There are certain points of the sports year that enthrall me more than others.
And this is one of those times.
Reminds us of the changing of the guard in front of the Royal Palace or the changing of the seasons from winter to spring.
Currently we are at the intersection of winter and spring sports and that’s always a fun time filled with something for most sports fans.
On one hand we have basketball division tournaments being played at multiple sites with north half playoffs to follow beginning next Monday and state semifinals and finals set for March 4-6 at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.
I really wish the championship games could have been played in Starkville as was originally scheduled, but you know what eliminated that possibility.
There are usually at least two teams locally that I feel have the makings of a state finalist. However, this year is different. Much different.
In my opinion – and my opinion is based on having seen these particular teams play giving me some needed foresight as to their capabilities and ceilings – there are at least six squads in the Daily Corinthian coverage area I feel could make it to Jackson for at least the semifinal round of the MHSAA playoffs.
Starting here in Alcorn County, the Corinth Warriors and Kossuth Lady Aggies are both more than capable of making a deep run and playing for a gold ball in about four weeks. The last time the Warriors were in Jackson they fell to Raymond in the 4A championship game in 2018 while the Lady Aggies made good on their last trip to the capitol in 2019 when they edged past Belmont for the 3A title.
Could those two ‘capable’ teams end up playing for the gold again this season? As most coaches would be quick to point out “there’s a lot of basketball to be played between now and then.”
Others from around the area that have the tools to make it to Jackson are the Booneville Blue Devils, one of the hottest teams in Mississippi entering the post-season, Biggersville Lions, Tishomingo County Lady Braves, plus both New Site squads which enter this week ranked No. 1 in class 2A in Mississippi on both sides.
Current weekly rankings for boys teams are: Biggersville, No. 3 in 1A; New Site, No. 1 in 2A; Booneville, No. 1 in 3A and Corinth, No. 5 in 4A. On the girls side, New Site is No. 1 in 2A, Kossuth No. 2 in 3A and Tishomingo County No. 2 in 4A. All are ranked among the top-50 in the state regardless of classification.
Oh yes, there are others that could get hot this week and next and make a run for it, just like the Biggersville Lady Lions did three years ago when they caught fire in the division tournament and advanced to Jackson with a losing record.
If I were a betting man, which I never have been but always thought I’d like to try just once if I knew I could get by with it, I wouldn’t do any wagering until after the first week of the north half and then I’d be extremely cautious. By then, it should be apparent which teams will likely be playing for championships the first week of March.
Personally, I’d like to see all of our local teams make it to Jackson. But seeing as how that has never happened, and probably never will, I wish all teams well and good luck as everyone’s season either continues or ends this week. That will be the case for a few.
Before I close I want to take advantage of this opportunity to wish everyone out there well. With the pandemic in full swing, please take the necessary precautions to stay safe, healthy and happy.
Until next time …