Places, players can have big playoff impacts

By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal

All of Class 4A North is likely cheering against Corinth. As the MHSAA state basketball playoffs get going this week, not many teams welcome the idea of facing the Journal’s top-ranked Warriors at their place with a trip to the state tournament on the line.
“I’d like to know their all-time record here at this gym,” Biggersville coach Cliff Little said after a loss to the Warriors last week. “This is a tough place to play. When they hit the bucket to go up two at halftime, I thought the top of the gym was going to come off.”
Two seasons ago, Aberdeen led the Warriors by double digits in the Class 3A North State tournament in Corinth. Corinth stormed back and eliminated Aberdeen behind a rowdy student section and packed home court.
Corinth now is scheduled to host the Class 4A North State tournament next week.
The Warriors will spend this week at Itawamaba Community College’s Davis Event Center for the Division 1-4A Tournament.
“We feed off our crowd. It’s a loud gym,” Corinth coach Keith Greene said. “That energy, it gets so loud, you can’t hear anything.”
Booneville senior Kenny Paul Geno won’t sneak up on anyone this playoff season.
There are, however, plenty of area players can make a name for themselves as the playoffs hit full speed this week.
Booneville junior guard Jack Nichols scored 18 points in a win against Baldwyn last week.
Baldwyn junior Martell Brown has helped the Bearcats on another state tournament run despite losing point guard Dee Gates for the season in December.
Baldwyn freshman Conner McKay has proven ready to handle his share of point guard duties for the Bearcats as well.
“I think we’ve both got some really good role players,” Booneville coach Michael Smith said. “Kenny’s a great player but we’ve got several really good players who do what they can do. They cover each other very well and they’re unselfish.”

Playoff time: Call promptly
With so many high school basketball tournament games this week it’s important that teams call prompltly after the end of each game if possible.
If tournament host wait until after the fourth game of the night to call in all results, it will make it difficult to print any of them in next day’s paper.
Call the results at 678-1601 or if out of the area, at 1-800-270-2612, extension 601.
As always, we’d rather get two calls about a particular game than none at all.
– Sports Editor John Pitts

Click video to hear audio