| Cougars’ 6th man puts team over in OT
| By Myra Bean
North Panola’s sixth man, the pumped up excited crowd, was the difference in the one-point overtime win for the Cougars Tuesday night.
North Panola (6-22) defeated the Houston Hilltoppers 55-53 in overtime in the first round of the 3A North Half tournament.
The game actually came down to a hustling rebound by Cougar Rodregus Black. Houston missed a field goal which would have tied the game with less than nine seconds left on the clock. The Hilltoppers got the offensive rebound but missed scoring again.
A Houston player went up for the offensive rebound, but a tired Black went up and gathered the ball to run out the clock and secure the win for the Cougars.
The crowd went wild as this Cougar team keeps setting school records and making history. All through the game, the crowd sang, shouted and chanted to the players to "Keep the Faith" and "We Love Our Cougars."
Most of the Cougar starters did not get a break but played all 36 minutes, including the four minute overtime.
The Cougars played Humphreys County (25-7) Thursday night in Aberdeen but the score was not available at press time.
Upon a win, North Panola would play again tonight the winner of the Ripley/Caldonia game at 6 p.m.
The Cougars jumped out to a 9-2 lead with 3:31 left in the first quarter. At the 3:28 mark, Houston called a time out to regroup.
Whatever was said by the Hilltoppers in that time out paid off as Houston tied the game at first quarter buzzer beater.
The Hilltoppers took the lead for the first time in the second quarter by penetrating beneath the basket and getting some easy layups.
There were three lead changes in the second quarter, but Houston went up 23-16 on two free throws with 3:52 left in the first half. Cougar Aldrick Russell scored the final field goal of the half with 2:23 on the clock to cut the lead 23-21 Houston at halftime.
The second half was a wild one with fast-paced, physical action.
Houston built a six-point lead, 27-21 with 6:09 left in the third quarter before the Cougars staged a comeback.
With the play of Cougars Bruce Wilbourn, Ramone Robinson and Rodregus Black, the Cougars came back and tied the game at 29 with 2:55 left in the quarter.
Wilbourn hit one of two free throws at the 5:34 mark. Robinson scored a field goal at the 4:11 mark and on the Houston possession Wilbourn blocked the shot and stole the ball. That set up another Robinson field goal to put the Cougars within one points, 27-26, with 3:35 left in the half. He was fouled but missed the free throws that would have tied the game. Houston went back up 29-26 on a free throws and on the next play, Black connected on a three-pointer with 2:55 left to tie the game at 29.
It was back and forth for the last part of the quarter. At the end of the quarter, Wilbourn hustled his way into the low post to score with 6.2 seconds left in the third quarter to tie the game at 33 going into the fourth.
Houston broke the tie at the 7:28 mark and built up a 39-33 lead with 6:13 left in regulation.
The resiliency of the Cougar team shone forth as Black pulled up for a three at the 5:59 mark to the lead 39-36. Houston pulled away and led 43-36 with 5:15 to go.
Nick Black came off the bench and contributed with an offensive rebound and field goal with 4:23 left in regulation to cut the lead 43-38.
After missed opportunities by both teams, Wilbourn pulled down a defensive rebound and then scored with 3:31 left to cut the lead 43-40. Nick Black stole the ball and was fouled. He hit both free throws to narrow the lead 43-42 with 3:19 left.
The Cougars took the lead, 45-44, on a Dexter Robinson three-pointer with 1:02 left in the game, and the crowd, which had been on its feet since the beginning of the fourth quarter, began to roar.
Houston tied the game hitting the front end of a one-and-one and took the lead with the second free throw.
Dexter Robinson again came through on a three-pointer with 39.5 seconds left to take the lead 48-46.
Houston tied the game at 48 hitting two free throws of a one-and-one situation with the crowd getting extremely loud at this point.
Neither team could get set correctly to make field goals so the game went into overtime tied at 48.
Wilbourn broke the tie in overtime on an offensive rebound and field goal and Houston answered to tie the game at 50.
Dexter Robinson hit another three with 2:38 to go and Houston answered with its own three-pointer to tie the game at 53.
Wilbourn was fouled and hit the front end of a one-and-one to give the Cougars a one point lead 54-53 with 32 seconds left.
Houston fouled again and sent Rodregus Black to the line. He hit the front end of his one-and-one free throw for the final score of the game.
The Cougars had three players score 13 points to lead the team: Rodregus Black, Wilbourn and Dexter Robinson. Black and Robinson scored four three-pointers each.
Jarvis Taylor scored six points which were the first six points of the ballgame.
Nick Black and Ramone Robinson scored four points each and Aldrick Russell scored two points.
