By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
The Houston Hilltoppers have quietly gone about their business. Now they’re looking to get loud.
Houston, the Journal’s ninth-ranked team, is 22-5 on the season and in the North’s elite eight. The eight converge on Corinth today for the remainder of the MHSAA Class 4A North Mississippi tournament.
Houston coach Bruce Franks hopes he gets the “consistent” one of his two teams.
“You don’t know which team you get,” he said. “They can play when they play together.”
Houston beat Noxubee County by 16 in the regular season, then lost by 14 to the Tigers in the division tournament.
The North championship game is set for Saturday night with only the top two teams advancing to the state tournament.
Houston has arguably the toughest draw for the quarterfinals, facing perceived favorite Amanda Elzy at 8:30 p.m. Corinth, the Journal’s No. 1 team, is also a top 4A contender.
Chris Jones may be the most recognizable of the Toppers, a 6-foot-6 presence inside, but 6-2 big man Caleb Morgan runs the floor, Franks says point guard Chris Thornton does a lot of things that won’t make the paper and guards Anquan Russell and Sharone Wright are shooters.
“We’ve got Elzy. I understand they are the team to beat,” Franks said. “We just have to be consistent in the things we do. We can’t have any mental lapses, get loose balls and make the hustle plays.”
We meet again
No. 4 Booneville and No. 2 Mooreville split two regular season meetings and now play an elimination game at 4 p.m. today in Class 3A at Mooreville.
“We always want to beat Booneville,” Mooreville big man Austin Timms said. “We get them here on our home floor. We just want to give them a game.”
The tournament also features No. 7 Aberdeen and contender Velma Jackson at 7 p.m.
In Class 1A, No. 3 Biggersville faces host Ingomar at 4 p.m.