By Gene Phelps
Warren Jennings believes county tournaments are relevant when it come to high school athletics.
“That’s the way we look at it here,” said Jennings, the second-year head coach of Shannon’s Lady Red Raiders. “The county tournament is very important to us.”
Shannon’s hosting this season’s Lee County Tournament, which tips off today with four games. The Lady Red Raiders play Mooreville in the opener at 4 p.m.
“We’re looking to come in and play well. We’re defending champions,” Jennings said.
Shannon enters today’s game with a 12-3 record, one that includes victories over ranked Division 1-4A rivals Pontotoc and Itawamba AHS.
The Lady Red Raiders defeated Pontotoc 69-67 earlier this week.
“This was a big win for us,” Jennings said, moments after the victory. “The girls wanted it really bad.”
The Lady Red Raiders’ lineup features one-two punch of Quin Agnew and Alexandrea Metcalf.
“Agnew (a junior) is a great player; she doesn’t know how good she could be,” Jennings said. “Metcalf is a great leader. She’s like a coach on the floor.”
Jennings got a preview of the season during his team’s summer league play.
“The girls dedicated themselves to working hard and being better during the summer,” he said. “I’m excited that it has carried over to the regular season.”
In another Lee County opener, Shannon (12-4) plays Saltillo (12-6) in a boys game at 5:30 p.m.
County tournaments blanket the “Hill Country” this week, with court action happening in Monroe (Smithville), Prentiss (New Site) and Union (East Union) counties.
The Lee finals are scheduled for Friday night while the remaining three will play championship games Saturday.
At New Site, the Lady Royals, barring an upset, could play Baldwyn or Booneville in the title game.
While it’s not a county tournament, North Pontotoc’s annual Kings of the Court Showdown, scheduled for Saturday, has a strong lineup.
Two of the highlight matchups pit Biggersville against Pontotoc and Ripley against Calhoun City.