By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
Last season, the Tupelo Lady Wave dropped three games to the Columbus Lady Falcons.
Fair to say the Lady Falcons were a thorn in their side.
So out of the box, first game of 2013, first Division 2-6A game of the season, who does Tupelo have on its schedule?
“Our No. 1 goal is to win the division,” Lady Wave head coach Matt Justice said. “A step in that direction is to get that win over Columbus.”
Both the Lady Wave (9-6) and the Golden Wave (9-7) open division play today at Columbus, with the girls game tipping at 6 p.m. Tupelo will then open its division home schedule Tuesday, hosting South Panola.
The Lady Wave recorded a 2-1 mark over the holidays, playing last week in the Hattiesburg Tournament. Tupelo dropped its first game of the trip, but won its last two, concluding with a 65-47 win Saturday over Prentiss.
“It was a team effort down there,” Justice said. “And our bench played better, which was good to see.
“But this will be our toughest division game of the season, and it’s the first one. Columbus is a hard place to win.”
Senior Casey Marshall paces the Lady Wave at 15 points per game, with sophomore Jaleighia Polk at 13 ppg.
After Columbus (7-5, 1-0), the Lady Wave plays Lafayette on Saturday in the Renasant Bank Relay for Life Challenge in New Albany.
Tupelo’s boys, the defending 2-6A champions, also posted a 2-1 mark in Hattiesburg, where they lost on the championship game, 70-58, to the host team.
“I thought the guys played well together, but I was disappointed in the Hattiesburg game,” Wave head coach Jeff Norwood said. “Sean Watkins continued to stand out, but I was impressed with how everybody played hard.
“I’m looking for more of that in division play.”
A junior, Watkins has averaged 9.0 points per game. Sophomore Antonio Green leads the team with a 14.7 ppg average.