Fine start: THS sweeps Southaven in Class 6A openers

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By Kyle Alford

Special to the Journal

TUPELO – The Tupelo Lady Wave continued their winning ways Monday on the soccer pitch with 4-0 victory over Southaven in the first round of the MHSAA Class 6A soccer playoffs.

Tupelo senior Abbie Banko scored the first goal for the Lady Wave, and senior Charde Hannah added the next three.

The two seniors are playing in their last games as high school players, something that can add as a motivational factor as the Lady Wave (14-2) advance in the playoffs.

“I’m excited to be playing, we played a good game. We’re just staying positive and taking it one game at a time,” said Hannah. “I know I have three games left in my high school career, and I want to win. I want to go all the way.”

The Lady Wave are lined up to play the winner of Wednesday’s Northwest Rankin-at-Clinton matchup in the second round.

Coach Hannah Kimbrough knows the challenge her team is up against.

“We know that both of those teams are really good and that we’re going to have to bring it. We’re prepared to do that.”

The Lady Wave have not played NW Rankin but lost at Clinton earlier this season, 1-0.

(B) Tupelo 2, Southaven 1: The Golden Wave (12-2-2) punched their ticket into the second round Monday night as the temperatures plunged into the 20s.

Junior Hunter Johnson put the Wave on the board eight minutes into the first half when he knocked in his penalty kick after being fouled from behind in the box.

Senior K.J. Armstrong added to the lead when he received a cross from fellow senior Chase Cernigliaro at the 30:19 mark in the first half.

Armstrong said he also knows what’s at stake in his last playoffs, and puts it simply: “I want to win the state championship. It just motivates me even more.”

Coach Harris Faucette can relate.

“Any time you win in the playoffs, of course it’s good because if you lose, your season is over with,” he said. “We didn’t play our best game today, it was cold, but we finished it out.”