By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
Tupelo High School’s boys basketball program won three consecutive North Mississippi 5A championships from 1988 through 1990 under former coach Lee Stratton.
Brian Riggs, a manager all three seasons, says the teams compiled a 97-12 record – 29-4, 34-4 and 34-4.
“The 1988 North championship trophy is in the locker room,” Riggs said. “We don’t know where the ‘89 and ‘90 trophies are. That’s why it was first thought ‘88 was the last time they won North.”
Tupelo lost to Jackson Murrah in the state semifinals in ‘88. The Golden Wave then lost to Biloxi in back-to-back state championship games.
Ironically, Biloxi is Tupelo’s opponent next week in the state semifinals. The Indians also eliminated the Wave from the state tournament in the 1999 semifinals, the program’s last trip to Jackson.
On a side note, Rickey Coleman, the starting point guard for the 1989 and ‘90 teams, is the father of Golden Wave point guard Rashon Coleman.