High school all-star contests fill week’s schedule

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

High school athletes – juniors and seniors – from Northeast Mississippi will participate in this week’s Mississippi Association of Coaches all-star basketball, tennis and volleyball contests.
Volleyball, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, and basketball, scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, will be played at Mississippi College’s A.E. Wood Coliseum in Clinton.
The tennis competition is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at Bridges Tennis Center in Jackson.
In basketball, the North girls lineup features New Albany standout Jazmine Spears, who has been a starter since the eighth grade. She was the Daily Journal’s Player of the Year in 2011 after leading the Lady Bulldogs to a state title.
She is joined by Ripley’s Jayla Chills, Pine Grove’s Bryana Davis, North Pontotoc’s Andrea Lewis and H.W. Byers’ Justice Martin. Spears and Chills were 2012 Daily Journal All-Area selections.
Spears, a 5-foot-11 forward, averaged 27.2 points and 15.6 rebounds per game, including a 41-point, 27-rebound effort against Tupelo.
“Everybody knows about her and can’t stop her,” New Albany coach John Stroud said.
Chills, a 5-8 guard, averaged 17.7 points and 3.2 assists last season.
“She has unlimited potential,” Ripley coach Katie Bates said.
The North boys lineup features Booneville’s inside-outside star Kenny Paul Geno, Houston’s Chris Jones, Myrtle’s Robert Montgomery, Mooreville’s Austin Timms and Shannon’s Lakee Westbrook.
Tupelo, the reigning Class II state champions in volleyball, will be represented by rising seniors Kelsey Burnis and Hannah Farmer. The 6-3 Farmer is a middle blocker.
“Obviously, we’re going to set her a lot this season,” THS coach Laurie Bishop said. “We expect defenses will be designed to stop her.”
Two Corinth players – Annalee Hendrick and Sadie Johnson – will also play for the North all-star squad.
In tennis, graduating seniors were selected. The area girls selections are Corinth’s Catherine Coleman, Oxford’s Ann Marie Edlin, Lafayette’s Lauren Cullen and Mallory Davis. The boys selections are Corinth’s Austin McElwain and Lafayette’s Barron Pruitt.

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