Also playing last night were Aberdeen vs. Booneville and Independence vs. Amanda Elzy .
The two winners of those games will play tonight at 7:30 p.m.
| SP ladies start season 3-0
| By Myra Bean
and Michael Cox
The South Panola Lady Tigers fastpitch softball team is 3-0 following a 2-0 defeat of Senatobia Tuesday and a 11-0 defeat of Ridgeland Monday.
So far this season the Lady Tigers have a score 17-0 in three games.
The game Monday was decided in five innings as Tiger pitcher Whitney Kiihnl pitched her second no-hitter of the early season.
The Lady Tigers scored 10 runs in the second inning and one in the fourth inning.
Pitcher Whitney Kiihnl struck out 12 batters and walked three.
Shortstop Hillari Plummer had three hits and 3 RBIs (runs batted in).
Hitting doubles were second baseman Kasey Kelsey, designated hitter Bethany Moore, center fielder Leann Parrish and first baseman Lindsey Thaggard.
Pitcher Whitney Kiihnl (3-0) turned in another stellar performance, striking out 16 batters while allowing only three hits (all infield singles) and one walk.
No Senatobia hitter managed to get the ball out of the infield against Kiihnl, whose fast balls were clocked at 60 mph.
When the batters did manage to make contact, the infielders made excellent defensive plays. As a result, Senatobia never managed to get a base runner to third.
Offensively, the Lady Tigers had to work hard to score their two runs against a tough Senatobia defense. The Lady Tigers managed six hits, one walk and manufactured two runs.
The Lady Tigers scored their first run in the bottom of second inning when Moore scored by stealing home on a passed ball.
In the fourth, Parrish (who led the Tigers with two hits) scored on a single by Kelsey.
Also getting hits were Haylei Plummer with a double, Moore and Thaggard with singles.
Overall, the Lady Tigers turned in a solid performance, according to first year head coach Ashleigh Hicks.
Hicks said she was really pleased with the defense and the pitching, but the base running needed some work.
"We will work on being more consistent in hitting ? especially with runners on base," Hicks said.
In an outstanding performance by the Lady Tigers, they had to overcome a blustery wind and a scrappy Senatobia team in order to improve their record to 3-0.
The Lady Tigers were back home for their fourth game in five days yesterday to host Grenada in non-district play but the score was not available at press time.
The Lady Tigers will take their first road trip Saturday to play in the Ridgeland Classic to be held in Ridgeland.
At 9 a.m. they will play Ridgeland; at 10:30 a.m. Puckett and at 1:30 p.m. St. Al.
Monday, they will return home to host Cleveland at 4 p.m.
| ND comes from behind to win season opener
| By Myra Bean
The North Delta Green Wave (1-0) baseball team got a big non-district win over Marshall Academy Tuesday night.
The Green Wave had to come from behind to take this contest.
Marshall had a comfortable 4-0 lead going into the top of the fifth inning. The Green Wave made the situation uncomfortable fast.
Behind the bats of Jon Michael Ware and Evan West, the Green Wave preceded to take the game from the Patriots. The Green Wave scored six runs in the top of the fifth. Both Ware and West had two hits in the game.
West got the win on the mound for the Green Wave.
J.T. Dalrymple was credited for a big double play in the bottom of the first inning to keep the scoring to one run.
"He fielded a line drive to left field and threw and doubled up the base runner who tried to go to second," said head coach David Hardy.
Hardy described the game as a "normal" first game in dealing with first game jitters.
"I was pleased we got a win on the road against a bigger school and came from behind to win," Hardy said. "Evan got stronger on the mound as the game went on. We were also slow to get our bats started."
The Green Wave will be back on the road Monday to Kirk Academy in Grenada for games beginning at 4 and 6 p.m.
North Delta will open at home Thursday, March 1, with district foe West Memphis at 4 and 6 p.m. Then Friday, Kirk will be in town for a rematch at 4 and 6 p.m.
| Six Iron Tigers qualify for North State Meet
| By Myra Bean
The South Panola powerlifting Iron Tiger team took part in the District Meet held at Tupelo, Saturday, February 15.
Six powerlifters qualified for North State meet on March 3: Xavier Lee, Charles Corley, Jonathan Wilson, Josh Forehand, Cameron Wagner and Deshun Sandridge.
At the lift, Wilson placed first in the 275-pound weight class with a squat of 500 pounds, bench press of 325 pounds and a dead lift weight of 530 pounds for a total of 1,355 pounds.
Cameron Wagner and Deshun Sandridge took the top two spots, respectively, in the 308-pound weight class.
