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Shirley seeks more punch from offense

By Staff
From Staff Reports
Dec. 5, 2001
Meridian Girls Basketball Coach Donald Shirley is looking for more offensive punch from someone other than Valencia Hairston and Stephanie Mosley.
Hairston, a 6-1 junior forward, has been a force all season averaging nearly 24 points per game. She hit her average in Friday night's 58-51 loss at Wayne County.
Latisha Jones provided some relief scoring 10 of her 12 points in the second half. That helped the Lady Wildcats cut a 18-point deficit down to five in the final minute against the Lady War Eagles.
Meridian, now 5-3, will finally come home off a near month away from the Wildcat Gym, when they host Newton County on Saturday.
Jeff Byrd
ECCC all-tourney team announced
Lenore Gray of Newton and Tawon Walker of Neshoba Central were named the Most Valuable Players in the sixth-annual East Central Community College Central Mississippi Classic.
Other girls chosen to the all-tournament team are: Creoshia Williams of Newton, J.J. Huggins and JaWanda Huggins of West Lauderdale, Britney Burks and Kattie Nickson of Scott Central, Monique Overstreet of South Leake, Elyse Willis of Neshoba Central, Kristin Chaney of Newton County, Ashley Pugh of Nanih Waiya, and Ashley Luckett of Carthage.
Also on the boys' all-tournament team are: Tavares Walker and Calvin Parker of Neshoba Central, Boo Ramsey and Calvin Moore of West Lauderdale, Elijah McDonald of Morton, Charles Rhodes of Forest, Tony Smith of Newton County, Brent Blackwell of Nanih Waiya, Sylvester Snow of Sebastopol, and Bobby Lindsey of Newton.
Marty Stamper
Four MPSA champions crowned
Besides Trinity, three other teams were crowned as state champions from last weekend's Academy Football title games at Mississippi College.
Silliman Institute completed a perfect 14-0 season by beating North Delta School 14-7 on Friday afternoon. Silliman needed a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter to subdue Willis Wright's Waves in the Academy AAA final.
Jackson Academy turned the tables on their fellow Jackson counterparts from Prep with a 12-7 win in the AAAA final. Rob Cannon rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown to lead the Raiders.
Magnolia Heights junior quarterback Lee Powell threw five touchdown passes to lead the Chiefs to a 39-7 romp past Oak Forest for the AA title. The game was the only blowout of the four finals played at Robinson-Hale Stadium.
Powell was 18 of 36 for 320 yards and five TDs. Included were touchdown passes of 22, 7, 93, 21 and 5 yards. Powell will be back in Clinton on Friday for the MPSA All-Star game as a North quarterback.
Jeff Byrd
Coast hosts big soccer weekends
Gulfport hosted one big high school soccer tournament Saturday and will be hosting another big one this weekend.
Thirteen boys' teams from four states met Saturday in the Mississippi High School Showcase at the Gulfport Sportsplex. Participants were from Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida.
The idea for the event was the brainchild of William Carey soccer coach Doug Stovall.
As a result of last year's Showcase, several players who participated in the tournament signed with Meridian Community College, William Carey, Spring Hill, and Central Florida.
The girls' tournament is slated for Saturday.
Marty Stamper
Finals at the Vet
Five Mississippi High School Activities Association football champions will be crowned this week at Mississippi Veterans Stadium in Jackson.
The Championships will begin on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. when the St. John Eagles (13-1) take on Ackerman (13-1) for the Class 2A title. On Friday night at 7, former Moss Point Assistant Bill Lee directs his Starkville Yellow Jackets take on defending champ Moss Point for the 5A crown. Starkville beat Meridian 24-0 in week two.
Moss Point knocked off top-ranked and unbeaten Brandon 13-0 last Friday in Moss Point. The Class 1A title will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday when Durant (14-0) takes on Pelahatchie (12-1).
The 3A championship is set for 3 p.m. and will pit Collins (12-2) against Corinth (13-1).
The final game will be Saturday night for the Class 4A title when two-time champ Clarksdale (13-1) battles South Pike (12-2) at 7 p.m.
Jeff Byrd
Casper still playing for St. John
St. John linebacker Benny Casper was able to play in Friday's Class 2A state playoff game with Loyd Star as the temporary restraining order against the Mississippi High School Activities Association was extended through the state championship game with Ackerman by Harrison County judge Margaret Alfonso.
A final ruling on his eligibility will be made on Dec. 14 by Alfonso.
Casper transferred from Gulfport High School early in the season. St. John could be forced to forfeit all its games for using an ineligible player if Alfonso rules against Casper.
The MHSAA says Casper never received a hardship ruling and St. John has yet to present the necessary paperwork.
It will be interesting to see if all the schools St. John eliminated with Casper then sue that school for the amount of playoff money they lost should Casper ultimately be declared ineligible. That list would include Enterprise, Bassfield, and Taylorsville, and Loyd Star, who lost to St. John in the playoffs, and Mercy Cross which would have made the playoffs from Region 8-2A had the Eagles been forced to forfeit regular season games in which Casper played.
– Marty Stamper
Casey replaces Scott at Shannon
Offensive line coach Porter Casey was promoted to head football coach at Shannon Thursday, replacing Mike Scott, who resigned on Nov. 26.
Scott is in his 16th year with the Red Raiders, who were eliminated from the Class 4A playoffs with a 44-38 loss to Louisville after blowing a 38-20 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Casey has been an assistant for six years at Shannon. He spent two years at Baldwyn and two years at Houston before that.
Scott was 134-54 in his 16 seasons with the Red Raiders. His 1996 team won the Class 3A state championship, beating Prentiss 43-30 in the finals. His 1999 team lost in the 3A championship game to Forest.
– Marty Stamper