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ECCC to host area's largest prep tourney

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Nov. 25, 2001
The area's largest high school basketball tournament gets under way Monday and runs through Saturday in Decatur.
The 29-team event is hosted by East Central Community College.
Participants in the ECCC Central Mississippi Classic are West Lauderdale, Newton, Newton County, Neshoba Central, Philadelphia, Union, Lake, Scott Central, Forest, Nanih Waiya, Sebastopol, Morton, South Leake, and Carthage in both girls' and boys' divisions with Noxapater only in the girls' bracket.
The tournament features a strong girls' field as defending Class 1A state champion Lake and 2001 Class 4A state semifinalist Neshoba Central are on hand along with six other teams that won at least 20 games last season in defending ECCC Classic champion West Lauderdale, Newton, Newton County, Scott Central, Forest, and South Leake.
Lake is the No. 1 girls' seed with West Lauderdale No. 2, Neshoba Central No. 3, and Scott Central No. 4.
The Lady Knights defeated Forest 45-30 in last year's championship game.
On the boys' side of the bracket, defending ECCC Classic champion South Leake is back.
The Wildcats blew out Newton County 77-52 in last year's finals.
South Leake reached the Class 2A state semifinals last season.
Also on hand are the Newton Tigers who reached the Class 2A state tournament last spring where they lost in the first round.
Forest drew the top seed in the boys' bracket with Newton County No. 2, Neshoba Central No. 3, and West Lauderdale No. 4.
Games will be played at both the ECCC Brackeen-Wood gym and the ECCC South Campus gym (old Decatur High School gym).
Monday's girls' games have Newton playing Carthage and Neshoba Central meeting Nanih Waiya in the 4 p.m. contests.
At 7, West Lauderdale plays Sebastopol with Scott Central taking on Noxapater.
Monday's boys' games have Philadelphia playing Lake and Neshoba Central taking on Nanih Waiya in the 5:30 p.m. games.
At 8:30, Newton faces Sebastopol and West Lauderdale squares off with Scott Central.
Tuesday's girls' games have Union facing South Leake and Morton taking on Forest at 4 p.m. with Newton County meeting Philadelphia in one 7 p.m. contest with the other being a losers' bracket matchup.
In Tuesday's boys' action, Union faces Morton and South Leake plays Carthage at 5:30 p.m., while the only 8:30 contest is a losers' bracket matchup.
Winners' bracket games are slated for Wednesday with elimination games on tap for Thursday.
Semifinals in both the winners' and losers' brackets are scheduled for Friday with the losers' bracket, third place, and championship games slated for Saturday.
Tickets are $4 each night.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at