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High school basketball tournaments abound this weekend

By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Jan. 4, 2001
The beginning of a new year means games that count a lot more for area high school basketball teams.
To get ready for those games, nearly every team in the coverage area of The Meridian Star is involved in some type of tournament during the next two weeks.
The Central Mississippi Classic at Forest got under way Wednesday, and three other big tournaments in the area begin today as teams try to prepare themselves for runs at their respective division titles.
Neshoba Central, Enterprise and Newton are all hosting three-day, round-robin tournaments that begin today, and all three offer quite a lineup:
At Neshoba, the host Rockets and Lady Rockets are joined by cross-town rival Philadelphia, Division 2-4A rival Kosciusko and West Lauderdale.
Philadelphia and West tangle in the opening girls' and boys' contests today at 4:30 and 5:45 p.m., while Neshoba takes on Kosciusko in girls' and boys' action at 7 p.m. and 8:15.
The schedule mixes up a bit Friday and Saturday.
Jody Hurst's Lady Knights of West tangle with Kosciusko Friday at 4:30, then Philadelphia takes on the Kosciusko boys at 5:45 p.m. Neshoba's girls meet Philly at 7 p.m., and Neshoba's boys get Duran Clark's West Lauderdale bunch at 8:15.
Saturday's action begins at 4:30 p.m., as well, as Philadelphia's girls take on Kosciusko. Kosy's boys play West at 5:45, West's girls battle Neshoba at 7 p.m., and Philadelphia and Neshoba collide in the final boys' matchup at 8:15 p.m.
At Enterprise, Southern Choctaw is a newcomer to the annual Enterprise Invitational, which also includes old standbys Northeast and Southeast Lauderdale in addition to the host school.
Southeast and Southern Choctaw start things off today with girls' and boys' action at 4:30 and 5:45 p.m., while Northeast and Enterprise tangle in the late games at 7 p.m. and 8:15.
The starting times are the same Friday and Saturday.
Friday's matchups pit Northeast against Southeast in the early matchups and Southern Choctaw against Enterprise in the late games; while Saturday's action has Northeast against Southern Choctaw in the afternoon contests and Enterprise against Southeast in the night games.
At Newton, a loaded field includes the state's No. 1 ranked boys' team as Newton High, Newton County, Quitman and Jackson Lanier knock heads.
Lanier's top-ranked Bulldogs won the Class 5A title in 1999 and were the Class 4A runnerup last season.
Newton County will get the opportunity to knock off Lanier first, as the Cougars meet the Bulldogs at 5:45 p.m. today after the same two schools tangle in a girls' game at 4:30. The girls and boys from Newton High and Quitman tangle at 7 p.m. and 8:15.
Friday's early games have Newton County matching up against Quitman, while Newton and Lanier tangle in the two late contests.
Saturday's lineup begins at 4:30 p.m. when Quitman's girls battle Lanier in the first of four contests that are sure to bring a packed house.
Steve Hampton's Panthers get their shot at Lanier at 5:45 p.m., followed by the renewal of the Newton and Newton County rivalries at 7 p.m. and 8:15.