Four area girls' teams crack statewide poll

By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Jan. 24, 2001
The notion that girls' high school basketball in East Mississippi is as strong as ever was solidified again Tuesday, when four teams in The Meridian Star's coverage area were ranked in the state's Top 15.
The latest statewide Top 15 polls were released by The Associated Press Tuesday night.
Meridian High's Lady Wildcats were in the No. 3 spot in the poll for a second consecutive week, racking up 91 poll points just one behind No. 2 ranked Jackson Murrah.
The Lady Wildcats received one first-place vote.
Tupelo, which received eight first-place votes and had 108 poll points, has been No. 1 since beating Meridian in the Columbus/Wendy's Classic earlier this season.
Raymond and Class 2A powerhouse Baldwyn round out the girls' Top 5.
Wayne County checked in this week at No. 8 in the girls' poll, while Noxubee County moved up one spot to No. 12 and Choctaw Central made its first appearance of the season in the AP poll at No. 14.
A pair of other area schools Newton County and West Lauderdale also received votes.
On the boys' side, Natchez picked up seven first-place votes and was No. 1 again with 96 poll points. The Bulldogs were followed by Jackson Lanier, Starkville, South Panola and Picayune in the Top 5. All but South Panola had one first-place vote.
There were no area teams in this week's boys' poll, as Wayne County fell out of the poll despite winning both of its games last week. The War Eagles did receive votes, however, as did Meridian.
Defending Class 2A state champ South Leake, which includes a host of area schools on its schedule, checked in at No. 7 this week.
The poll is selected from a panel of 15 sports writers and sports casters from across the state.
Rocky Higginbotham is the sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at