Sports / Outdoors – 12/2/2005

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 2, 2005

The Panolian: SPORTS – December 2, 2005

  From the 12/2/05 issue of The Panolian        *NEW*


Rematch of the century: Olive Branch v SP
     South Panola fourth year head coach Ricky Woods (right) sent in a play with senior wide receiver Tristan Gleeton Friday night against Columbus. South Panola will host Olive Branch tonight in a rematch for the North Half title.
Commentary By Myra Bean

Encased in all its body armor, a conquistador would look to have the advantage over the wild, untrained tiger.

By definition, a conquistador is one who conquers.

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Conquistadors work day and night building their body into battle-ready condition. What could a lowly tiger – a jungle cat at that – do.

Jungle cats – tigers – though untrained by man, learn life lessons from mother nature.

At the top of the jungle food chain, the tiger growl warns inhabitants he is on the prowl. The tiger roar puts fear in the hearts of every creature who hears it. Those who know the carnivore devours his prey without mercy learn where not to tread.

Not so for the man-trained conquistador. He thinks only to muzzle the tiger and then claim the spoils as his own. He tries to use his poisoned arrows to strike, to maim and to kill.

But the tiger smells him from far off and leaves his comfortable post because he knows man is his deadliest enemy. Then with a stealth known only to that breed of animal, sneaks up behind the warriors one by one and takes them out of the battle.

Thus the arrow never leaves the bow. The animal is never cornered to be muzzled and never downed to have its massive paws bound.

MHSAA 5A North Half
As so the nationally-ranked South Panola Tigers have put together a 43-game win streak and back-to-back state championships, having won 57 of their last 58 games.

The Olive Branch Conquistadors (Quistors) return to Batesville tonight, much to their disappointment, to war with the battle-tested Tigers for the opportunity to play for the 5A state championship title next Friday night.

It is only right that these two teams meet again to once and for all settle the question of who reigns supreme in North Mississippi.

No team is perfect. Most people forget these are teenage young men out on the field playing like pros. These young men still forget things like tying their shoes, ironing their clothes, taking their books to school and the list goes on.

Even on the gridiron, they go left when the play calls for them to pull right.

This and more are elements which make football so exciting, what brings out people who would normally stay home on a likely cold Friday Night, according to Accuweather.

The weather calls for mostly cloudy skies and a chance for a couple of showers late, and warmer temperatures. The winds will hail from the SSE at 12 mph with a temperature of 45? F with a real feel of 38? F.

Olive Branch has done an outstanding job this season of living up to its claims. The only blight on their record is a 27-3 loss to South Panola October 7 where over 13,000 fans witnessed this contest.

Those in the know say a bigger crowd could be in Batesville tonight for the season’s final home game to witness the rematch while others claim there will be a lot of people there but maybe not that many.

"All the kids love playing in front of a big crowd," tiger head coach Ricky Woods said. "They just want to play the game."

Last week South Panola was hitting on all cylinders offensively, defensively and special teams as it handed Columbus a sound 62-14 whipping. Olive Branch handed Madison Central a 22-10 loss to advance to this round.

This week it is more important than ever that the Tigers not turn over the ball, according to Woods.

"We can’t make mistakes," Woods said. "We have to be real aggressive and physical."

Woods said Olive Branch is the best team they have played this year.

"They are very, very talented," he said.

Woods reported the team has had a very good week of practice and the coaches and players are excited about the game.

"I’m sure Olive Branch’s coaches and players are excited about playing, too," Woods said.

As for his game plan, Woods said they will use pretty much the same thing.

"We don’t go too far from it," he said.

In comparing some statistics, South Panola has scored 471 points this season and allowed 133. Olive Branch has scored 543 and allowed 101.
South Panola scored the most points against Olive Branch while Olive Branch has two shutouts on the season. The Tigers have one shutout this season.

South Panola has a total offense of 5,583 yards including 4,691 yards on the ground.

Three Tiger players have 1,000 rushing yard seasons: senior running back Rickey Sanford, 1,519; junior quarterback Leroy Diggs, 1,071; and junior fullback Jeramie Griffin, 1,066.

