Thursday, March 1, 2012
I enjoyed life on the road Friday and Saturday – following Marshall County basketball teams.
Bill Stone and I covered the Marshall Academy Patriots Friday night, left after the game, spent the night in Jackson, covered the H.W. Byers Lady Lions Saturday afternoon and then drove back to Grenada for the Pats’ title game Saturday night.
Bill did the radio play-by-play for WKRA 92.7.
I was in my usual position, courtside, taking photos for your community newspaper.
It was a hectic two days but a blast, too.
The Patriots claimed back-to-back state championships.
The Lady Lions advanced to the state title game this Friday when they will also seek back-to-back crowns.
“The Big House” routine is becoming very familiar to the Byers girls and their fans. They’re in their sixth straight state tournament.
As usual, there was a sea of green in Mississippi Coliseum supporting the Lady Lions. No one backs their team any better.
A sign hanging in the coliseum, put there by Byers’ opponent, said, “If the slipper fits, wear it – Bogue Chitto style.”
But the Lady Bobcats’ Cinderella run came to a screeching halt. The game was no contest, from the opening tip. It was probably the most dominant performance I’ve ever seen at a state tournament.
Saturday night at Grenada, Marshall Academy fans were loud in support of their Patriots, too. The student section this year has to be one of the best ever. Many MA students were wearing new hats – designed like basketball nets – and they never sat.
It was a great environment, at Kirk Academy, for the state title clash. And the Pats pulled away in the fourth to win by 14.
A couple of not-so-good things took place last week during the state tournament at Grenada.
Wednesday night, in the final seconds of the quarter-final game versus Trinity, a Trinity cheerleader threw a bottled water across the court. That came after some of their fans, sitting on the bottom row of bleachers beside the court, had been warned during the game.
Fortunately, the bottled water did not hit a player or an official. The cheerleader was escorted from the gymnasium by Kirk officials.
Then Saturday night, after the championship game, I saw a first.
As customary, the runner-up team is recognized first – with a second-place trophy and medals – with the other school’s supporters applauding, which MA fans did.
Then those coaches and players and fans of the second-place team typically show sportsmanship, too, and hang around for the trophy presentation to the winning team.
Not the case this time.
The Cougars took their trophy and medals and left for the dressing room. Their fans followed – leaving the stands and walking around the floor as the Patriots were honored.
I’ve been to “Brookhaven Nation” for state tournaments during my years in Holly Springs. I’ve always been treated great. The tourneys have been first class.
I guess that’s why I was so disappointed. I might expect it from other schools, but not Brookhaven Academy.
But trust me, the positives were dominant last week. Kirk did a terrific job hosting. And Marshall County did well.
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