By NEMS Daily Journal
H.W. Byers Lady Lions
Opening Game: 9 a.m., today vs. Bogue Chitto
Coach: Jason Thompson
Players to watch: Madison McCreless, Justice Martin, Abria Gulledge, Richenda Crutcher
Notes: The Lady Lions have won four state championships – two each in 1A and 2A – in the last five seasons. … McCreless, a reserve the last two years, leads team in scoring, averaging 16 ppg.
Ashland Lady Blue Devils
Opening Game: 1 p.m., today vs. Hinds AHS
Coach: Ayesha Brooks
Players to watch: Alontra Tucker, Jaliyah Godwin, Dorliyah Clardy
Notes: Ashland lost 64-25 to Byers in the North Mississippi championship game. … Tucker averages 15.8 ppg to lead Blue Devils in scoring. … Clardy, a freshman, is a 6-foot post player.
New Site Lady Royals
Opening Game: 6:30 p.m., today vs. Amite County
Coach: Byron Sparks
Players to watch: Christy Clark, Grace Elliott, Cristin Pharr, Shelby Stricklen
Notes: Lady Royals are defending state champions. … Clark, a returning Daily Journal All-Area selection, averages 13.9 ppg. … Elliott missed first 12 games of season while recovering from a softball injury.
Potts Camp Lady Cardinals
Opening Game: 9 a.m., Saturday vs. Scott Central
Coach: Tana Miller
Players to watch: Tenesha Woods, Jessica Peterson, Hayley Davis
Notes: Potts Camp is one of four teams to defeat 3A semifinalist Ripley this season. … Woods is the Cardinals’ go-to player. … Scott Central’s Victoria Vivians averages 39.6 ppg. She had career-high 62 this year against Lake.
Ripley Lady Tigers
Opening Game: 1 p.m., Saturday vs. SE Lauderdale
Coach: Katie Bates
Players to watch: Jayla Chills, Jada Rich, Daisha Colom
Notes: Ripley has played in the state championship game three straight seasons, winning in 2011. … Chills is a preseason all-state selection. … The Lady Tigers beat 6A power Southaven Jan. 12.
Pontotoc Lady Warriors
Opening Game: 1 p.m., Monday vs. Raymond
Coach: Bill Russell
Players to watch: Marlee Hatcher, Kayla Russell, Nikki McMillian, Anna Rosenbaum
Notes: Lady Warriors are the defending state champions. … Russell, a junior guard, is a returning Daily Journal All-Area player. … Rosenbaum leads the team in rebounding.
North Pontotoc Lady Vikings
Opening Game: 6:30 p.m., Monday vs. Bay High
Coach: Shane Montgomery
Players to watch: Andrea Lewis, Chelsea Mabry, Arriann Henry
Notes: Montgomery has 616 career victories in 30 seasons. … North Pontotoc’s last trip to state tournament was 25 years ago. … Bay High is ranked No. 1 overall in state.
Compiled by Gene Phelps