Tough division schedule helped Lady Tigers and Lady Warriors

By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
March 2, 2001
Jody Hurst and Richard Harris will likely be in the crowd Saturday night at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson when Choctaw Central battles Southeast Lauderdale in a Class 3A state semifinal contest.
But West Lauderdale's Hurst and Newton County's Harris could just as easily be watching this game from a seat on the court.
Coaches in nearly every division in the state feel theirs is the toughest. But over the last two years, the girls in Division 5-3A have proven it.
It happened last year when Velma Jackson, the fifth seed in the division tournament, made it to the state tourney at the Big House. It's happened again this season, as Choctaw and Southeast lock horns Saturday with a state-title berth on the line.
Miller knows better than anyone the toughness of Division 5-3A. Six of his team's eight losses came to other division teams during the course of the season. Two came to Newton County, and when the Lady Tigers finally beat the Lady Cougars in their last two meetings, both came down to the final shot including an overtime win in the division semifinals before Southeast rallied from a 26-point deficit to oust Purvis in the playoffs.
Five of the girls' teams in 5-3A entered the division tournament with at least 21 wins, and Choctaw Central coach Willis Tullos said any of the three who didn't make it could be sitting in his shoes.
Rocky Higginbotham is the sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rhigginbotham@themeridianstar.com.

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