Cameron Douglas didn't want to settle. The Columbus High School senior also wasn't going to put his head down and take another loss, especially to archrival Starkville High, so as he listened to coach Luther Riley on Monday night before taking the court, Douglas promised himself he was going to play with more intensity and make an impact.
Columbus High scored just five points in the fourth quarter and committed nine turnovers, but 21 points from Robert Woodard was enough to lift the Falcons over the New Hope Trojans in the nightcap of the New Hope Classic Saturday night.
It's no secret that the Starkville High girls' basketball team's offense go through senior center Kelsey Jones.
Neshoba Central High School boys' basketball coach Jerry Byrd knew the challenge of facing the state's second-ranked team on its home floor.
STARKVILLE -- Olive Branch High School junior Myah Taylor feels right at home at Humphrey Coliseum.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- This is the team Vic Schaefer wants to coach.
STARKVILLE -- When all else was failing, Starkville High School senior Keith Harris had a plan.
Starkville High School girls basketball coach Kristie Williams believes in the "one-game-at-a-time" mantra. However, Williams quickly admits the second of her team's two games in the Travis Outlaw Slam Dunk at the Hump holiday hoops tournament should be a dandy. No. 2 Starkville (11-0) will face No. 1 Olive Branch (14-0) in a potential Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A state tournament matchup. That game will be at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The Dispatch's Top 10 Prep Sports Stories of 2015
Starkville High School boys basketball coach Greg Carter knows the difficulty of beating a quality opponent on a consistent basis. During a standout career at Mississippi State, Carter and the Bulldogs played many postseason games where one team tried to continue its dominance over another. As the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 6A state tournament unfolded last spring, it was apparent Starkville most likely would have to defeat region rival Madison Central to capture the state championship.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It had been a week since Dan Mullen had seen his team.
With Christmas decorations now half-price and everybody lining up New Year's plans, it's time to take a break and answer some of the more pressing questions from the area prep scene.
MACON -- An ankle injury wasn't going to stop Jeffery Simmons. After all, this was the season the Noxubee County High School senior was supposed to help his team make history and become the school's first football team to win back-to-back state titles.
STARKVILLE -- A.J. Brown didn't know what his senior year held for him. After a big junior season, the Starkville High School wide receiver knew defenses were going to focus on him as a senior. He felt he could handle the pressure, but he knew his quarterback would look other places with so much attention around him.
The hard work is just beginning for Columbus High School junior running back Kylin Hill. In his first two seasons as coach, Randal Montgomery has built a winning culture for the school's football program. The Falcons have slowly learned how to win. As the wins have mounted, so has the confidence.
WEST POINT -- Even though his high school football career is over, Jeffrey Drake is still working hard for West Point High School. Drake finished his standout career as one of Class 5A's best players. However, the senior wide receiver/defensive back believes it is his responsibility to push returning teammates to be the best they can be next season.
STARKVILLE -- Maturity is a key ingredient to the 2015-16 Starkville High School girls basketball team. The importance isn't lost on Starkville coach Kristie Williams and how it applies to two key members of the squad, junior center Kelsey Jones and sophomore guard Tabreea Gandy.
Randal Montgomery enjoyed three seasons of success as head football coach at Hazlehurst High School. When hired almost 24 months ago at Columbus High, he brought the same blueprint for success. "Columbus is like any other place in high school football," Montgomery said. "It doesn't really matter what type of quality the football team was in the past. Hazlehurst had been a strong program, but we tore it down and built it back up. You have to break it down and build it back to up to enjoy success and to really make it your own program."
MACON -- Jeffery Simmons could sense the frustration in Tyrone Shorter's voice and in his body language. Simmons couldn't help see it and feel it because the Noxubee County High School football team's losing was affecting him, too. Losing doesn't come easily in Macon -- let alone a four-game slide that included a loss to rival West Point and an overtime defeat at Class 3A Kemper County -- so Shorter had to do something about it. Instead of trying to tackle the burden of ending the streak himself, Shorter opted to lean on Simmons and other members of his senior class. The message was simple: Find a way to help the Tigers get past the differences that were holding them back and get things back on track.
Luther Riley is no stranger to good high school basketball rivalries. Riley, who is in his first year as Columbus High School boys basketball coach, spent 12 seasons at Provine High in Jackson. Provine and Lanier High have one of the best basketball rivalries in the state of Mississippi. Players like Monta Ellis (Lanier), who plays for the NBA's Indiana Pacers, and Scottie Haralson (Provine), who played at Connecticut and Tulsa, have played in the rivalry.
1. Former Bulldog Renfroe hopes to stick with Padres LOCAL SPORTS
2. Donahoe leaving Heritage Aca. for top job at Marshall Aca. HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. MSU shooting for first regional at new home LOCAL COLUMNS
4. No. 11 MSU women face big test at No. 15 Texas A&M COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Mullen fills last spot on coaching staff COLLEGE SPORTS