Choctaw Central's Kaedre Denson puts up a shot against Starkville in recent basketball action.
Choctaw Central's Kaedre Denson puts up a shot against Starkville in recent basketball action.
Choctaw Central will be competing this week in the annual East Central Community College high school basketball tournament.

The Choctaw Central girls have won the tournament for the past three years. The Lady Warriors come in with a 7-0 record while the Choctaw Central boys stand at 4-2.

The Warrior teams did not play during the Thanksgiving holidays.

There will be eight teams in the girls bracket of the tournament. Choctaw Central, the No. 1 seed, was to play Scott Central Monday night. Other first round games saw Morton playing Newton County, Laurel playing Northeast Lauderdale and Newton High School playing Southeast Lauderdale.

A win on Monday night would put the Lady Warriors in the semifinals on Friday at 4 p.m. against the winner of Morton and Newton County. Last year, the Lady Warriors defeated Laurel 72-51 in the tournament finals.

“We practiced a couple of times during the holidays,” Coach Bill Smith said. “We are looking forward to the tournament and getting to play against good competition.”

There are seven teams making up the boys bracket. The Choctaw Central boys were to open tournament play on Tuesday against Newton High School. The winner of this game will play top seeded Laurel Friday at 8 p.m. in the semifinals. Other first round games will see Newton County playing Morton and Northeast Lauderdale taking on Southeast Lauderdale.

“We are playing well but we aren’t where we need to be,” Warriors Coach Brent Farmer said. “Our guys know that and they are working to improve.

“Right now, we are focused on playing Newton. If we win our first game, we’ll be playing Laurel in the semifinals.”

Laurel is the No. 1 boys seed and the two-time defending Class 5A state champion.

Farmer said that the players have set several goals concerning defense and the transition game. One of the top goals is to make their shots fall in at the free throw line.

“In the two games we lost, we would have done better if we had hit our free throws,” Farmer said. “Our goal is to shoot 100 percent from the free throw line. We have been working on that in practice. You have to take advantage of your opportunities.”

The finals will be played Saturday with the girls tipping off at 6 p.m. and the boys following at 7:30 p.m. First round losers will drop into a consolation bracket.