The Mississippi High School Activities Association’s state basketball tournament will tip off Friday, March 7, with a 9 a.m. Class 2A girls game at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.
The MHSAA released the schedule, which rotates classes and playing dates from year to year, this week. A new tournament format will be used in 2015.
New Site’s Lady Royals, if they finish No. 2 in the North state tournament, would play the morning opener. New Site beat Bassfield in the 9 a.m. game on its way to a state championship in 2012.
“Playing at 9 is better than not being there at all,” Lady Royals coach Byron Sparks said.
In 2012, Sparks practiced his team in the morning to get them used to playing that time of day.
“We had them go to bed early and get up early,” he said. “We wanted to simulate what it was like having to play in the morning.”
New Site, ranked No. 7 in Northeast Mississippi by the Journal, is 20-6 with recent wins against No. 3 Itawamba AHS and Baldwyn.
“We’re playing well right now,” Sparks said. “This is the time of year you want to be doing that.”
The 2A tournament openers will be followed by 1A and 3A on March 7-8. Play will begin at 9 a.m. March 8 with 1A girls.
The tournament resumes March 10 at 1 p.m. with four 5A games. Class 4A has four games March 11 and 6A plays four games March 12.
The championship games will take place March 13-15, concluding with 6A boys.
1 p.m., 2A girls; 2:30 p.m., 2A boys; 6:30 p.m., 1A girls; 8 p.m., 1A boys.
1 p.m., 3A girls; 2:30 p.m., 3A boys; 6:30 p.m., 5A girls; 8 p.m., 5A boys.
1 p.m., 4A girls; 2:30 p.m., 4A boys; 6:30 p.m., 6A girls; 8 p.m., 6A boys.