Olive Branch boasts of the three Dandy Dozen players on its roster who have done an admirable job in leading the team this year: senior quarterback Anthony Summers, senior wide receiver Markeith Summers and senior defensive back Allen Walker.

Quarterback Summers needs just three more yards rushing to break the 1,000-yard rushing barrier this season. Should Summers break 1,000 yards rushing Friday night, he will become the first Olive Branch quarterback in the school’s history to run and throw for 1,000 yards each.

Summers also needs only three more passing yards to have 3,000 passing yards in his career.

Kickoff for tonight’s game is 7 p.m. on Tiger Field.

Tickets are $7 and may be purchased at the high school today from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. After school, the ticket booth will open an hour earlier than usual at 5 p.m.

Cougars return to action after three week break
By Donna Taylor

The men’s and women’s basketball teams at North Panola High will try and win their first game of the season, as they go head to head with the Coldwater Cougars. Coldwater won both contests earlier in the season in a kick off tournament. Nov. 3- 5.

In his rookie season as a head coach, Jamone Edwards made a great first impression showing. Edwards has big dreams and hopes for his infant team.

"I want to teach them discipline," he stated in a preseason interview.

It was tough loss for the team. Edwards is no-nonsense coach who doesn’t play favorites.

The Lady Cougars rallied back on the Coldwater Lady Cougars in their last and only meeting, but could not get that "W."

Jocelyn Frost, the head coach for the ladies, was a stand out athlete in high school and college, and she wants to pass on her knowledge to the young players.

School Day draws 4,445 to Lady Rebels game
     Ole Miss Lady Rebels Armintie Price (right) and Ashley Awkward went for this rebound against Tennessee State Wednesday. Price was a student teacher at Batesville Intermediate School this past semester. Batesville Intermediate School students, teachers and other administrators took the 20 minute ride over to Oxford to watch the Lady Rebels win 90-50.
     Ole Miss’ Lindsey Roy of Marks defended a Tennessee State player Wednesday at Ole Miss. Behind Roy is teammate Ellen Buchanan of New Albany.
Senior guard Ashley Johnson scored 20 points on 9-of-13 field goals, leading five Lady Rebels in double figures, as Ole Miss (5-1) routed Tennessee State 90-50 in front of a "School Day" crowd of 4,445 loud and rowdy school-age fans at Tad Smith Coliseum.

Of that number, approximately 700 were students from Batesville Intermediate School.

"We were pretty sloppy in the first half," said Ole Miss head coach Carol Ross. "In the second half we picked up our intensity and made some nice plays.

"I was extremely pleased with the crowd today. I think this game is beneficial for both the students in attendance and our team. We have the chance to feed off of their energy and they get a chance to visit a college campus and get a taste for how exciting collegiate athletics can be."

Junior guard Armintie Price put in 14 points, while sophomore forward Jada Mincy added a career-high 13 points and a team-high 10 rebounds for her first career double-double.

Price did her student teaching at Batesville Intermediate School this past semester.

Junior guard Ashley Awkward scored 12 points, and sophomore forward Carla Bartee rounded out the Lady Rebel double-digit scoring with 10 points.

Ole Miss struggled with its shooting early, but pulled out to a 13-point halftime lead at 39-26, while shooting 39 percent from the field.

The second half belonged to the Lady Rebels as they began the period with a 30-6 run and out-scored the Lady Tigers 51-24 in the half, led by Awkward’s 10 second-half points.

Ole Miss dominated inside, out-rebounding Tennessee State 44-32. Mincy led the way with her 10 boards, while Price added six and Johnson five in the effort. The Lady Rebels scored 38 points in the paint to the Lady Tigers’ 16, while Ole Miss poured in 29 second-chance points to just nine for Tennessee State.

Ole Miss forced 26 Lady Tiger turnovers, while it gave the ball up 13 times. Price, the defending SEC Defensive Player of the Year, led the way with five steals.

Sophomore guard Tasi Worsham dished out a team-high five assists, with two turnovers. She also added a pair of pilfers for the defense.

