Thursday, March 20, 2014
Behind The Scoreboard
Two titles for Thompsons
When the last candle was blown out late Saturday evening in the Big House, a total of three gold balls had made their way north up the big road (I-55) to their new permanent homes.
We won’t recap the complete experience of the history-making Lady Lions’ latest forays into the Big House wars except to heap more accolades on them, their coach and supporters. There will be an aside at the end of the column which adds to the luster.
Before, this reporter has mentioned some championship games that were not exactly in our area but were worthy of note. There were some of those games this season which captured the interest of a wide segment of state championship watchers. It seems that invariably the most entertaining contests are between teams of the same area.
This year there were two such games in girls competition – Booneville and Belmont and Horn Lake and Olive Branch. In the case of the former two teams, Belmont has been to the big wars a boatload of times dating from 1983 (1945 in the “one classification” era) to present, and ranking third among the girls teams with the most titles (eight, and incidentally, H.W. Byers ranks fourth now with six wins), since the Mississippi High School Activities Association sanctioned five-on-five girls basketball in 1974-1975.
The latter teams were from the same county (DeSoto) and have the same superintendent (Milton Kuykendall). The Lady Eagles of Horn Lake had bested the Lady Conquistadors for the North State title. This was the Lady Eagles’ second state crown (first one was in 2010).
This championship for Booneville was bittersweet because they had lost to the Lady Cardinals in the North State Tournament after beating the Holly High Lady Hawks. This was the first state crown for the Lady Blue Devils.
We have already accounted for the history-making of the Lady Lions, but there is yet one piece which just might not be widely known. After diligent search, there was not found any record of a husband and wife, both head coaches for different teams, winning a state crown in the same year – and multiple crowns at that. Janna Thompson (Horn Lady Lady Eagles) and Jason Thompson (H.W. Byers Lady Lions) are husband and wife. If they keep coaching and collecting these golden orbs, they are probably going to have to add a room just to house these trophies. They already have eight.
Congratulations are in order.
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