Meridian Wildcats face trio of tough road games
From Staff Reports
Nov. 23, 2001
The Meridian Wildcat boys basketball team is off to a 5-1 start but they still face a challenging three-game road slate when they return from Thanksgiving holidays.
Coach Ernie Watson's club must travel to Jackson to battle perennial power Lanier High School on Nov. 27. Following that date will be a Nov. 30 trip to 5A power Wayne County who ripped Northeast Lauderdale 82-60. The road swing concludes a week later with a visit to Tupelo.
Bowls on life support
With the MHSAA playoff field expanded this year, what few bowls remain can't be picky about who they invite.
The 62nd Shrimp Bowl at Biloxi paired Bay High, 7-4, with St. Martin, 4-7.
Surprisingly, St. Martin jumped out to a 25-0 lead en route to a 39-15 win over the Tigers.
In the Lumberton Panther Bowl, Lumberton beat Salem 40-26 to finish 7-5. Salem closed out at 5-6.
In the Maben Lions Bowl, which has previously been for public school teams, Winona Christian rolled past Hebron Christian 35-8. Winona closed out at 5-6 with the win, while Hebron finished 7-3.
Class A game set for Thursday
It will be an afternoon affair next Thursday to determine the Academy A MPSA champion. The title game is set for 1 p.m. at Mississippi College's Robinson-Hale Stadium.
Robinson-Hale Stadium used to be the site for the Mississippi Public School championships while the MPSA played their title games at Jackson Prep. In 1992, the MHSAA moved its five championship games to Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Cruising for a break
Although Kemper Academy basketball coach Russell Cruise will still be coaching three games on most nights that KA has games, it won't be like the last two years.
Three years ago Cruise took over the Lady Rams when Wayne Byrd left after the preseason tournament. The next year Cruise took over the boys and girls programs and for two years coached four games a night, as he led both the high school and junior high school girls programs.
This year John Allen Darnell is leading the junior high boys team, giving Cruise a little rest on those long basketball nights.
Northeast Lauderdale and West Lauderdale have already played two close contests early in the prep basketball season.
The Trojans beat the Knights 78-75 at West Lauderdale back on Nov. 10. The Knights then returned the favor beating the Trojans 66-62 last week at the Lauderdale County Tournament at MCC.
West currently stands 5-1 on the season with the lone loss coming at the hands of the Trojans. Northeast is 5-2.
The next match between the two county teams is set for Dec. 11 when West visits Northeast.
Both teams are off this Thanksgiving weekend. The Knights return to action on Monday at the East Central Community College Tournament in Decatur. Northeast comes back on Tuesday with a road game at Clarkdale.
This Casper's no ghost
Linebacker Benny Casper has made his mark with the St. John Eagles' football team this fall after transferring from Gulfport High.
Declared ineligible by the MHSAA, Casper has played in playoff wins over Enterprise (48-6) and Bassfield (41-20) thanks to a temporary restraining order.
There have been questions over Casper's hardship eligibility due to paperwork that arose before St. John played Lumberton on Oct. 12.
Veteran coach lands at WA
Wayne Academy head coach Tom Boszor spent 34 years in the Mississippi Public School system. He was a head coach at Wayne Central, athletic director and head coach at Northeast Jones, Long Beach, Columbia and Richton.
He was looking just for a defensive co-ordinator job at Wayne Academy in order to supplement his state retirement. Instead, he found himself with the head job after the former Jaguar coach left following a week of practice.
The end result: an 11-1 record and a spot in the semifinals of the Academy A playoffs.
ECCC brackets set
The East Central Community College Central Mississippi Classic tips off Monday in Decatur.
The tournament, which has become the biggest in the area, will be held in two gyms on the ECCC campus.
The action begins on Monday, with games set for Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
There are no games on Thursday because ECCC has a home basketball game.
Lake is the No. 1 seed among the 15 girls teams, with West Lauderdale being seeded No. 2. The No. 3 seed is Neshoba Central, while Scott Central is No. 4.
Lake has a bye, while West Lauderdale faces No. 15 seed Sebastopol at 7 p.m.
There are 14 boys teams in the tournament, with Forest being seeded No. 1 and Newton County No. 2.