Tennessee State (0-4) was led by Leslie Dean’s 14 points and five boards, while Tiffany Jackson added 11 in the losing effort.

Wednesday’s attendance of 4,445 was the third-largest crowd to witness a women’s basketball game at the "Tad Pad." The top two crowds were versus Tennessee on Feb. 6, 1988 (5,404) and Feb. 22, 2004 (4,489). The 11 a.m. game attracted several area elementary and middle school groups as part of a field trip to the Oxford campus.

Former NP standout scores for Rangers
On the same day they moved up five spots in the latest NJCAA poll, the Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers celebrated by hammering the Shorter College Bulldogs 114-70 Nov. 29 at Howard Coliseum in Senatobia.

Northwest, which kept its record perfect at 8-0, won its 25th consecutive regular season contest. The Rangers also pushed their home winning streak to 30 games.

Northwest is ranked No. 8 in the country in this week’s NJCAA Top 20 poll. The Rangers were ranked No. 13 in the first regular season poll which was released last week.

Northwest shot 54.8 percent from the floor by connecting on 46 of 84 attempts.

Freshman forward Jonathan Stokes of Crenshaw scored 16 points as the second leading scorer.

Herring named to 2nd team
Chris Herring of Southern Arkansas University, has been selected to the 2005 Daktronics All-Southeast Region Football Team Second Team defense.

In his lone season at SAU, Herring was a dominant force on a much improved defensive line. The senior was third on the team in tackles with 40, including 29 solos. Herring led the Muleriders in tackles for loss with 13.5 for 58 yards and is currently fourth in the GSC in tackles for loss per game (1.23), and was second on the team in sacks with 6.5 for 37 yards and currently seventh in the GSC in sacks per game (0.59).

He led SAU with eight quarterback hurries, and finished the season with two pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and one blocked kick. Herring anchored a Mulerider defensive line that helped the team, currently ranked third in the GSC and 22nd in Division II in rush defense, allowing only 107 yards per game, and third in the GSC and 30th nationally in total defense (308.1 ypg.).

Pope girls head off Independence comeback; boys fall in last minute
By Myra Bean

The Pope School eighth grade basketball teams hosted Independence Monday night.

The Pope Jr. High girls (2-0) defeated Independence 19-16. The Pope boys lost a huge lead and allowed Independence to come back and win 35-32.

The two girls teams tied a couple of times at two and at four in the first half before Pope pulled away with a 7-4 halftime lead on a basket and a free throw by Kristy Burns.

A steal by Ebony Chapman gave Pope possession of the ball before the free throw.

After the half Pope pulled away with an 11-4 lead before Independence scored with 7:44 left in the game.

Pope head girls coach Clay Vance let the starters sit with a 19-10 lead with 1:41 left in the game. Independence was smart and kept its starters in and got in the game on steals, drawing fouls and three-point shots to pull within 19-16 with :07 left in the game.

Vance put the starters back in the game to preserve the win.

Pope girls team members include Kristen Bright, Lephaedra Hunt, Lindsey Jaudon, Kristy Burns, Shanieka Stewart, Ebony Chapman, Paige Jordan, Tiffany Sayles, Megan Bolton, Kelsey Close, Keisha Sanford, Staci Chapman and Megan Holland.

Pope Boys

The Pope Jr. High boys were on the same page as the girls but as time wore down, the players wore out.

Pope had a 30-19 lead with 9:57 left in the game.

Pope did not score again until the 2:03 mark on a steal and field goal by Vashon Thomas. By that time, Independence had tied the game 30-30. Thomas’ field goal gave Pope the lead back but only for a short while as Independence went on to tie the game at 32 on two free throws and win it on a field goal and a free throw.

Pope team members include Stephen Flowers, Vashon Thomas, Kendrick Market, Laquendell Miles, Joseph Pope, Wallace Ford, Lee Self, John Paul Keel, Marquis McMurry, Cody Jordan, Yancey Bone, Michael Sanford, Charles Gray and John Cody Dalrymple.

Mike Turner is the head coach.

Pope will play again in Strayhorn, Thursday, December 8.



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