State tournament preview

Three area teams begin state title run today

Byers and Calhoun City boys along with Ingomar girls open state tournament.

By Gene Phelps

Daily Journal

Twelve teams from Northeast Mississippi begin their quests for state championships in high school basketball this week and next week at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.

In today’s opening round of games, the Ingomar girls play Bogue Chitto at 1 p.m. in Class 1A, following by the H.W. Byers boys against Dexter at 2:30 in 1A.

Playing the first day presents some problems for coaches.

“Playing right off the bat, well, it’s like playing blind,” said H.W. Byers coach Gerome Kirkland, whose team lost to Ingomar, 65-64, Saturday on a last-second shot in the North Mississippi 1A title game. “You don’t have a lot of time to gather information on your opponent.”

In the 8 p.m. game, Calhoun City plays Union in a 1A boys game.

Tuesday’s schedule has the Okolona boys playing Madison St. Joseph at 10:30 a.m. in Class 2A and the Bruce girls taking on Williams-Sullivan at 1 p.m. in 2A action.

In Wednesday’s lone game featuring an area team, Ripley’s girls play Greene County in a 3A opener.

Thursday’s schedule is loaded with area teams. At 1 p.m., New Albany’s girls play Heidelberg in 3A while the Holly Springs’ boys take on West Lauderdale at 2:30 in a 3A game. In the night session at 8, Oxford’s boys play St. Stanislaus in 4A.

Five of the area’s schools are heading to Jackson as the North’s top-seeded teams – Myrtle’s girls, Ingomar’s boys, Ashland’s boys, Tupelo’s girls and Corinth’s boys.

In 1A action, Myrtle plays its first game at 1 p.m. Saturday while Ingomar plays at 2:30 Saturday.

Ashland plays at 2:30 p.m. Monday, March 4, in the 2A semifinals.

No. 1-ranked Tupelo, the defending state champion, plays at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 5 in the 5A semifinals.

Corinth plays at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 6 in the 3A semifinals.