STARKVILLE — When options are few, you just have to go with what you’ve got. The Mississippi State men’s basketball team has played without solid depth in the post and at point guard this season, but has managed a Southeastern Conference Western Division title and a first-round bye in the conference tournament. Luckily, the team has avoided injuries, and hope starting point guard Dee Bost’s hip pointer doesn’t affect his status or play this weekend.
If the East Mississippi Community College baseball team needs a clutch hit, Coach Tony Montgomery wants Drew Vaughan at the plate. Montgomery has confidence in Vaughan in clutch situations with the way he’s swung the bat this season. Vaughan, a sophomore second baseman who is a 2008 graduate of Heritage Academy in Columbus, gave Montgomery a reason to have confidence in him when he belted a game-winning, two-run homer against Arkansas Baptist on Feb. 20.
STARKVILLE — Rick Stansbury doesn’t believe showing his Mississippi State men’s basketball team the game film of its loss to the University of Tennessee on Saturday will help it prepare for the Southeastern Conference Tournament. But the veteran coach hasn’t been able to get the deflating defeat off his mind.
Although the Southeastern Conference tournament begins Thursday, SEC Player of the Year ballots have been submitted to the league, which is why coaches had to answer plenty of “who’d you vote for?” questions Monday on the weekly teleconference.
STARKVILLE — Rashad Perkins didn’t want to take too much credit for Starkville High School’s run to the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A state title, but it’s hard to deny his impact. Perkins had 21 points, 14 rebounds, and 13 blocked shots against Biloxi in the state semifinals before scoring 25 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in the state final against Meridian. For his accomplishments, Perkins is The Commercial Dispatch Prep Player of the Week.
STARKVILLE — The lengthy saga and NCAA investigation surrounding the eligibility of Mississippi State freshman Renardo Sidney reached a conclusion Friday after the NCAA decided to suspend him for nine games next season and make him repay $11,800 in “impermissible benefits” received before enrolling at MSU. However, MSU officials will appeal the decision.
JACKSON — Finally. After returning home with state championship disappointment in four other trips with Greg Carter as the coach, the Starkville High School boys basketball teaam rode forward Rashad Perkins’ 25 points and 14 rebounds to win the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A state title Saturday. Starkville won the elusive state championship by beating Meridian 57-51 at Mississippi Coliseum.
DULUTH, Ga. — The Mississippi State women’s basketball team took the first punch. The Lady Bulldogs handled the second and third blows, and even dished out a few. But when it came time to weather the barrage of round-house haymakers they knew were going to come in the second half, MSU didn’t have an answer.
DULUTH, Ga. — Pressure defense can make a game crazy. University of Kentucky women’s basketball coach Matthew Mitchell doesn’t mind when things get crazy because that means his Wildcats are playing with energy and forcing mistakes. But sometimes a helter skelter pace can affect the wrong player. In the first 20 minutes Saturday, Mississippi State proved to be even better at forcing turnovers, as Kentucky committed 14 to MSU’s 13.
The lengthy saga and NCAA investigation surrounding the eligibility of Mississippi State University freshman Renardo Sidney has come to ruling after the NCAA reached a decision to bench him for nine basketball games next season and make him repay $11,800.
STARKVILLE — When Jarvis Varnado and Barry Stewart sat together Monday and spoke about Senior Night, they didn’t think their already slim chances of making the NCAA tournament would be even slimmer. Following Wednesday’s 89-80 loss at Auburn, the Mississippi State Bulldogs (21-9, 9-6 Southeastern Conference) enter Senior Night on Saturday looking to pull an upset on their home court against No. 16 Tennessee.
The time is now for the Mississippi State women’s basketball team. The Lady Bulldogs have had four days to regroup and to reflect on a disappointing loss at LSU. Fortunately, the other results Sunday in the Southeastern Conference worked in MSU’s favor and allowed the Lady Bulldogs to earn a No. 3 seed, the highest in program history, and a first-round bye for the SEC Tournament. At 8 tonight, MSU (18-11) will get a chance to live up to that lofty seeding when it takes on sixth-seeded Georgia at The Arena at Gwinnett Center.
CLINTON –- For the second straight year, East Mississippi Community College will be represented in the NJCAA Division I Basketball Championship. Last year the EMCC women made it to the national tournament and this year it’s the men’s turn. The 12th-ranked EMCC Lions punched their ticket to the national tournament Thursday by beating Itawamba Community College 78-64 in the championship game of the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament at A.E. Wood Coliseum on the Mississippi College campus.
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen didn’t know when his team would face its first bout of adversity, though he knew it was coming after a 4-0 start. This past weekend’s three-game sweep at the hands of the Southeastern Louisiana Lions left the Mississippi State Bulldogs at 4-3 heading into this weekend’s BankFirst Baseball Challenge at Dudy Noble Field. The Bulldogs topped it off last Sunday with a 6-5 loss in which they had a two-run lead. That followed Saturday’s 8-5 loss when they commit five errors.
STARKVILLE — Three months have passed since the Starkville High School boys basketball team rallied to beat the Meridian Wildcats. Whether or not that game at Meridian really matters now is up for debate. Starkville will play Meridian in a rematch Saturday in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A state championship game and there are some interesting story lines. Among them, the teams have arguably two of the highest-rated players (Starkville’s Rashad Perkins and Meridian’s Rodney Hood) in Mississippi.
STARKVILLE — Starkville High School’s run to the state championship game is head coach Greg Carter’s first since 2003 and with as much that’s changed since then he hopes his evolution as a coach translates into a title. Back in 2003, Starkville lost the championship game to Vicksburgl. As exciting as making it to the championship game was for Carter, getting back to the final game seemed possible, if not probable, especially after qualifying for three more state tournaments the next six years.
The teaching will continue all season for Steve Hancock and Marion Bratton. Like all baseball coaches, Hancock and Bratton offer instruction, pointers, and guidance to their players. This season, though, with two of the youngest teams in the area, both coaches will dip deeper into their baseball knowledge. On Thursday night, Hancock’s Heritage Academy Patriots showed they are a little more advanced at this point in the season than Bratton’s Oak Hill Academy Raiders.
STARKVILLE — There’s something about a big stage that can rattle a young player at the moment when he or she needs to be focused most. The Starkville High School boys basketball team has five sophomores that head coach Greg Carter hopes don’t get wide-eyed when the Yellow Jackets play Biloxi on Wednesday in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A semifinals of the state tournament at Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.
STARKVILLE — The Mississippi State men’s basketball team’s prospects of making the NCAA tournament are looking brighter and brighter. But one misstep at 7 tonight against Auburn University (WCBI) could ruin those good feelings. Once two games off the top in the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division, the Bulldogs were losing grip on their postseason hopes coming off four straight road losses.
The Mississippi State women’s basketball team made history Tuesday. Seniors Alexis Rack and Armelie Lumanu were named to the first and second All-SEC teams, respectively, while Lumanu was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Lumanu and classmate Chanel Mokango also were named to the All-SEC Defensive Team for the second consecutive season.
1. Heritage Academy turns tables on Starkville Academy in 21-7 victory HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Full-time load pushes MSU's Price closer to return COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Christmann helps anchor special teams unit at MSU COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Caledonia can clinch playoff berth with win over Amory HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. MSU women picked to first in SEC preseason poll COLLEGE SPORTS