NORTH MISSISSIPPI SEMIFINALS BEGIN TONIGHT FOR BOYS AND GIRLS
By Mike Talbert
The Nettleton girls probably face the toughest test today in the North Mississippi basketball tournaments.
After emerging from a tough Division 1-2A tournament and a play-in win at Bruce Monday, the Jones girls Teneshia, Melissa, Portia and Cheryl face the the state's No. 1 team in West Tallahatchie at 8:30 p.m. in the girls North Mississippi Class 2A tournament at Hatley. The area's No. 2 Hatley Lady Tigers (28-3) follow against Drew (20-9).
Like all the 17 area teams still alive, the Lady Tigers will have two games to win one and qualify for the state tournament Feb. 26-March 9 in Jackson.
The North 2A boys at Mooreville include the Calhoun City Wildcats (12-12), with two freshmen and two sophomores, having a chance to advance with a .500 record. They play Shelby Broad Street (26-9) at 7 p.m. followed by Mooreville (24-8) vs. Ruleville (21-9).
The North 1A girls will advance three area teams from West Union, where the host Lady Eagles (25-4) face East Webster at 8:30 p.m. after Hickory Flat (23-7) meets Smithville (21-9) at 7 p.m.
West Union coach Ken Basil said if his players keep up the defensive intensity they showed at the end of the year they could capture the top North seed.
The North 1A boys have three area teams with host Biggersville (22-9) vs. West Clay (19-12) at 7 p.m. and Falkner (20-8) vs. Moor at 8:30 p.m.
The two top-ranked teams in the area, the Oxford girls and the New Albany boys, are hosting tournaments.
The New Albany Bulldogs (29-3), the only survivor of a Division 1-3A civil war, play Velma Jackson at 7 p.m., followed by Senatobia (27-5) vs. McClain (21-11).
The Oxford girls (29-2) face an equally tough Cleveland East Side (30-3) at 7 p.m. in North 4A, followed by Tishomingo County (23-8) vs. Pearl (21-6).
In North 4A boys at Houston, the No. 3 Oxford Chargers (24-6) play Canton (26-6) at 7 p.m. followed by the No. 2 Hilltoppers (28-4) vs. Yazoo City (29-5).
The Tupelo Golden Wave (17-14) enters North 5A at Warren Central with the bracket's weakest record, and faces the state's No. 3-ranked team, Vicksburg (27-4), at 8:30 p.m..
There are two area voids in the playoffs in Class 5A girls and Class 3A girls.