Tupelo, Horn Lake girls clash Thursday

Tupelo Golden WaveBy David Wheeler

Special to the Journal

Pretty much since before Christmas, the Tupelo Lady Wave have been considered the top team in Northeast Mississippi.

Within the next three days, the Lady Wave could assert themselves as the best in the state.

The Lady Wave were scheduled to host the Horn Lake Lady Eagles tonight in perhaps the best matchup in Mississippi this week, as the regular season comes to a close.

But school officials announced Tuesday morning that the game has been postponed to Thursday due to weather concerns.

“This will be a hugely hyped game,” Tupelo head coach Matt Justice said. “The thing for our girls is not to get caught up in the hype of the game.

“This needs to be just another game for us.”

“I think both of our teams really want to play this game,” Justice added.

Tupelo (23-1) is ranked No. 1 in the area by the Daily Journal. Horn Lake (20-1) is No. 1 in the Clarion Ledger Super 10, with the Lady Wave No. 2.

“This is the kind of game we want going into the playoffs,” said Justice, whose Lady Wave have wrapped up the Division 2-6A regular season title. “We want to know exactly what it takes to be successful in the playoffs, and against Horn Lake, we’ll see what we need to work for.”

With a junior-dominated roster, the Lady Wave have worked their way successfully through their schedule, including wins against, Olive Branch, Pontotoc, Ripley, Shannon, and Scott Central.

Tupelo’s only loss was on Jan. 4 to New Hope.

Junior guard Jaleigha Polk tops the balanced Wave offense at 14.8 points per game, with senior Bre Jernigan at 10.5. Juniors Braxton Thomas and Marqueesha Hoskins are not far behind at 9.9 and 9.6, respectively.

Horn Lake is led by a pair of seniors in scoring, Olivia Cunningham at 12.5 and A’Queen Hayes at 12.2. The Lady Eagles only loss is to No. 5 Olive Branch Jan. 17.

Division title decided

Horn Lake defeated Olive Branch Friday, in the second of their 1-6A matchups, giving the Lady Eagles the division title. Also of note, Division 1 plays Division 2 in first round games of the North Mississippi Tournament in two weeks.

“I think 6A in the North is loaded this year,” Justice said. “We’ve got our hands full against Horn Lake, and the key for us will be blocking out.

“But I think we can play with anybody.”