I’m starting to see more clearly which NeMiss teams can reach the state tournament. So here we go.
5A Boys: Starkville, of course. I’d like to say Tupelo has an outside shot if things fall right, but I’m not that confident. As for 5A girls, nobody.
4A Boys: The win over New Hope a few weeks ago confirmed that Oxford is a legit contender. I’ll go ahead and call them the best 4A team in the North. I thought Shannon was second-best from the area, but Pontotoc just served notice with Friday’s win that it’s rounding into form. I can see the Warriors getting to Jackson before the Red Raiders do.
3A Boys: Aberdeen shall return to Jackson. Too deep, too versatile, too good. Ripley will get there, too, but that’ll be it. Humphreys County oughta be the third team in, from what I hear.
2A Boys: Baldwyn is tanking right now (Kossuth beat them?!), and I’m not sold on Belmont just yet. Could get shut out here.
1A Boys: Myrtle, Myrtle, Myrtle. And the winner of next week’s Calhoun City-Okolona game will also get my vote. Jeremy Newsome dropped 40 on Friday, by the way. Yeah, he’s back.
4A Girls: Pontotoc is un-stoppable. (That was my Jim Rome impression.) You know Gentry will get in, but I think Oxford can grab the third spot.
3A Girls: Aberdeen’s girls lost nothing from last year’s state tourney team, but this is a tough class with South Pontotoc, Alcorn Central and Senatobia. Booneville, Mooreville and North Pontotoc could be spoilers.
2A Girls: I’m completely sold on Belmont, especially after seeing them shut down both Simone Ryan and Rachel Jones in the win over H.W. Byers. Too many weapons. Byers will get back to Jackson, though. Doubt any other NeMiss teams will here.
1A Girls: Biggersville and Pine Grove are too wishy-washy to give me any confidence. Some curious losses, indeed.