By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
A season ago, the Tupelo Golden Wave were just a couple of points away from a trip to Jackson and the State Tournament.
Like many teams today, the Wave have Jackson on their mind again with the post-season beginning as they open Division 2-6A play against South Panola (7-10) at 5:30 p.m. at Columbus High School.
“It’s another game on the road, and the road always presents obstacles,” Tupelo coach Grant Pate said. “South Panola is really athletic, guards you hard, so the scores are low.”
The Wave (20-8) enter the post-season as the No. 1 seed in the division, and are coming off a pair tough contests from last week.
Thursday, Tupelo lost a tough contest at Shannon by three points, then rebounded with a quality victory on Friday against Corinth.
“We’ve gotten better since the beginning of the season, and our young players are stepping up,” senior guard Rashon Coleman said. “I think we’re going to win Tuesday and Friday, I feel like we’re ready.”
Coleman leads the Wave in scoring at 15.0 points per game, with senior Dajon Reno next at 12.5 ppg.
On the other side of the boys bracket today at 8:30 p.m., Columbus (10-10) is pitted against Grenada (12-10).
The winner of these two contests play on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
ready to run?
The Lady Wave (19-9) go into today’s 4 p.m. contest versus South Panola (7-9) as the No. 2 seed, a fact that head coach Matt Justice is not taking lightly.
“I feel like this is going to be a dog fight, because we’ve played two close games,” said Justice, whose Lady Wave have beaten South Panola twice this season. “We’re playing some of our best ball right now, and the girls seem ready.
“Let’s see if we can make a run.”
The Lady Wave have a trio of players averaging in double figures in scoring – senior Antoinette Riddle (13.9 ppg), junior Casey Marshall (10.0 ppg) and freshman Jaleigha Polk (10.3 ppg). Polk is one of seven freshmen on the Tupelo varsity roster.
“We have a really good chance, and I think we’ll come out on top,” said Riddle, a guard. “Even though we play a lot of freshmen, they don’t play like freshmen.”
The other girls pairing in the tournament has No. 1-seeded Columbus (20-2) against Grenada (2-20) at 7 p.m. today. The winners of these contests play at 6 p.m. Friday.