Philadelphia’s Nia Luckett goes up for a basket against Southeast Lauderdale while Andrika Carter looks on.

Photo by Jacob Robertson
Philadelphia’s Nia Luckett goes up for a basket against Southeast Lauderdale while Andrika Carter looks on. Photo by Jacob Robertson
 Two of the top girls basketball teams will meet Saturday during the annual Neshoba Central Classic.

The Choctaw Central Lady Warriors, ranked No. 4 in the The Clarion-Ledger’s Super 10 girls basketball poll, will take on No. 1 Starkville. The game tips off at noon.

The Starkville Lady Yellow Jackets are the defending Class 6A girls state champions while Choctaw Central is the defending Class 3A state champs. The two teams met at the Neshoba Central Classic last year with Starkville taking a 50-49 win at the buzzer.

“It’s going to be a big game,” Lady Warriors Coach Bill Smith said. “We like to play teams like Starkville because they will test us. They will be a tough challenge and that will make us better.”

The game tips off at noon. There are three other games as well. The Choctaw Central boys will play Noxubee County at 1:30 p.m. That game will be followed by a game between the Neshoba Central girls and Noxubee County at 3 p.m. The final game will be between the Neshoba Central boys and Starkville and tips off at 4:30 p.m.

Neshoba Central and Choctaw Central split a pair of games last week. The Lady Warriors defeated Neshoba Central 70-45 while the Rockets topped the Choctaw Central boys 68-60.

The Lady Warriors took a 19-12 lead after the first quarter. Choctaw Central outscored Neshoba 17-15 in the second stanza and led 36-27 at the half. The Lady Warriors outscored the Lady Rockets 18-10 in the third quarter and carried a 52-37 lead into the final stanza where they held on for the victory. Darien Tubby scored 18 points to lead the Lady Warriors.

The Neshoba Central boys took a 20-9 first quarter lead. The Rockets had a 15-7 edge in the second quarter and led 35-16 halftime. Choctaw Central fought back in the second half, outscoring the Rockets 44-33 over two quarters. But Neshoba Central’s early lead proved too much to overcome.

Trajan Fielder led Neshoba Central with 23 points while Jacob McMillan scored 11. Dillon Farmer led Choctaw Central will 11 points. Keanon McMillan and Tiger Briscoe both scored nine points.


Choctaw Central

Choctaw Central split a pair of games with Leake Central last Friday. The Lady Warriors took a 63-33 win in the girls game and the Leake Central boys slipped past Neshoba Central 63-62 in overtime.

The Lady Warriors had control of their game as they went up 32-15 at the half. Kaedre Denson led with 14 points while Kyarrah Grant added 12.

The Leake Central boys and Choctaw Central were tied at 56-56 after the regulation time. But the Gators would outpoint the Warriors 7-6 in the overtime period. Farmer scored 23 to lead the Warriors while Gerald Isom added 10.

“We had a good game plan and it was a close game,” Coach Brent Farmer said. “They got by us in overtime.”

The Warrior teams play at Northeast Lauderdale on Friday.


Neshoba Central

The Rockets split a part of games with Northeast Lauderdale. The Lady Rockets scored their first win of the season as they defeated the Trojans 45-43. The Neshoba Central boys dropped a 73-72 overtime decision to Northeast Lauderdale.

Taylor Ben and Hallie Billie both scored 11 points to lead the Lady Rockets past Northeast Lauderdale. The Lady Rockets trailed 26-20 at the half. They rallied in the fourth quarter, outpointing the Lady Trojans 20-7, and took the victory.

The Rockets jumped out to an 18-6 lead in the first quarter. The Trojans fought back to cut that lead to 31-29 at the half. The Trojans would carry a 44-42 lead into the fourth quarter. The Rockets fought back to tie the game at 66-66 at the end of the regulation.

“It was a close game but we missed six layups and free throws in the fourth quarter that could have made the difference,” Coach Jerry Byrd said. “We are going to be a good team but we have got to learn how to put games away.”

The Trojans outscored the Rockets 7-6 in overtime to take the victory. Fielder led the Rockets with 38 points.

