Red Raiders confront good tuneups

By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal

The final week of the regular season of high school basketball can present a hit-and-miss menu of games.
In 2012, there appears to be plenty of meat still left on the bone for Northeast Mississippi basketball this week, beginning with the Shannon Red Raiders.
Shannon (22-1) has the best winning percentage among boys teams in the area with three games on tap this week. The Red Raiders are at Corinth (21-3) today, and then host Tupelo (18-7) Thursday and Okolona (7-18) on Friday.
“This is a very challenging schedule, but that’s good for us heading into the division tournament,” Shannon coach Cedric Brim said. “It won’t take our guys much to get up for this week.”
Since losing its fourth game of the season to Aberdeen (20-4), the Red Raiders have reeled off 18 consecutive wins. That includes an 8-0 mark in Division 1-4A, with a Jan. 3 victory over Corinth.
The contest today with Corinth is for the top two spots in the division.
“The only game I’m looking forward to right now is Corinth, because it is a division game,” Shannon senior guard Javon Green said. “It matters more.”
Green leads Shannon in scoring with an 18.6 points per game average, followed by junior LaKee Westbrook at 16.0 ppg. Together, the two have hit 87 3-pointers on the season, and are averaging 9.5 assists per game.
playing smarter
“Our team brings a lot of defensive effort,” Westbrook said. “We work harder and harder each game at it.”
Brim aggress with his guards.
“We’ve played smart this season, especially on defense,” Brim said. “We need to continue to play as hard as we’ve been playing, and try to get better at the things we’re doing.
“I’ve told the guys that wins and losses take care of themselves, just to look at the next opponent.”
Shannon at Corinth is not the only dish on the menu this week.
Also in boys play, there is a rematch of the Prentiss County Tournament final with Baldwyn (21-3) at Booneville (23-3) on Thursday, along with Tupelo at Shannon.
On Friday, Starkville (20-3) is at Aberdeen. Starkville beat Aberdeen on Jan. 10.
In girls play, tonight features two deciding division match-ups. In 1-4A, Pontotoc (24-0) is at Itawamba AHS (18-6), and Ripley (22-2) is at Belmont (23-3) in 1-3A.