The two Class 3A contenders face off for the second time – Mooreville won 47-40 on Nov. 30 – this season.
Booneville didn’t have Jordan Miller (10 ppg.) in the first meeting due to a football injury.
“That’s not an excuse. They manhandled us. They took us out of anything we wanted to do and made us look bad,” Booneville coach Michael Smith said. “I think they can do that to you.”
Smith said what makes the Troopers dangerous is their versatility, depth and ability to score from the outside.
Mooreville (15-2) is starting to get all its pieces back together, too. Coach Jeff Tally said big man Austin Timms is starting to move a little better after an MCL sprain suffered just before the season started. Timms (14.8 ppg.) is playing through tendonitis in his other knee and point guard Brandon Moore (13.2 ppg.) is at 85 percent after suffering a bone bruise before Christmas.
“I expect a very tough game. I hope it will be a good game. I hope we play well. I hope they play well,” Tally said. “I know they got their (Miller) back and they’re a lot better than the first time we played them.”
Booneville has won the last two North 3A titles and a state title two seasons ago.
Smith aims for the Blue Devils (10-3) to be a balanced scoring attack. Booneville is getting 22 points a game from its top recruit, Kenny Paul Geno.
The Lee and Monroe county tournaments are this week – Lee at Nettleton and Monroe at Aberdeen.
Hamilton’s Lady Lions (12-2) are off to their best start in years and face either Hatley or Amory on Friday at the Aberdome.
In Nettleton, Mooreville and Saltillo boys highlight Thursday’s schedule at 5:30 p.m.
Corinth and Amory play their second division game of the season tonight. Corinth beat the Panthers by 11 on Dec. 14. Pontotoc’s girls go to Itawamba AHS in a key 1-4A game Friday while Union County and division rivals Ingomar and Myrtle play Friday at Myrtle.