Mississippi State and Ole Miss football will be in action later this week, but there is also basketball and soccer to talk about on the local scene.

Join me once again as I take a look at “What’s Going On Around Here” this week.

Area squads in holiday hoops action

Several area prep teams are dressed out and playing in holiday tournaments this week.

The Peggy Bain Christmas Classic began Monday at Alcorn Central and concludes Tuesday with six Daily Corinthian coverage area schools involved. The host school played Falkner in both boys and girls contests on opening day while Biggersville and Kossuth boys and girls faced different opponents. The class 1A Lady Lions were challenged by class 6A Southaven while the Lions were matched against Dyersburg (Tenn.). The 3-1 Lady Aggies played regional foe Hardin County (Tenn.) as the Aggies played only their third game of the season against Dyer (Tenn.) County. The 13-1 New Site girls faced Florence (Ala.) while the McNairy Central Bobcats went against Lafayette.

The Tuesday schedule features both Alcorn Central, Kossuth and Biggersville teams once again while the New Site girls and McNairy Central boys return for day two as well. Tuesday’s schedule can be found in today’s edition. It features a few changes since a regional team opted out the night before the tournament began.

In a twist, this year’s Peggy Bain Classic did not feature ‘pool play’ which translates into no championship pool games being played this season.

“We did it this way this year primarily due to the pandemic because this way each schools’ teams can play together and the risk of spreading the virus decreases greatly,” said Alcorn Central Athletic Director Trae Bain. “Hopefully next year we can return to pool play and trophies if things get back to some sort of normalcy.”

In Monday action the Golden Bears defeated the Eagles 82-47 to improve to 9-2 while the Lady Bears breezed past the Lady Eagles 67-28. Biggersville swept their contests as the Lady Lions took down the Lady Chargers 54-52 while the Lions defeated the Trojans 52-51. The Lady Aggies dropped just their second game of the season when they fell 67-60 to Hardin County.

Blue Mountain pulled out of the tournament on Sunday evening giving the AC girls a second game on Monday when they faced Center Hill in the nightcap. In Blue Mountains absence, the Tuesday schedule has been slightly altered. The Corinth boys will step in to play McNairy Central at 2 p.m. while the Pine Grove girls will fill in and face Hardin County.

Check for photo memories, as well as the updated Tuesday schedule, from the 2020 Peggy Bain Classic here in the Daily Corinthian sports pages.

Other DC area squads involved in holiday tournaments include Corinth and Tishomingo County.

Both CHS teams played in the Lewisburg Tournament Monday with the Corinth girls facing Saltillo at 6 p.m. followed by the Corinth boys and Olive Branch at 7:30 p.m. Both contests were finished after press time.

The Lady Braves, ranked No. 13 overall in the state and No. 2 in class 4A, were in action Monday at the DeSoto Central Classic where they played the host school in the first day of the two-day event. On Tuesday at 3 p.m. TC will face it’s biggest challenge to date as they go against the No. 1 4A team in the state (and No. 3 overall) Choctaw Central. Entering Monday’s contest head coach Brian Middleton’s team had not played a game in 17 days, having served a 14-day quarantine period due to positive COVID tests.

Alcorn County Tournament will be a 2-day event

The next big basketball event in the Crossroads area will also take place at Alcorn Central when the 2021 Alcorn County Tournament tips off on Thursday, Jan. 7.

As most are aware, Central has two gyms in which to play, including the middle school gym. Due to concerns about the possible spread of COVID-19, both gyms will be utilized for semifinal games on Thursday while the championship round will be staged in the high school gym on Friday, Jan. 8.

There will be no seeding of teams this year because of safety concerns. Because of that Thursday’s semifinal games will pit Alcorn Central and Corinth in both JV and varsity boys and girls while Kossuth and Biggersville will play in the middle school gym in both JV and varsity.

“We scheduled the tournament that way this year to keep fans from all four teams from having to walk back and forth between gyms, especially on Thursday,” Bain explained. “Then on Friday everyone can be in the high school gym for the finals.”

The Biggersville boys and Kossuth girls are the defending ACT champions while the Alcorn Central JV boys and Kossuth JV girls captured the 2020 title. The varsity Lions have won the last two boys’ titles while the Lady Aggies have earned four straight.

The complete 2021 Alcorn County Tournament schedule can be found in the DC print and online editions.

The Prentiss County and Tippah County tournaments will be conducted the same week.

Soccer returns this weekend

Local soccer teams Corinth, Tishomingo County and Booneville will return from Christmas break starting this Saturday, Jan. 2 when Booneville travels to New Albany.

Then on Tuesday, Jan. 5 Corinth makes their return when they host division rival Ripley. The same night the Lady Blue Devils host Vardaman.

The MHSAA soccer playoffs are approaching fast with the playoffs scheduled to begin on January 26.

Bulldogs, Rebels prepping for bowl games

Mississippi State (3-7) is in Fort Worth, Texas to face off against No. 24 Tulsa (6-2) in Thursday’s Armed Forces Bowl while Ole Miss (4-5) is on its way to Tampa, Fla. to play No.11 Indiana (6-1) in the Outback Bowl on Saturday.

The Golden Hurricanes are currently a 2.5-point favorite over the Bulldogs while the Hoosiers are 6.5-point favorites against the Rebels.

Kent Mohundro is the sports editor for the Daily Corinthian. He may be reached at kmohundro@dailycorinthian.com or on Twitter @kentmohundro

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