Neshoba Central has a big week ahead of them. They were to visit West Point Tuesday and Velma Jackson on Thursday. They play Starkville in the Classic on Saturday and then host the No. 1 Meridian Wildcats on Monday.


Wilbanks gets

first victory

Coach Matt Wilbanks earned his first victory as a head coach as he led the Union Lady Yellowjackets to a 51-40 victory over Stringer this past Saturday.

The Union boys won their season opener as well, defeating Stringer 62-42.

Wilbanks was pleased with the win but felt his team has plenty of things to work on as the season progresses,

“This proves my point, that if we keep playing hard until the end, we have a chance to win,” Wilbanks said. “We were down by 10 with a little more than three minutes to go and we found a way to win.”

Stringer led 21-15 at the half. Union outscored Stringer 10-8 in the third quarter and trailed 29-25 heading into the fourth quarter. The Lady Yellowjackets outscored Stringer 20-11 in the final quarter and took the victory.

Mackenzie Dolan was the leading scorer with 25 points and 16 rebounds. Ansley Rigby added 11 points and seven rebounds while Parker Breland scored seven points.

The Union boys went up 33-18 at the half as they rolled past the Red Devils. J.T. Vance led with 18 points while Jay Norris added 12 points and P.J. Gage scored 11.

Union plays two games this week. They visit Enterprise on Tuesday and Newton County on Thursday.


Lady Rebels

knock off Kirk

Last season, Kirk Academy defeated Leake Academy four times and ended the Lady Rebels’ long reign as Class AAA state champions.

In their first meeting held a Leake Academy last week, the Lady Rebels took a 50-41 win over Kirk Academy.

It was one of two wins for the Lady Rebels as they knocked off another nemesis, East Rankin, 60-29.

“It was a great week,” Coach Amanda Hatch said as her team improved to 6-1. “We started off well in both games and that was important. We hadn’t been doing that in recent games and it was something we have been working on.

Against Kirk, the Lady Rebels took a 20-10 lead by the end of the first quarter. They added to that lead in the second quarter and carried a 30-18 lead in at the half. After an even third quarter, Kirk Academy tried to rally in the final quarter but the Lady Rebels held on for the win. Clancy Scott led with 12 points while Sydni Tangle added nine.

The Lady Rebels took a 23-4 lead over East Rankin in the first quarter of their game and never looked back. Leake Academy held a 34-14 halftime lead.

Tangle was the leading scorer with 12 points while Bailey Breedlove added 11 points and Scott scored 10. Molly Davis scored eight points.

The Leake Academy boys won both of their games, knocking off Kirk 68-48 and East Rankin 61-40.

The Rebels took a 37-16 halftime lead and held Kirk off in the second half. Keric Estep scored 21 points to lead Leake Academy while Daniel Young and Clayton Malone both scored 11 points.

The Rebels got off to a slow start against East Rankin and trailed 7-4 at the break. They got going in the second quarter as they put in 19 points while holding the Patriots to seven. At the half, Leake Academy led 23-14. The Rebels would carry a 36-24 lead into the final quarter. There, they outscored ERA 25-16 to put the game away. Estep led with 18 points and Will Watkins added 16.

Leake Academy has three games this week. They were to host Jackson Academy Monday and Oak Hill on Tuesday. On Thursday, they visit Kirk Academy.


Tornadoes win

pair of classic games

Both Tornado teams picked up victories last Tuesday in the Philadelphia Classic.

The Philadelphia boys topped Nanih Waiya 62-35 while the Lady Tornadoes overcame Southeast Lauderdale 60-41.

Jarron Boler scored 25 points to lead the Tornadoes in their win over Nanih Waiya. Both schools had players still involved in the state football playoffs.

Philadelphia led 34-16 at the half and had this game under control throughout the second half. Zabin Hunter added 13 points and John Carter scored 10 points. The Tornadoes are now 2-0.

After posting a 28-23 halftime lead, the Philadelphia girls outscored Southeast Lauderdale 32-18 in the second half to claim their first win of the season.

Nia Luckett scored 21 points to pace the Lady Tornadoes. Andrika Carter added 13 points and Tyesha Cole added 11 points. The Lady Tornadoes now stand at 1-1.

Philadelphia was to visit West Lauderdale on Tuesday.