| SP Lady Tigers open season with a shutout
| South Panola Lady Tiger fastpitch players catcher
Casi Brooks (back, left) and Haylei Plummer (back, right) got to a bunt ball Thursday night. Brooks got there first and picked up the ball and threw it to first for the out.
| By Myra Bean
The Lady Tiger fast pitch softball team started the season off right at home Thursday night with a 7-0 shutout of Oxford.
Junior Lauren Suratt pitched the entire game of seven innings and got the win with 14 strikeouts, allowing only one hit and no walks.
The Lady Tigers had no problems getting on base the first and third innings where they scored all their runs.
Sophomore pitcher Whitney Kiihnl singled to get on base in the bottom of the first. Junior shortstop Leann Parrish was hit by a pitch to get on base. Sophomore Haylei Plummer hit a fly ball to center field and was out but drove Kiihnl home. Parrish stole home to score the second run.
Casi Brooks singled to get on base and Suratt grounded out to second base to drive Brooks home for the third run.
In the bottom of the third inning, Kiihnl struck out but the catcher dropped the ball and Kiihnl beat the ball to first base. Parrish singled. Both Kiihnl and Parrish worked their ways around the diamond to score.
Plummer singled but was out going to second base on a Brooks single. Brooks worked her way around the bases and scored.
Surratt walked and was driven home when Bethany Moore grounded out to second base.
Hitting for the Lady Tigers were Kiihnl; two for four, one single; Parrish; two for four, two singles, one hit by pitch; Plummer, one for four, one single, one hit by pitch, one RBI (run batted in); Brooks, three for three, three singles; Suratt, one walk, one RBI; A.J. Hudson, one of three, single; Bethany Moore, one walk, one RBI; and Lindsey Thaggard, one walk.
The B-team Lady Tigers fell to Oxford 10-2.
The Saturday game against Grenada was postponed due to rain and will be made up at a later date.
The Lady Tigers will be at Grenada Thursday for non-conference action at 6 p.m.
Friday and Saturday the Lady Tigers will participate in the High School fast pitch Jamboree in Tupelo.
Friday, March 3, they will play Clarksdale at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Saturday, the Lady Tigers will play three games. The first game is noon aganst Pontotoc. The second game Saturday is against Hamilton at 4:30 p.m. The last game is at 6 p.m. against Mooreville. Each game is scheduled with a one and a half hour time limit.
The tournament is played in a pool style format on six fields at Eastwood Complex and Veterans Park in Tupelo. An admission fee is charged for this tournament and is good for all 6 fields in play.
South Panola is in Pool B and all of their games will be played on Noble field.
| Tigers fall in north half play
| By Myra Bean
The South Panola boys basketball team had a hard time getting the ball to fall in the basket for them Friday night against Provine as they put up their worst score this season in a 56-28 semi-final game loss.
This loss dropped the Tigers to the consolation game against Grenada Saturday night but the Tigers failed to move on to the state finals in a 69-49 loss.
South Panola had defeated Grenada two times this past season, 52-49 on November 10 and 53-48 on January 10.
Grenada lost to Madison Central 68-51 Friday night. Provine defeated Madison Central 50-48 Saturday to win the 5A North State title.
South Panola’s last loss before this weekend was to Olive Branch early in January. The Tigers ended the season 22-8.
Provine did a good job of shutting down the Tigers’ top players. No one scored in double figures. Rodney Gray was the leading Tiger scorer Friday night with eight points.
It was a low scoring game through the third quarter between Provine and South Panola. Provine led 9-5 at the end of the first quarter and 26-15 at halftime.
The Tigers only scored a total of 13 points in the second half while Provine scored 30.
South Panola and Grenada were tied at 11 at the end of the first quarter.
Grenada went on a spree and outscored the Tigers 21-14 in the second quarter for a 32-25 halftime lead. South Panola did not turn up the heat in the second half while Grenada did to take the win and the third place spot for a chance to play in the state playoffs.
Saturday night Jarred Pope was the leading Tiger scorer with 11 points, followed by Gray with 10 and Anthony Nelson with eight points.
| City League playoffs
| City League basketball will end its season this week with the basketball playoffs and championship.
Two games were played Monday night but the results were not available at press time.
Two games will be held tonight at 7 and 8 p.m.
Wednesday, March 1, the third place game will be played at 7 p.m. and the championship game will be played at 8 p.m.
| Tigers down Hernando 4-3;
ND has yet to open season
| By Myra Bean
The South Panola Tiger baseball team is 2-0 after a 4-3 win over Hernando Friday night.
Junior left-handed pitcher Heath Bolton got the win and freshman right-handed pitcher David Renfroe got the save.
The Tigers did not play Saturday due to rain. The game with Oxford will be played today at home at 6 p.m. The Tigers were scheduled to go to Cleveland but their backstop is not ready on the field.
