Special to the Journal
The Tupelo Lady Wave are ready to see somebody else on a basketball court.
Their wish will be granted today as the Lady Wave and Golden Wave dust off their court for season openers in the Golden Wave Tip-Off Challenge.
The Tupelo girls will face West Point at 7 p.m., with the Tupelo-West Point boys scheduled for 8:30 p.m. New Hope and Center Hill teams will play at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
“When you get to this point, the girls want to play somebody else,” Lady Wave head coach Matt Justice said. “They’re just ready to compete.”
With the potential schedule Justice has inked, the Lady Wave will get more than their share of opportunities. Between regular season and Classic games, the Lady Wave could see New Site, Belmont, Pontotoc, New Hope, Horn Lake, and Scott Central.
“We want to improve on what we’ve started with this class,” said Justice, whose 2013-14 roster includes a core of seven juniors. “With what is expected of this team, I’ve been trying to impress on the girls they’ve got to be able to show up every game.”
The experience of the Lady Wave is with four juniors – Jaleigha Polk, Asia Partlow, Braxton Thomas and Marqueesha Hoskins – and senior Bre Jernigan. Justice is expecting junior Kaliyah Dandridge and freshman Alayjah Sherer to also be major contributors.
With that junior core, Tupelo has put together back-to-back 21-11 seasons, losing in the first round of the North tournament.
Tupelo will host Mooreville on Thursday, in a game rescheduled from Friday.
Jeff Norwood was very familiar with a fast-paced tempo during his playing days at Tupelo High School.
The 2013-14 squad could remind some veteran Tupelo fans of those teams.
“We’ll go as far as we are close,” said Norwood, in his second season at Tupelo. “We have a chance if we are a close-knit team. We’ve got some guys that can play.”
Seniors Isaiah Traylor and J. J. Ashby and junior Antonio Green have needed experience, with junior Malek Douglas as a key newcomer.