Wagner had a squat of 550 pounds, benched 315 pounds and dead lifted 455 pounds. His total weight lifted was 1,320 pounds.
Sandridge had a total weight lift of 1,265 pounds.
Lee placed second in the 123-pound weight class with a total weight lift of 695 pounds. He lifted over five and a half times his body weight.
Corley placed third in the 242-pound weight class with a lift total of 1,145 pounds.
Forehand placed third in the 275-pound weight class with a lift of 1,140 pounds.
| New SP coach meets community
| Introduced at a press conference Tuesday morning was the new South Panola football coach Lance Pogue family including (left to right) son Tyler, mother Carolyn, wife Dixie, daughter Meleah, brother-in-law Mark, sister Patty and father James.
| By Myra Bean
New South Panola head football coach Lance Pogue was introduced to Batesville Tuesday morning in a press conference.
He quoted legendary Madison Central coach Bobby Hall who when he went to Northeast Community College said "Northeast just got into the football business."
"Well, Lance Pogue just got into the football business," Pogue told the crowd of businessmen, media, school staff, family and students who turned out to meet him in the school library.
Using a carrying voice that is quite different from outgoing coach Ricky Woods, Pogue addressed the crowd and reiterated his plans for the powerhouse football team he had inherited.
"This is a major, major honor," Pogue said.
He introduced his family, wife Dixie, children Tyler and Maleah, parents James and Carolyn Pogue, his sister Patty and her husband Wade.
"Things have a funny way of working out," Pogue said. He said when he went to Eupora in 1998 he thought that would be it for his coaching career and move.
"The good Lord has a way of doing things and we had a lot of great success there," Pogue added. "We had to rebuild the program there."
Pogue left Eupora with an 84-40 record.
He acknowledged it will be a big change for him to take over a program that he said "obviously does not need a whole lot of adjustments or fixing."
Pogue was asked how he would handle being 60-0 as the new football season starts in August.
"All I can be concerned about is trying to get to be 1-0," Pogue said. "I don’t have any magical formula and I can’t sprinkle any dust on these things to keep that going, but I will tell you this, we have a great coaching staff in place and we are going to make those guys feel comfortable. We are just going to try to pick up where coach Woods and the coaches left off and move forward."
Pogue announced the coaching staff will stay intact and coach Willis Wright will stay on to lead the defense.
Pogue said that was a big relief to him to know Wright will stay.
"Obviously, the coaches know more than I do because they have had the success," Pogue added. "We are just going to carry on.
"From this day forward things will be under my watch and I have some big shoes to fill," he said. "Ricky Woods is a personal friend of mine. What he has done will probably never be done again. He’s made himself a legend in a short time. All I can be concerned about is what we do from this day forward."
Pogue has already reiterated the team will work hard, but that he will be the one who does most of the adjusting.
"When you see South Panola roll out there for that first ball game, things are going to be very similar as always," he said. "Don’t look for anything magical. Just look for things to continue."
South Panola will kick off the 2007 season with the Red Carpet Classic in Vicksburg, playing Warren Central on August 24. The second game of the season will be against old nemesis Clarksdale at home.
The third and fourth games of the season are not filled. Memphis Carver and Germantown decided not to play the Tigers this year.
The district schedule remains the same except Desoto Central will take over the final spot that Grenada held. Grenada will move to 2-5A in the realignment that goes into effect July 1. Desoto Central moved up to 1-5A.
Pogue and his family are in the process of trying to find a place to live in Batesville. He will take over the Tiger program on March 1.
| Focused Lady Tigers make history
| By Myra Bean, Danielle Bean and Marlon Wilks
The South Panola Lady Tigers did something they have never done before: made it to the second round of the north half tournament.
Behind the hot hand scoring of junior forward Sabrina Townsend, who scored a career-high 32 points Monday night, the Lady Tigers will advance to the North State Tournament in Tupelo tonight.
South Panola will take on Tupelo (31-2) tonight at 6 p.m. in Tupelo
South Panola took on a tough Provine Lady Rams team and came out with a 75-62 win.
The Lady Tigers were relentless as they took away the Lady Rams’ game and rendered the Lady Rams’ pressure defense moot.
Townsend, who knocked down three 3-pointers on the evening, said the girls were excited they have accomplished what no other team has.
The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the first quarter and Provine called a timeout to regroup with 4:55 on the clock.
Provine made a push and cut the lead to three points, 9-6, with 3:18 left.
Then the Lady Tigers pushed back, but not without some sacrifice. With the physical game going on between these teams, both teams were faced with starting players in early foul trouble.
Before the first quarter was over, Lady Tiger Skylar Barnes had picked up her third foul with 1:31 left in the game and had to sit out the rest of the quarter.
