November 18th, 2011
STARKVILLE â Starkville scored a pair of touchdowns off of two West Point turnovers Friday night, including the game winner in the fourth quarter as the Yellowjackets ended the Green Waveâs run for a third consecutive 5A title, 20-14 in the second round of the MHSAA state playoffs.
Itâs the first time since 2008 West Point (8-5) wonât be playing for a state title.
The Yellowjackets will travel to Ridgeland next Friday for the North State title. Many had predicted the winner of Starkville and West Point would go on to win the 5A championship.
Oak Hill notched their second win in a row Thursday, 55-43 versus Carroll despite a gritty first half performance defensively.
The first half could be easily described as a shootout, with the Raiders holding on to a four point lead heading into the second. Carroll rebounded with 11 points to cut the deficit to a basket at the break.
The Rebels werenât exactly getting easy looks, they were just making tough shots and hanging around.
The Raiders looked like a revamped team in the third, outscoring the visitors 20-5 and stretching the lead to 17 points.
Oak Hill had their best defensive performance of the season Thursday night, shutting down visiting Carroll Academy 55-9.
The Lady Raiders conceded just one basket in the second half, and shut out the Lady Rebels twice, in the first and third quarter.
Oak Hill, who have won six a row since their season opening loss, not only defended well, but controlled the glass with 46 rebounds for the ball game, mostly on offense.
âWe just dominated the rebounding,â head coach Stan Hughey said. âIt would have been more than that, but they turned the ball over a lot.â
CRAWFORD â On the road for the third consecutive ball game, West Point didnât look out of sync. The Green Wave outscored East Oktibbeha 23-3 in the third quarter, sealing their second straight win Thursday night, 80-54.
At half time, head coach Brad Cox told his players that two things would happen in the third, the Titans would make a run and get back in the ball game down by 11, or West Point would blow the game out. That was enough motivation.
West Point area teams will be on the hardwood tonight in non-district action.
The Green Wave, fresh off their wins over Kosicusko last Saturday, continue their five game road trip tonight when they travel to Crawford to take on East Oktibbeha starting at 6 p.m.
Meanwhile Oak Hill returns home after defeating regional rival Heritage on Tuesday to battle Carroll. Action starts with the 7th grade girls and boys at 3 p.m.
For the third consecutive season, West Point has found themselves one win away from the north state championship game.
The old saying âthird timeâs a charmâ, could ring true for the Green Wave if they can get past Starkville on the road Friday.
So far this season, all the talk about West Point has been their offense. And why not?
Coerver Soccer is running a skills camp for soccer players aged 7-18 on Thursday nights at the Sportsplex from Nov. 17-Dec. 15.
Thomas Easterling, president of the West Point Soccer Club, said that the benefits of participating in the camp easily outweigh the cost, which is $35 per player. "The ball handling skills that players acquire in the Coerver sessions give them an incredible advantage in recreational and intermediate levels of soccer," he said. "But the most important thing about Coerver is that their coaches make learning the game fun."
Oak Hill head coach Brian Middleton preached all night every chance he could to his players to believe in themselves. They did.
The Raiders trailed by nine heading into the fourth quarter Tuesday night, and exploded for 18 points in the final eight minutes to pull off the victory, 45-41.
âIt was a big win, a big rivalry winâŠ it was awesome,â Middleton said. âWe pushed each other and finally we got over that hump.â
The Hebron Lady Eagles picked up their fourth of the season Tuesday night, but it wasnât easy by any means.
A run late in the fourth quarter gave the girls a seven point lead and enough to hold on for a 56-54 win over Veritas. It was the second victory in the last three games for the Lady Eagles.
Tori Nichols, who finished with 27 points and five blocks, fouled out in the fourth, but the Hebron bench stepped up and held on to the lead. The girls shot 60 percent from the free-throw line in the ball game, with several coming down the stretch.
Hebron was looking for a win Tuesday night.
They needed one bad.
After starting the season 2-0, then dropping their last two, the Eagles got back in the win column with a 55-43 win over New Life Center.
âThey had good athletes on the team,â head coach Tri Nason said. âThey were by no means going to be a walk over and we knew that as soon as they walked in, we were going to have to battle pretty well.â
The win if anything, improved the morale of the team a little bit.