By Brandon Speck
Something had to give. If Michael Smith, Micah Moment and Brian Windham had a cloning device, it was almost necessary tonight.
Smith has his Booneville Blue Devils, a three-time tournament player, as well as his Lady Blue Devils, who the trio of coaches took over right before this season, both in tonight’s MHSAA Class 3A North quarterfinals.
The problem, both were scheduled to play at 4 p.m., the girls at home against Nettleton; the guys against McClain at Aberdeen.
Cooperative Belmont helped a fellow division team out, switching its 7 p.m. boys game against East Side with Booneville.
That will still leave very little room for error, or overtime or a flat tire, for the nearly 90-minute drive from Prentiss to Monroe County.
“You just do the best you can and make sure players from both teams are in the best situation,” Smith said. “Our first job is to make sure the kids are taken care of.”
Smith is one of three head coaches pulling double duty – Holly Springs’ Sylvester Kilgore and East Side’s Leroy Cotton are the others.
There are plenty of story lines to follow tonight, as well as potential matchups to look forward to Friday.
• Either Biggersville or Coldwater will be eliminated tonight. The two met in the North finals, as well as the Class 1A state championship last season.
• Calhoun City’s girls are the sleeper of 2A North. That theory will be put to the test right off the bat when the Lady Wlldcats put their 24-2 mark on the line against three-time defending champion Byers.
• In 4A girls at Itawamba AHS, there is a chance that four Journal Top 10 teams – Pontotoc, Ripley, Itawamba AHS and Shannon, three of them from 1-4A, could be in action against each other Friday.
• If the Baldwyn and Calhoun City boys are fortunate enough to be playing Saturday, it would be against each other, already with the two state tournament bids. The coaches, Baldwyn’s Jason McKay and City’s Daren Coffey are the coaching buddies behind next year’s tournament format change to four teams.
• The Journal area has no Class 6A schools in the mix and only one in 5A, West Point, which faces Callaway.