On the road to tourney
HOUSTON – Area teams will burning up the road to playoffs the next two weeks, as division games and tournament seedings are on everyone’s minds and schedules. District tournaments are set for Feb. 11-16 and everyone is jockeying for a better position in the brackets.
The Houston Hilltoppers started the week at 2-0 in division with wins over Noxubee County and Caledonia, but will face Leake Central, Louisville and Kosciusko before the tournament begins.
“Noxubee was a big win,” said Coach Bruce Franks. Anquan Russell posted 35 points for the team in the division win.
The Toppers have played a couple of non-division games without big man, Chris Jones, who is being actively recruited for college football. Although Jones has said he will not miss division basketball games, Franks knows it’s best for his team, especially his underclassmen to utilize their own resources rather than rely heavily on Jones, who will graduate in May.
“We have to learn to play without him,” Franks said. “We’ll have to grow up and someone will have to step up. We have to play together as a team.”
On the girl’s side of the court, the Lady Toppers also began the week at 2-0 and are working toward a good seeding in tournament. Coach Vernessa Gates said there is still room for improvement, but she has seen progress in her girls this season.
“We’ve had some different players step up and that’s good here at district time,” Gates said.
Houston will host 4-4A tournament this year.
In division 2A, both Houlka and Vardaman will head to Tremont for district tourney this year. Originally scheduled for Smithville, the tournament was moved due to the Seminoles lack of a gym during their rebuilding from the 2011 tornado.
The Wildcats start the week at 2-0 following wins over Vardaman and TCPS while the girls are at 1-1, following a loss to the Lady Rams.
The Lady Rams started the week at 2-0, scoring district wins over Houlka and Smithville. The boys team was at 1-1, losing to Houlka and winning over Smithville.
Chiefs heading to Baldwyn
The Okolona Cheftains began their week at 1-0 following a win ove rhamilton, but still will face Hatley, Baldwyn and East Union before they make the trip to Baldwyn for tournament.
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