Richton.
“We’ve talked about it this week,” said Bruce basketball assistant Seth Burt, the brother of Trojans baseball coach Sid Burt. “We even mentioned it to our guys.
“Just for any extra motivation that we might need, had we played for the baseball state championship series, it would have been Richton that we would have been playing.”
The Trojans basketball team, nonetheless, took care of the Rebels in Saturday afternoon’s Class 2A basketball state semifinal, 61-54, at the Mississippi Coliseum.
Seth Burt said the Bruce baseball team has showed tremendous support of the school’s basketball team this season.
Another No. 23 shines
– Richton’s J.J. Bolton scored a game-high 31 points in Saturday’s loss to Bruce. He also grabbed 10 boards and recorded six thefts.
“He’s probably one of the best I have ever coached,” said Rebels coach Hugh Thoms, who just finished up his 22nd season. “He can light it up. … He’s 6-3 and he’s long, and that’s pretty good for a guard.
“Also, he can shoot the long ball or he can drive with it. And he’s a great passer, too.”
So far, Southern Miss, Jacksonville State, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe, William Carey and Jones County Junior College, among others, have shown interest in Richton’s standout senior.
Rock doc
– As the H.W. Byers girls basketball team goes for its third state title in four years, Ben Guest will be documenting every move the Lady Lions make.
Guest, the program coordinator for the Mississippi Teacher Corps in Oxford, has been following the Marshall County team all season long for a documentary he’s doing.
The documentary is based solely on the Lady Lions’ 2010-11 season.
Caution: wet paint
– New Site’s red and white candy-stripe, Indiana Hoosiers-style warm-up pants and white uniform bottoms have specks of blue paint on them.
West Bolivar Middle School gym in Rosedale, where the Lady Royals played and won the North Mississippi 2A tournament at last week, had painted the benches in its locker rooms the day before the games.
One problem, the paint was still wet when New Site arrived.
“We took the uniforms to a cleaners, but they couldn’t remove the paint,” New Site teacher/basketball booster Katie Moreland said. “We’ll have to get new uniforms next season.”
Contact John Wilbert at 678-1572 or john.wilbert@journalinc.com and Gene Phelps at 678-1593 or gene.phelps@journalinc.com.