Sports / Outdoors – 2/27/2007

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Panolian: SPORTS – February 27, 2007

  From the 02/27/07 issue of The Panolian   

Lady Tigers fall in OT of North Half tournament
By Myra Bean

The South Panola Lady Tigers played their best basketball of the entire season but came up short in the North Half Tournament.

Friday night, the Lady Tigers fell to Tupelo 49-47. The last second shot by Sabrina Townsend was blocked by a Tupelo defender to send the Lady Tigers to the consolation round Saturday night.

Saturday night the Lady Tigers lost the lead and the game in overtime to Warren Central 62-56.

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The game was tied at 54 at the end of regulation. South Panola was only able to score two free throws in overtime, while Warren Central scored two field goals and four free throws for the win.

Warren Central, who had lost to Murrah 82-58 Friday night, led by as many as eight points, 14-8, in the first quarter. The Lady Tigers dug in with its zone defense and charged for a comeback. At the end of the first quarter, the Lady Tigers were only down by five points, 19-14.

The Lady Tigers pulled within two at times in the second quarter, but Warren Central would set up in its right corner and hit a few three-pointers to keep the lead. At the half, Warren Central had a 30-27 lead.

South Panola tied the game at 30 in the third quarter with 6:17 on the clock.

They went ahead 31-30 on an Essie Thomas free throw with 5:55 to go. The game was tied three more times and the lead changed hands two times the rest of the quarter.

Going into the fourth quarter, the game was tied
at 43.

The teams played close keeping it tied until the 4:04 mark. South Panola went ahead on a Tenisha Mitchell field goal, 48-46.

Warren Central turned the ball over on a traveling call and Vetorra Cole’s field goal and free throw with 3:20 to go in regulation gave the Lady Tigers some breathing room 51-46.

Warren Central refused to go down and used its own pressure defense and rebounding ability to come back. During the offensive rebounds, South Panola would foul and send Warren Central to the free throw line. Warren Central hit its last four free throws to tie the game at 54 with 46.7 seconds.

South Panola missed two free throws that would have given the Lady Tigers the win with 34.8 seconds left in the regulation. Warren Central controlled the ball the final seconds of the game, but missed a field goal on an outside shot. The Lady Tigers closed down the inside lane and forced the longer shot.

Against Tupelo, South Panola was down 32-28 at halftime. Both teams scored nine points each in the third quarter. South Panola outscored Tupelo 10-8 in the fourth quarter.

Lady Tiger Sabrina Townsend was the leading scorer with 23 points. Other Lady Tiger scorers include Vetorra Cole, 9 points; Monteith Brewer, 7 points; Tenisha Mitchell and Skylar Barnes, 4 points each.

Against Warren Central Townsend was the leading scorer with 23 points.

Also scoring against Warren Central for the Lady Tigers were Cole, 15 points; Barnes, 9 points; Mitchell, 6 points; and Thomas, 3 points.

The Lady Tigers ended the season 15-12.

In other action, Murrah defeated Tupelo Saturday night 71-37. The other three teams will play in the 5A State Tournament in Jackson, starting Thursday, March 1.

Fastpitch teams scores 30-0 in weekend play
By Myra Bean

In seven games, the South Panola Lady Tigers have only given up one run.

Grenada came to town raring to take on the red hot Lady Tigers but left whimpering with a 6-1 loss.

South Panola first year head coach Ashleigh Hicks was not pleased with that run by the look on her face when the Grenada runner came home on a triple RBI (run batted in) in the top of the seventh inning.

Against Grenada, Lady Tiger catcher Casi Brooks had two hits, including a double, and four RBIs.

The Lady Tigers scored three runs in the bottom of the third and three in the bottom of the fifth.

Also hitting for the Lady Tigers were Whitney Kiihnl, two hits including a double; second baseman Kasey Kelsay, two hits; third baseman Haylei Plummer, one hit, one RBI; designated hitter Bethany Moore, one RBI; and center fielder Leann Parrish, one hit.

Kiihnl got the win at the plate, striking out 16 and allowing two hits and one run.

In the Ridgeland Classic, South Panola scored 30 runs and allowed no none to go 7-0 on the season.
The Lady Tigers shutout Puckett 13-7 in the first game; St. Al 10-0 in the second game; and Vicksburg 7-0 in the third game.

Nine of the 11 Lady Tigers at bat had a hit against Puckett Saturday morning.

Shortstop Hillari Plummer led the way with three hits, including two doubles and two RBIs.

First baseman Lindsey Thaggard had one hit and three RBIs. Moore had two hits, along with third baseman Plummer, who also had a double.

