No Big House jinx this year
By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
March 8, 2001
What's happened to the Big House jinx?
Conventional thinking says it's better to play a first-round game in the Mississippi Coliseum than to have a bye to the semifinals in the annual high school state basketball tournament.
Not so fast. Not this year anyway. At least not on the girls' side of the bracket.
Through Wednesday's games, the North/South State girls' champions had used their first-round byes well as they were 8-1 in semifinal action.
The girls from Southeast Lauderdale, Meridian, Lake, Belmont, South Pontotoc, Tupelo, Crystal Springs, and Raymond all had byes into the semifinals for winning either North or South State championships. Some had quite a layoff. Meridian hadn't played in eight days, while Tupelo and Crystal Springs hadn't faced competition in nine days, yet none of them showed any major signs of rust when their turn to play came.
The only girls' team with a bye that lost its semifinal game was West Lowndes.
The boys' side of the bracket has lived up to tradition as only four of the nine teams with byes won their semifinal.
Hinds AHS, Broad Street, Simmons, and Lanier won their games, while Tylertown, Jim Hill, Columbus, Crystal Springs, and Durant did not.
You can only hope to contain him: Scott Central girls' basketball coach Chad Harrison is continuing his assault on the ice cream at the Mississippi Coliseum.
Through the first half of the Crystal Springs-Oxford boys' game Tuesday night, he had consumed 22 of the cones.
The only thing slowing him down was the one night they ran out of chocolate.
Magnolia State champions: Prior to integration, several area black high schools won state championships.
The girls from Boler High in Decatur were a small-school power from 1967-69 as they won three straight state Class B championships.
The girls from Heidelberg Southside won Class A championships in 1967 and 1968. They went on to win overall championships both years.
The girls from Newton Pilate reached the Class BB finals in 1967 and 1970, losing both times.
On the boys' side, Heidelberg Southside won the 1962 state championship (there were no classes until 1966) and the 1968 Class A championship.
Louisville was the state runner-up in 1965 and the Class A runner-up in 1966. The 1965 finals saw Louisville score 107 points and still lose 122-107 to Lanier.
Philadelphia Carver was the Class BB runner-up in 1968.
Macon Liddell was the 1969 Class AA state runner-up.
Walnut Grove Murphy was the 1963 state runner-up.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.