South Panola traveled to Desoto Central last night for a makeup game but the score was not available at press time.
The North Delta baseball team has yet to get its season started. The Green Waves have four games scheduled for this week.
The season opener is scheduled for today at Kirk Academy at 3 and 5 p.m.
The Green Wave team will be home Thursday to host Indianola in district games at 4 and 6 p.m.
To finish out the week, the Green Waves will also be taking part in the Magnolia Heights Tournament Wednesday, March 1 and Friday, March 3.
Wednesday, the North Delta junior varsity will play Magnolia Heights at 3:15 p.m. The varsity will play Magnolia Heights Wednesday at 7:25 p.m. and Friday, the Green Waves will take on Rossville at 5:20 p.m.
| Como teams play in McDonald’s tourney
| By Donna Taylor
"I felt very honored and blessed," said Como Middle School girls head basketball coach Kenneth Bell, as his undefeated team was invited to participate in the McDonald’s All-American Middle School games in Hopkinsville, Ken., Saturday, February 18 and Sunday, February 19.
"My girls played hard and had a good showing," Bell said, bursting with pride.
He received a letter from event planners just days after his girls team went 16-0 for the season. They left Como on Friday, the 16th. Although the boys team was not invited personally, Bell persuaded officials to include them, so both teams went.
Parents and North Panola School administrators pooled monies collected from donations from the parents and anyone else willing to help the team with it’s traveling fees.
"The superintendent’s office was very helpful," Bell said. "And my parents (players’ parents) were very good. I just can’t thank them enough."
The young Lady Cougars played on Saturday and Sunday, losing both games by slim margins, but not to the dismay of their dedicated coach. Bell stated that his team played so impressively, that coaches from other teams were complimenting him, especially about the skills of his star forward, Audrey Taylor.
"They didn’t wait until the game was over. They all congratulated me. It was very touching," he added.
According to Bell, Taylor, who has been one of the top scorers all season long, played her best game of the year in Kentucky.
Several parents went along as chaperones. Besides the school district and community donations, Willie Nelson, president and CEO of Nelson Plumbing, Inc., was also a major contributor. Nelson, formerly of Sardis and a North Panola graduate, is the grandfather of player Erin Conrad.
At the time of this interview, individual stats were not available, but the tone of Coach Bell’s voice indicated that he was proud of his team.
"We have a good coach and we love him," Erin Conrad said days before making the historical trip to Kentucky.
As far as records go, Como Middle School is the only school in this area that has ever been invited to participate in such a well known event.
| Orgeron gives spring rundown on team
| By Myra Bean
University of Mississippi head coach Ed Orgeron is getting ready to kick off his second spring season at Ole Miss.
Orgeron held a press conference Monday morning in the Indoor Practice Facility team meeting room which was also available as a teleconference.
Orgeron spoke about 25 minutes outlining the upcoming spring practice season which begins with a closed practice Saturday, March 4. He announced open practice dates for the Media on March 11, April 1 and the annual Red/Blue game on April 8.
The Rebel coach was excited about the staff, old and new, and the off season work program.
Orgeron mentioned two of five Panola county players who are expected to start this year. Jamarca Sanford has been moved from linebacker to the strong safety position and Peria Jerry is in the defensive end position.
Other Panola County players include Reterio Brown, Trey Poole and John Jerry, who signed to join the team in the fall.
In order to get this upcoming season going, Orgeron brought in a new offensive coordinator, Dan Werner, and said they are going to have to establish a more consistent offense.
"We have to develop a tougher offensive line," Orgeron said.
There will be movements throughout the spring, according to the second year coach. He said some guys are going to have to compete for some tackle positions and he will need to get a new center.
"I’m really, really impressed with the way Robert Lane has come back with a great attitude at tightend," Orgeron said. "I think he is going to fit in well there. We’ll give him the ball there and let him do what he does best to compete."
He said he was waiting to see the tightends become a big part of the offense.
Brett Schaeffer will lead the team at quarterback in the fall. In the spring Bruce will start as quarterback, followed by Billy Tapp and Seth Adams.
"I am looking forward to seeing a new and exciting offense, and let coach Werner work the offense as it becomes a very productive offense in the SEC," Orgeron said.
Orgeron will remain the defensive coordinator.
"We had a chance in the offseason to look where we didn’t make the proper adjustments we should have to get better," he said. "Obviously, we expect to be better this year."
Patrick Willis will not be practicing this spring, following surgery to repair a fracture in right foot in the offseason.
Jerry will be one of his "front 4" on defense Orgeron said he has to develop.
"I think Peria Jerry has had an outstanding offseason," Orgeron said. "We are going to play him at end and see what he can do there. He is very quick and strong there. We need to get bigger at end so we can stop the run."
He also emphasized that the Rebels have to get better on special teams as a whole.
Ole Miss will open the season at home Saturday, September 2 to host Memphis.