Parrish had a hit and two RBIs and Haley Hood had one hit and one RBI.

Kiihnl and Kenzi Reed shared mound duties. Kiihnl pitched for three innings and got the win with eight strikeouts. Reed pitched one inning with two strikeouts. The two pitched a no-hitter.

The Lady Tigers were still going strong in the second game against St. Al.

Kiihnl pitched a no-hitter five inning game, striking out 15 for the win.

Kiihnl, Brooks and Moore each got two hits. Moore also had two RBIs. Parrish had one hit and two RBIs.

Against Vicksburg Kiihnl pitched another no-hitter, struck out 11 players and got the win in five innings.

Third baseman Plummer hit a triple. Brooks and shortstop Plummer each hit a double. Brooks also had a RBI.

Kiihnl had three hits and one RBI. Kelsay had one hit and a RBI. Thaggard had one hit and one RBI.

The Lady Tigers were back on the field Monday afternoon to host Cleveland but the score was not available at press time.

The Lady Tigers will participate in the Tupelo Tournament Friday and Saturday, March 2-3.

Tigers go 3-0 with shutout of Clarksdale
By Marlon Wilks
and Myra Bean

In less than an hour Friday, South Panola had defeated Clarksdale 15-0 in three innings in a mercy ruled game.

Ethan Bright homered for the third time this season on a three-run homer bringing home Joseph Blair and David Renfroe.

Recording multiple hits were Renfroe with two, along with Mitchell Houston and Cody Alford with three each.

On the mound for the Tigers was Heath Bolton who picked up his second win of the season.

The Tigers were 3-0 going into Monday’s rescheduled game with Byhalia. Due to the weather Saturday, the game was rescheduled. The game that was scheduled with Cleveland East Side will be played during the week of Spring Break.

Tentatively the game is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14.

The Tigers will be back in action today to host Cleveland in a game at 4 p.m. Friday, they will host Horn Lake in the first district game of the season at 4 p.m.

Saturday, the Tigers will be on the road to Byhalia in 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. games.

Ninth Grade
The Ninth grade team hosted Magnolia Heights in a doubleheader Monday. The next game will be Saturday, March 10 at Center Hill at 12 and 2 p.m.

BJH Tigers
The Batesville Jr. High team opened its season at Water Valley yesterday but the score was not available at press time.

The Jr. High Tigers will also be at Water Valley Thursday at 5 p.m.

Tigers grant a wish
     Cazarae Wilson (front, center) got his fondest wish granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Lewisburg Elementary School Friday morning. He wanted to meet the entire South Panola High School 5A state championship team. He got his wish in a surprise ceremony when the 70 plus players filed into the cafetorium and presented him with the state championship ball signed by all the players and quarterback Leroy Diggs’ (front, left) jersey. Presenting him with t-shirts that were later signed by the team was outgoing head football coach Ricky Woods. In the back is his mother Vernesser Wilson.
By Myra Bean

Every once in a while a person is called upon to do something they have never done before.

The South Panola football team went out for 15 weeks and won each game set before it.

Batesville Middle School’s Cazarae (caz-a-ray) Wilson of Sardis asked for a team effort one more time.

Wilson, 11, has a life-threatening disease and one of his wishes in life was to meet the entire South Panola Tiger football team.

"Because they win," Wilson said.

Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Lewisburg Elementary School outside of Hernando, Wilson’s wish came true.

Lewisburg is one of 28 schools who participate in the Kids for Wish Kids program which raises $5,000 to help fulfill wishes for children.

The program, held early Friday morning at the new Lewisburg school, was a surprise to Wilson. His mother Vernesser could not hold back the tears as it was announced that her son would have a limousine ride to be able to eat pizza at his favorite restaurant, shop at all his favorite stores and meet and greet the Tiger team.

Former South Panola head coach Ricky Woods led the players out.

"No matter what else happens, this is the most important thing," Woods said. "We are proud to get to know him."

Senior Tiger quarterback Leroy Diggs presented Wilson with an autographed football signed by the Tiger team. Then Diggs presented him with his No. 16 jersey he wore for three years as a Tiger.

The ball was the championship ball presented to Woods from the 2006 State Championship game.

Diggs said giving the ball and jersey felt good.

"Knowing he loves us feels good," Diggs said.

Senior defensive end Marlon Wilks said, "He could have chosen any team, but he chose us. That feels really good."

Sally Whiteworth praised the team for being a part of this wish-granting day and the school for raising the $5,000 for wishes to be granted.

"You will give him a day and memories that will last a lifetime," Whiteworth said. "Our hope is the children here will not only get a good feeling about charity but also appreciate the gift of good help."

