North Half Boys: What 2 Watch 4

Well, so much for Oxford’s girls. And so much for my “expertise.” Nevertheless, I will boldly analyze tonight’s boys matchups. Here we go.

Class 5A: While Starkville is the favorite, there are no gimmes. Tonight’s opponent, Olive Branch, is 24-6. Of course, this team went unbeaten in the 2006-07 regular season and then – poof! – was eliminated in the first round of North half. As for Tupelo, it split with Horn Lake this season – the Golden Wave won 70-57 in the regular season finale.

Class 4A: Either the elite teams of this class aren’t as good as we thought, or 4A is even deeper than we figured. I suspect the latter. If I could watch one out-of-area game tonight, it’d be Lanier at New Hope, who met in last year’s state final (Lanier won its third straight title). Oxford, which faces New Albany, must rebound from a 19-point loss to Hernando in the Region 2-4A final. I really like Pontotoc’s chances of getting to state, but I won’t say anything else lest I jinx them, as apparently I did to Oxford’s girls (sorry).

Class 3A: South Pontotoc at Ripley intrigues me. The visiting Cougars think nothing of dropping 100 points on you, but Ripley’s defense is too good for that. Ripley coach Harvey Childers always seems able to adjust his team’s approach to make things go his way.

Class 2A: The two surprises here are H.W. Byers and New Site, a pair of sub-.500 teams hosting tonight. I think Bruce, the 2-2A champ, has the best shot of moving on to Thursday. Maybe Baldwyn can regain its form.

Class 1A: This should be the most fun class to watch unfold. Four of the eight games are all-NeMiss matchups, and from what I’ve gathered, most of the out-of-area teams are awfully strong, too. No predictions here, except to say there’s going to be some great basketball being played.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “North Half Boys: What 2 Watch 4

  1. tcfan

    You know Brad, I might be regretting this comment later tonight and tomorrow, but I really think TC’s got a shot at knocking off Hernando. One team that beat Oxford by 19 points HAS to have extreme depth and size, but I don’t know why but I’ve just got a feeling. It might be because I thought our girls were going to get beat 100 points and they were only down 3 at one time in the fourth quarter against 20th in the nation Gentry. If Pritchard goes for 30+, I THINK we have a shot. They may be too overpowerful and have too many weapons, I’ve never seen the team play. Hopefully we can hold our own and play like we did against Pontotoc and not like we did against Olive Branch.

  2. gochieftains94

    i think tupleo will beat hornlake; i think Myrtle should be on upset alert tongiht, shelby broad street was rank 5th in the state in 1A this whole year. I think Lanier will beat new hope in columbus and also Oxford shot themselves in the foot by losing to hernando and now if they win they gotta play newhpe/lanier so it gets tougher for them.. 1A will be exciting especially in the second round and dont be surprise if calhoun city go on a run even though they seeded 4th. against wheeler tongiht. by the way Okolona 75 pine grove 52 Go chiefs…….

  3. I don’t know, tcfan. Hard to gauge 4A right now with all these wacky results. As long as you’ve got Tyler Pritchard, you’ve got a shot.

    Good assessment, chieftains. No guarantees in 1A, for anybody. Lord willing, I’ll be at Calhoun City-Wheeler tonight. Can’t wait.

  4. I’m heading up that way myself…

    I don’t see anyone in region 1-1A staying within 15 points of region 2-1A, but like you said as soon as we think one thing another one happens…

    The game of the night is going to Gentry @ Pontotoc… Gentry is a very scrappy team that played Oxford to a 77-68 game…

    They’ve got 4 guys that can put up double digits in scoring, but it all rest on the shoulders of Quentin Brown and Curtis Stuckey if Gentry wants to pull the upset…

    Also look for a Region 2-3A sweep over Region 1-3A with Houston vs Booneville in possible overtime and South Pontotoc over Ripley by 8 or less… South’s Parker Gregory is the first “true” point guard to come through North MS in a long time…

  5. tcfan

    That’s true Brad, if Pritchard’s hitting, look out.

    As for the Lanier @ New Hope game, I’ve told this story numerous times but a couple years ago in the first round of North Half at Gentry Northeast Lauderdale played Lanier and with 48 seconds to go Northeast Lauderdale was in command with a 12 point lead and even some fans were exiting out. Then, Lanier put the press on and there were NUMEROUS, (repeat), NUMEROUS questionable calls with some being blatantly obvious missed calls. To make a long story short, Lanier came back to tie the game and won in OT. People at TC couldn’t believe that game and many people here still mention it every once in a while.

    With that being said, that was the biggest ‘fixed’ game I had ever seen and couldn’t actually believe my eyes at the time. What it made me realize is that some refs are going to look out for the MHSAA and their money because guess who’s going to show up if Lanier is in Jackson for the STATE tournament? A LOT of people, and if Northeast Lauderdale was to knock them out, it would hurt the MHSAA’s profits a LOT that year. I don’t believe in ‘conspiracies’ and all that but this game was an obvious FIXED game and almost everybody that was there knew it (even the Lanier fans deep down).

    I just hope tonight when Lanier and New Hope goes at it you will know without a shadow of a doubt who’s the best team when you leave.

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