Starkville Academy set to begin district tournament

Starkville Academy basketball boys coach Bruce Allsup and his team.
Staff Writer

Tournament time is here for area basketball teams and the postseason begins for Starkville Academy tonight.
Both the boys and girls teams enjoyed a solid regular season with coach Bruce Allsup leading both squads for the first time and now it's ready to compete with the rest of the MAIS District 2-AAA field at Leake Academy over the next few days.
The SA boys just finished off their second-straight District 2 regular season championship under Allsup and have come on strong of late to head to tournament play at 13-10. Codie Futral, Carter Roach and Reid Stevens have led the way as the senior starters and made the Vols’ lineup vaunted at the right time.
“I think we’ve picked it up," Allsup said. "I still think that we’ve got two more levels to go. When we get to clicking, offensively we can be pretty good. We’ve got to continue to work.”
At 5:15 p.m. the Vols will take on Winston Academy as the No. 1 seed facing the No. 4 seed in the tournament and a win pits them against the Leake Academy and Heritage Academy winner.
The OCH Athlete of the Week Futral is going to be key for the weekend as is the rest of the team that has seen different players step up along the way. After a disappointing end to a great season last year, SA is striving to play its best when it matters the most.
“We’ve had a pretty good year, but it’s time for us to step it up so we can get a ring,” Futral said. “We need to play harder and play better defense. That’s what coach Allsup preaches and that’s the key. Defense wins games.”
Play starts with the No. 3 Lady Vols taking on the surprising Lady Patriots of Winston Academy who have risen into the top five in the state in AAA at 26-6. SA, however, has given the Lady Pats fits twice this season and it should provide for a competitive matchup to see who moves on to the championship round on Saturday.
Game time between the two division rivals is set for 4 p.m. in Madden.
For each team to move on to the next round of the playoffs, a win is needed in the two-day event.
“We’re trying to get that momentum," Allsup said. "Winning, hopefully, breeds confidence. We’ve got to get mentally where we want to be because there’s some mighty good teams in our league.”