Vernesser Wilson said her son would probably buy gym shoes, jerseys and video games.

SP tennis opens season
     The 2007 South Panola Tennis Team includes (front,
l to r) Nikki Reinemann, Matthew Dooley, Manuel Henrich, Jordan Williams, Alyssa Boren, Marlee Goforth, Ashley Roberson; (back, l to r) head coach Kim Wilson, Regina Rehorovska, Blake Goodwin, Rodrigo "Roy" Lozano Ruiz, Grant Goforth, Jonathan Ware, J.P. Wallace and assistant coach Jamie Hubbard.

The South Panola tennis team will open its 2007 season with a match at Horn Lake, pending good weather.

The team, coached by Kim Wilson and Jamie Hubbard, features 13 players. Three are Exchange students including Manuel Henrich of Germany Regina "Gina" Rehorovska of Slovakia and Rodrigo "Roy" Lozano Ruiz of Mexico.

The first home match will be March 8 against Olive Branch at 4 p.m. at Trussell park.

Weather system was sight to behold Saturday

By Robert Neill

Had a heckuva storm line blow through last night, just about dark. Actually, it was after it should have been dark, but it turned back light, seemed like. Weird.

It was the kind of weather that if my son had been home, he’d have dragged me outside with the admonition, "C’mon, Daddy, let’s go watch this’n move in!" There was thunder and lightning a’plenty, and wind, rain, swirly clouds: the works.
I have a low-pressure sensitivity which makes my ears hurt until the front or cell goes by, at which point, they pop, almost audibly, and certainly painfully.

As the low gets lower, the hair on the back of my neck begins to stand up, to the point at which it’ll almost lift my head off the pillow, it seems like – though I’m usually out of bed long before that, during a night-time frontal passage.

Therefore, I was up pacing when the nasty weather started moving in yesterday: Saturday night, February 24. I slipped out into the garage to watch as the darkness closed in.

The clouds weren’t blowing from the southwest, as they usually do before a front comes through. They were streaming over directly from the south, getting lower and lower, darker and darker, faster and faster. Now and then I could glimpse a sort of rotation, but it would blow by quickly.

Then I noticed the sky was getting lighter in the northwest. Well, there’s a town over thataway, but its luminescence is not nearly so bright – nor does it move closer! What was this?

The usual frontal systems we have here at Brownspur consist of the storm front coming up from the southwest, then the cold front pushing through from the northwest – and where the two meet is where most of the heavy weather ensues.
For some strange reason, the northwest front was approaching quickly and was lighted, during a time when normally we should have been getting darker, even with a clear sky. I ran indoors to get a look at the barometer: 29.35; then hollered at Betsy to come look at the crazy weather.

As we stood and watched, the lighter northwestern front collided with the low dark clouds from the south, and suddenly the wind instantly changed to the northwest, and the cold raindrops started reaching into the back of the garage. The temperature must have dropped 10 or 15 degrees in just a few minutes, so we both headed inside, where we stood at the glass front door and watched it get lighter and lighter outside, though raining in sheets.

Thunder and lightning boomed around us, shaking the house, but in 15 minutes, it had calmed down, though still unnaturally light, for as late as it was.

I felt my ears pop, worked my jaw to help them adjust, then stepped into the den to glance at the barometer. Sure enough, it had jumped up to 29.6. The front was past Brownspur and headed to points east.

Aviation novelist Ernest Gann, who had flown all over the world, wrote in his book, "Fate is the Hunter," that there is only one other place on earth which has the sudden intensity of the Mississippi River Delta thunderstorms, and that place was somewhere around India, he said. No, Gann was not from here, he just flew through here many times in the earlier days of aviation.

I love to watch the big fronts come in. There’s a hymn which says it well: "In the lightning flash across the sky His mighty power I see!"

The chorus goes, "I’ve seen it in the lightning, heard it in the thunder, and felt it in the rain: my Lord is near me all the time."

Amen, and it’s so apparent in the flat Delta. It’s apparent at sea, too, and during my Navy time, my ship four times went through hurricanes. Went through the eye of one, and I’ve seen the barometer dip below 27 once! And lived to tell about it, though the Navigator yelled on one roll, "Okay, Men, we’re going to test the roll limits on this one – pray that we come back up!"

Lowering the port elevator quickly may have saved the ship that time!

The sun was brilliant when it rose Sunday morning. One tornado had ripped up Dumas, Ark., during the night, and another had come across just a few miles south of us, around Isola. We’d survived again. Guess what the first hymn was at church that morning?

No, it had been picked on Wednesday, so as to be printed in the program.


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