By NEMS Daily Journal
Lady Royals preparing to ‘Rumble’ next week
The first New Site Lady Royals Rumble, scheduled for Dec. 21-22, will feature six of the state’s top-ranked girls basketball teams.
Gulfport, ranked No. 6 in the Clarion-Ledger’s Super 10, will play host New Site, ranked No. 3 in the state in Class 2A, at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21. The following day at 3 p.m., Gulfport plays 1A power H.W. Byers, ranked No. 1 in its classification.
Ripley, ranked No. 4 in 3A, plays 6A Olive Branch on Friday and 6A Horn Lake, No. 10 in the Super 10, on Saturday.
Oxford, ranked No. 4 in 5A, plays Ocean Springs on Friday.
“We started working on this back in the spring, after the state tournament,” said New Site coach Byron Sparks, whose team is the defending 2A state champion. “We’re pleased with the good teams we have.”
New Site plays 6A Ocean Springs in the 8:30 p.m. game Saturday.
“We wanted to play the best teams we could find,” Sparks said. “We want to be battle-tested by playoff time.”
Higginbottom wins 200th hoops game
Belmont coach Chris Higginbotton won his 200th career game Monday with a 45-43 win against Baldwyn.
Higginbottom has led the Lady Cardinals to the state tournament five of his seven seasons and had a career-best 33-1 mark in the 2009-10 Class 3A state championship season. Belmont went 32-4 last season and won its second championship under Higginbottom, whose record now stands at 200-47.
Belmont has had 10 players play college basketball.
“The main credit I give is to supportive parents who entrusted me to coach their daughters and the great, great players I’ve had,” Higginbottom said.
This season, Belmont is starting a freshman, three sophomores and a junior.
Blackwell all-star game
to be shown by WTVA
The annual Bernard Blackwell All-Star Classic football game, featuring high school players representing the North and South, will be televised this season.
The game is scheduled for noon Dec. 22 at Gulfport High School. The game will be televised locally by WTVA.
Two of Northeast Mississippi’s top running backs – New Albany’s Boston Newsome and Itawamba AHS’s Charles Moore – will be in the North backfield.
They’ll be joined on the roster by the following NEMiss players: WR A.J. Hunt, Saltillo; WR Dario Robinson, Amory; ATH Tez Lane, West Point; TE Stanley Higgins, Starkville; OL Ross Smith, Booneville; OL Clifton Smith, Oxford; DL Freddie Reed, West Point; DL Reggie Richey, Baldwyn; DL Deshawn Tillman, Bruce; LB Mario Virges, West Point; LB Justin Lucas, Aberdeen; DB Jacoby Smith, Starkville and K Jeb Millender, Pontotoc.