Hawks facing Ripley Wednesday of this week
The hoopla has been spinning for a whole week now. The Hawks, number one seed from the North in the order of all things in secondary basketball, will have to meet another northern foe when they take the court for their first game in this seasons Class 3A state showdown.
Remember way back (2004) when, and the Holly Springs High School Hawks having to wade through two entrees from the North to claim their first title. Holly High was the number one seed then, and they had to down the Senatobia Warriors in the semis (the Warriors had beaten West Lauderdale), to set up a meeting with a team really close to home, the Byhalia Indians.
The Indians, under Charles Gillespie, had bested Prentiss and its highly-touted big man, 610 senior, Al Jefferson. The tragedy was they had to meet the Hawks in the finals.
Well, the Indians didnt make it back the following season (2005) and Holly High had to do battle with the number one and number two teams from the South. They dispatched Choctaw Central first and then whipped Franklin County in the finals.
Now the Hawks are seeking their third consecutive 3A crown and as fate would have it, they have to face a North seed as the first obstacle. When they meet the Ripley Tigers on Wednesday (March 8) at 2:30 p.m. in The Big House it will actually be a replay of a matchup in Ripley two weeks ago which earned them the number one seed.
It doesnt take a rocket scientist to predict that the big road to The Big House is going to be clogged with fans from Tippah and Marshall counties.
These teams are headed by coaches with proven track records. Both have state championships hanging from their belts, coach Naylond Hayes the most recent two and coach Harvey Childers when he was at New Albany.
The Tigers were in Jackson last season, but didnt have to face the Hawks. They were eliminated by Choctaw Central in the first round.
Whoever escapes Wednesday will still have work to do a face-off with Tuesdays winner, Yazoo County (27-8) or Nettleton (30-6), on Saturday, March 11, at 2:30 p.m. for the state championship.
The Hawks are 33-1 on the season and the Tigers are 33-2.
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