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Area teams ready for big week of hoops

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Dec. 23, 2001
A weary Santa Claus will barely have made it back to the North Pole before area basketball teams return to the courts to continue their seasons.
The fifth-annual MPSA Mississippi Classic begins Wednesday at East Central Community College in Decatur. Play begins at 11:30 a.m. when the 1-5 Lamar Raiders face Kemper Academy. The 3-10 Newton County Academy Lady Generals take on University Christian, 2-13, at 1 p.m. At 2:30, the 4-7 Newton Generals face Heidelberg Academy. At 4, Central Academy's Lady Vikings square off with defending tournament champion Indianola Academy. At 5:30, the 9-1 Winston Academy Patriots face the Washington Generals. The 7 p.m. girls' game has Leake Academy, 11-3, facing Lamar, 3-9. At 8:30 p.m., the defending tournament champion University Christian Flames, 10-3, take on Indianola Academy. The tournament continues through Saturday with Starkville Academy seeded No. 1 in both boys' and girls' divisions.
Northeast Lauderdale, West Lauderdale, and Neshoba Central will be among five Mississippi girls' teams playing five from Alabama in the Mississippi/Alabama Challenge at Birmingham, Ala., Thursday-Saturday, at John Carroll High School. Also representing Mississippi are Columbus and Ocean Springs.
West Lauderdale, 12-3, will play Hoover, Vestavia Hills, and John Carroll. Neshoba Central, 12-4, takes on McAdory Thursday at 1:30 p.m., Hoover Friday at 6 p.m., and Thompson Saturday at 2 p.m. The Lady Trojans of Northeast take a 6-9 record to the three-day event.
The Choctaw Central teams will also take a lengthy journey as they head to North Carolina to play in a two-day tournament at Cherokee, Friday and Saturday. The Lady Warriors are 12-1, while the Warriors are 6-5. The Lady Warriors' only loss has been to 18-0 Williams-Sullivan.
The Northeast Lauderdale and West Lauderdale boys will participate in the annual Jackson Public Schools Capital Classic, Wednesday-Friday. West, 12-3, takes on Warren Central Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Provine High School. Northeast, 11-2, faces Callaway at 4:30, also at Provine.
The second-annual Philadelphia-Rush Medical Holiday Classic will have eight boys' teams in the Thursday-Saturday event at Philadelphia High School. In Thursday's opening-round action, Newton County, 6-5, meets defending tournament champion Louisville, 11-3, at 1 p.m. with Union, 6-5, taking on Ackerman at 2:15. Neshoba Central, 10-4, meets Kemper County, 11-2, at 3:30 in the highlight matchup of the first round. Philadelphia, 9-3, faces Nanih Waiya, 4-8, in the 4:45 contest.
Nanih Waiya will host an eight-team girls' Christmas Invitational, Thursday-Saturday. Louisville faces Weir in Thursday's 1 p.m. tournament opener. Newton County, 7-6, gets Kemper County, 3-8, in the 2:15 contest. At 3:30, Union, 3-7, squares off with Montgomery County. Nanih Waiya, 11-5, hosts Noxapater, 4-10, in the 4:45 matchup.
The Meridian boys travel to Poplar Bluff, Mo., for a tournament that begins Wednesday and ends Saturday. The Wildcats were 9-6 going into Saturday's contest in the Cameron State Bank Classic at Lake Charles, La. The Wildcats lost both of their first two games in that event, 66-55 to Westgate, La., and 70-68 to Sulphur, La.
The Bay Springs Round Robin is set for Friday-Saturday with split sessions each day. On Friday, the Newton teams take on Heidelberg at 1 and 2:30 p.m. with Bay Springs playing Taylorsville in the 6 and 7:30 contests. Saturday's play has Newton and Taylorsville tangling at 1 and 2:30 p.m. with Bay Springs and Heidelberg clashing at 6 and 7:30 p.m. The Bay Springs Lady Bulldogs are 8-10, while the Bulldogs have a 7-10 record. The Newton girls are 9-1, while the Newton boys were 5-4 prior to Saturday's matchup with Lawrence County in the Peoples Bank Showdown at Mendenhall.
The Clarkdale and Enterprise boys travel to Alabama to participate in the Sweet Water Boys' Invitational, Thursday-Saturday. Enterprise enters the tournament with a 7-7 record, while Clarkdale is 4-11.
Wayne County will compete in a tournament at Hattiesburg, Thursday-Saturday. The War Eagles are 10-1, while the Lady War Eagles are 14-1.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at or call him at 693-1551, ext. 3235.