Three county champs

By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal

One of the most anticipated basketball days of the year is only four days away. There are plenty of storylines to watch for Saturday at the 22nd annual Kiwanis Hotbed Classic in New Albany.
Four of the Daily Journal’s Top 10 are on the schedule for the boys-only, eight-game event.
Ingomar and No. 8 Amory tipoff the day’s fifth game at 3:30 p.m. Amory coach Rob Browning played at Ingomar and was an assistant with Ingomar coach Jonathan Ashley at Myrtle.
“I still bleed blue every now and then,” Browning said. “Jonathan is one of my best friends, so it will be interesting to say the least. It’s a special game in my eyes.”
Ingomar improved to 16-8 on the season after beating New Albany to win the Union County Tournament there Saturday. The Falcons are getting nearly 20 points a game from senior Henry Foster.
Amory (12-4) has been without starters each of its last two games, but won its county tournament as well, a Monroe County rivalry win against ranked Aberdeen.
“I feel like we went through a rough patch after Christmas. As of right now, we’re playing better. We’ve been learning to play without starters. I’ve been very impressed with them,” Browning said.
No. 2 Booneville will face Piney Woods at 2 p.m. The Blue Devils are fresh off a win against top-ranked and then-unbeaten Baldwyn in Saturday’s Prentiss County Tournament championship.
Baldwyn puts its 19-1 record on the line against Class 6A Tupelo at 6 p.m.
NOT TO BE LEFT OUT
The girls wanted to play on Saturday as well and the By His Grace Classic at North Pontotoc gives them their own showcase. There are eight games scheduled for the event, with the Journal’s top-ranked Ripley Lady Tigers facing No. 6 Itawamba at 6 p.m. and No. 5 Belmont facing No. 4 Pontotoc at 7:30 p.m.
brandon.speck@journalinc.com