All it takes to know ‘What’s Going On Around Here’ this week is a brief gaze out the window.
For those who though Mother Nature had forgotten to deliver on her usual winter weather promise, surprise … it’s here.
And because of it, the local sports season has been placed on ice (pun intended) for a few days until the ice and snow have cleared out. And from the looks of several weather service prediction models, it may be the weekend until the current icebox we’re currently living in thaws out.
Despite no games for a few days, there is still plenty to discuss as we take a look at ‘What’s Going On Around Here’ later this week.
North half openers pushed backThe MHSAA on Sunday released this statement regarding the current weather dilemma and how it affects the upcoming north half first round, which was scheduled to tip on Monday.
“Due to inclement weather, the 1st round of the playoffs will not begin until Thursday, Feb. 18 for girls and Feb. 19 for boys. Saturday will be used for any makeup games.
The second round will be played on Feb. 22 for girls and Feb 23 for boys. The 3rd round will be held Feb. 25 for girls and Feb.26 for boys.
Finals and semi-finals will be played as scheduled.”
All this statement means is that coaches and players from 13 area high school hoops squads will have to sit and wait, likely with very little or no practice due to the slick roads, before suiting up for their opening round games.
And there are some openers that bring some intrigue to the table.
Such is the case with the Corinth Warriors as they travel to Region 4-4A champions Leake Central to begin their quest for what would be a seventh state championship.
Corinth fans will remember, probably vividly, the last time the Warriors and Gators faced off on the court. The year was 2017 and former Corinth standouts Tada Stricklen and Jon D Warren were juniors. Corinth traveled to Carthage for a second round contest and found itself down by one with seconds remaining. Stricklen drove the lane and was fouled on the shot attempt, a foul that the refs didn’t call.
The result was a one-point Leake Central victory and the end to the Warriors season.
However, the following year coach Keith Greene’s team bounced back and made a run all the way to the 4A state championship game where they fell to Raymond.
Now, four years later, Corinth and Leake Central face off again on the Gators home court. Warrior fans will be hoping for a better result this time.
Another first round game with an interesting side note is the Vardaman Rams paying a visit to Biggersville for the first time in eight years.
The last time these two squads met was also in the opening round of the 2013 playoffs and the Lions dominated from beginning to end, eclipsing the century mark on the scoreboard.
Coach Cliff Little’s team went on to defeat Coldwater for the class 1A championship in Jackson that March.
Will the Rams pose any more of a challenge to Biggersville this time?
Tishomingo County Lady Braves-Nation hasn’t been this excited in years, ever since former coach Larry Johnson took them to the state tournament several years ago.
Coach Brian Middleton’s girls will host Leake Central in their north half opener, whenever that happens to be. According to the MHSAA that is supposed to be Thursday weather permitting.
If the Lady Braves (24-3) play up to their potential and get past the Lady Gators in round one they would next host the winner between Shannon and Gentry in round two.
That’s when things really get interesting for TC.
If Tishomingo County is fortunate enough to sweep their first two north half contests, they would most likely be challenged by a team they have already beaten once this season. But it’s also a team that is an annual contender for the state championship.
It will be Tishomingo County vs Choctaw Central: Round 2.
The Lady Braves shocked the then top-ranked Lady Warriors in the DeSoto Central Christmas Classic on a last second Madison Bennett 3-pointer that made national headlines when it was featured on SportsCenter’s Top-10 plays that night.
The two squads are still 1-2 in the Mississippi 4A polls, and depending on which particular poll is referenced, TC and CC share top honors.
All this talk has me hyped up and ready for some prime-time playoff basketball, north Mississippi style. But for now, we’ll be forced to sit and wait while Mother Nature is making a house call.
Until next time ...