Lions not hanging hat on big games already won

Chris Todd | Special to the Journal Emmanuel Simmons returned for Biggersville after missing three games with torn ligaments in his wrist.

Chris Todd | Special to the Journal
Emmanuel Simmons returned for Biggersville after missing three games with torn ligaments in his wrist.

By Brandon Speck

Daily Journal

Biggersville won the Class 1A state title in March. Two days before Christmas, the Lions beat Class 4A contender – and Alcorn County neighbor – Corinth, at Corinth, for what some think is the first time there in 14 years.

All well and good, says coach Cliff Little. Even better forgotten.

“It was huge for that night,” said Little, whose team ends its holiday break on Friday at home against Kossuth. “About like that championship, that’s over. It’s a nice step. Ooh, we beat Corinth. That’s great. But you start trying to hang your hat on things like that, you’ll get that butt beat real quick. It was a great win, for the 23rd of December.

“Like that state championship, you’ve got to put it behind you. I figure Corinth’s a 20-point favorite next time we play.”

Biggersville’s 11-1 record is reason to smile, with wins against Aberdeen, Booneville and North Pontotoc. The lone loss came to 6A Tupelo in the Lighthouse Classic.

It hasn’t come without some inconsistency. In that loss and in a win against Belmont Friday, Little had to urge his team to attack and there were several misses at the rim.

“We want to be a January, February, March team. We haven’t gotten better each day,” Little said. “Come January, we’ve got to take a stride every day.”

Simmons is back

Forward Emmanuel Simmons returned to the lineup against Belmont – he missed three games with torn ligaments in his wrist – but forward Marquis Watson has yet to play a game after surgery on a torn ACL from football.

Little places a lot of the inconsistency blame on himself. He doesn’t believe there is a championship hangover, but he does believe upcoming practices will have to be more intense.

In January, there are games against Wheeler, at Blue Mountain and 2A contender West Lincoln in The Hotbed.

“I don’t know if we’re crazy enough to think last year’s championship means a thing this year,” Little said. “Those teams out there that are lurking, hungry, that have not tasted some of this, they’re hungry. We’ve got to get a hunger about us later in the year. If we don’t we’ll be at home come playoff time.”

brandon.speck@journalinc.com