Sixteen area basketball teams entered Wednesday still alive in division tournament action with each having already clinched berths in next week’s opening round of north half contests.
Several had already reserved their spots for next week while a few others had to win play-in games to make it.
Through Wednesday’s second round games only four area squads saw their seasons come to a close: The Tishomingo County Braves, Alcorn Central Golden Bears, Kossuth Aggies and Corinth Lady Warriors.
Teams like the Walnut Wildcats and Alcorn Central Lady Bears won their play-in games to advance to the next round.
All division winners and runners-up drew first round bye’s and were able to rest their players and make sure they are fresh and ready to go for the semifinal round.
Region 1-3A was the lone area division to play their semifinals a day early as they took the court Wednesday at Northeast Community College. The Kossuth girls pulled away to defeat Alcorn Central 68-41 as the county rivals met for the fourth time this season while the Booneville boys throttled Belmont 63-19 to move on to play Nettleton in the boys championship game Friday at 8:30.
The Lady Aggies will meet Belmont Friday at 7 in the girls championship game.
Each division will host consolation contests prior to their title games. For regions 1-1A, 1-3A and 1-4A that will be Friday. Region 1-2A will conclude on Saturday.
Two semifinal games finished before deadline Thursday as the Tishomingo County Lady Braves and the Biggersville Lady Lions. Late Thursday contests in Division 1-1 A included the top seed Biggersville Lions playing Blue Mountain while the Jumpertown and Pine Grove boys and girls met in the two night games.
In 1-2A there were only two games played Thursday evening with both featuring top-seeded New Site. The Lady Royals met Mantachie at 6 followed by the Royals and Walnut in the late game.
In 1-4A, the top seed Corinth Warriors met North Pontotoc. The other late games included the North Pontotoc girls against Ripley while the Ripley boys played New Albany.
There are two more semifinal contests scheduled for Friday in Region 1-2A as the Walnut Lady Wildcats match up against East Union followed by the Potts Camp/Mantachie boys in the nightcap. That particular division will play their consolation and championship games Saturday beginning at noon at East Union High School.