South Panola was up 13-7 with 1:01 left in the quarter on a Townsend steal and field goal. Provine made another move and cut the lead 13-11 at the end of the quarter.
Barnes returned to start the second quarter and her presence was immediately felt on the defense.
In the second quarter, the Lady Tigers turned up the heat and Provine got scorched.
Lady Tiger guard Vetorra Cole scored a quick field goal to start the quarter and on a steal, offensive rebound and field goal by Barnes, the Lady Tigers were up 17-11 with 7:33 left in the first half.
Provine scored with 5:53 left in the first half to cut the lead 19-15. That was the last the Lady Rams were seen as South Panola scored 16 unanswered points to go ahead 35-15 with 3:42 left in the half.
Another couple of Lady Tigers picked up their third foul in the second quarter, Tenisha Mitchell and Essie Thomas, bringing in Kim Sanford and Monteith Brewer from the bench.
Townsend set up on her left side for her second three-pointer of the second quarter with 2:58 to go and cleared the net to go ahead 38-19.
Provine was having foul trouble of its own and sent the Lady Tigers to the line to shoot six of six in the second quarter.
At the half, South Panola had a commanding 43-24 lead.
It was the Lady Rams in the third quarter who gained the upper hand. They outscored the Lady Tigers 21-13.
The Lady Tigers struck first on a field goal with just four seconds off the clock and a steal and field goal with 6:54 to go ahead 47-24.
The Lady Rams’ pressure defense caused the Lady Tigers to stumble and turn the ball over a few times. The Rams went on an 11-2 scoring run and cut the lead 49-37 with 1:50 left in the third quarter.
South Panola took a timeout at the 5:33 mark, but the shooting did not improve in the third quarter until the minute and a half mark.
Working as a team, on an assist from Mitchell, Barnes scored on the layup with 1:33 to go up 51-37. Provine answered with back-to-back field goals to cut the lead 53-41 with 48.6 seconds.
Townsend connected on a three-pointer which cleared the net for a 56-41 score at 29.8 seconds.
Provine scored the final point of the third quarter with 20.4 seconds left for the 56-45 score going into the fourth quarter.
The scoring in the fourth was even and helped the Lady Tigers secure the win. The closest Provine got in the fourth quarter was 56-48 with 7:24 left in the game.
The Lady Tigers kept a 10 plus point margin after that.
In addition to 32 points, Townsend had six rebounds and two steals. Also scoring for the Lady Tigers were Vetorra Cole, 19 points, 7 assists, 2 steals; Monteith Brewer, 16 points; Essie Thomas, 4 points; Mitchell, 2 points, 2 steals; and Barnes, 2 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists.
The game tonight in Tupelo tips off at 6 p.m., followed by the game between Murrah and Warren Central. The two winners will meet Saturday at 7:30 p.m. for the championship.
The two losers will meet Saturday at 6 p.m. for the consolation game. The top three teams will go to Jackson starting next Thursday, March 1 for the state championship round.
The second place north team will meet the third place south team on March 1 at 6:30 p.m.
The third place north team will meet the second place south team on March 2 at 1 p.m. The first place north team gets a first round bye and will meet the winner of this game on March 8.
In other girls 5A action, Olive Branch (24-7) was ousted by Murrah (32-1) 74-47. Warren Central (23-8) put out Starkville (22-6) 60-56.
| Tigers 2-0 on diamond
| By Myra Bean
Though the weather was drizzling rain, the South Panola Tiger baseball team (2-0) defeated a tough Cleveland team Tuesday, 6-3.
On the mound for the Tigers were Ethan Bright, who got the win, and Colton Ales. Ales pitched two and a third innings with seven strikeouts for the save.
Bright, along with second baseman David Renfroe, hit home runs to be the Tigers over the top.
The junior varsity team debuted its season with a 13-4 win over Cleveland.
Whit Whitten picked up the win. Wesley Gregg and Matt Hendrix pitched in relief.
Brian Fortner and Robby Brown hit home runs for the Tigers. Justin Market had two hits.
The Tigers have a busy weekend ahead of them. Tonight they will host Clarksdale in a 3:30 p.m. varsity game only.
Saturday, they play four games.
Saturday morning, beginning at 11 a.m., they will host Cleveland East Side. The afternoon game starts at 1 p.m.
Saturday night, they will move back to American Legion Field, since the new field does not have lights, and host Byhalia in junior varsity and varsity games at 5 and 7.
Tuesday, the Tigers will be home again to host Cleveland in a 4 p.m. varsity game only.
Other time changes are March 2 and March 6 and both will be varsity games only played at 4 p.m.