Smith on Sports: Tournament hosted by Choctaw County quite the Challenge

Danny P. Smith
Staff Writer

It only took two games for me to see that nothing much has changed at the Mid-Mississippi Challenge.

The annual tournament in Ackerman still showcases some of the best competition in the state and the games are usually competitive and go right down to the wire.

If you like defensive basketball, then the first game of the day between the East Webster and Philadelphia girls definitely provided that. Neither team was able to get out of the 30’s as the Lady Tornadoes won a 38-32 decision.

The two teams have talented players that can score, but they were just performing a little bit better on the defensive end. It didn’t take long to realize that getting points was going to be a tough task on Saturday morning.

Philadelphia only had one field goal the entire second half and still won the game. As hard as it was to believe, a basket by the Player of the Game Andrika Carter with 44 seconds left in the third quarter was the only one converted by the Lady Tornadoes in the final 16 minutes.

The Lady Wolverines even had one more made field goal than Philadelphia in the second half.

East Webster has a very young team and head coach Michael Seger brought up a couple of eighth graders to get them some varsity experience. A game like the one the Lady Wolverines had against Philadelphia can only be beneficial moving forward this season.

In the second game of the day, the fans that packed Cobb Gymnasium got to see the two-time defending Class 2A girls state champion Ingomar Lady Falcons against the Class 5A Holmes County Lady Jaguars.
Both teams were loaded with talent and it was easy to see why the records were 19-1 for the Lady Falcons and 16-3 for the Lady Jaguars.

Player of the Game Mallory Russell and Ingomar just made a few more plays down the stretch and got its 20th win of the season 66-61 against a pesky Holmes County group.

Choctaw County basketball coach Gary Beals never disappoints when putting together the field. He finds the good teams.

Other records for some of the invitees were Puckett girls (15-2), Booneville girls (13-3), East Webster boys (13-3), Coahoma County girls (15-2) and Coahoma County boys (14-3). It won’t be surprising to see some of these same squads make the trip to Jackson for the state tournament in a few weeks.

Beals and the Chargers always do a good job of running their tournament. They show tremendous hospitality and it’s always one of the most fun events to attend during the year.

Danny P. Smith is the sports editor and columnist for The Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SDN or its staff.