Video: Lighthouse Classic G4: Wilson gets Starkville past Petty, J.O. Johnson


2015 Lighthouse Thanksgiving Classic Game 4

Lighthouse Thanksgiving Class Game 4

Starkville 60, J.O. Johnson 51

J.O. Johnson 6 10 19 16 – 51

Starkville 17 21 15 7 – 60

Leading scorers: (JO) Justin Hopkins 22, John Petty 17. (S) Darrius Wilson 21, Tyson Carter 14, Jessie Little 12, Keith Harris 11.

Records: Starkville 4-1. J.O. Johnson 2-1.

Darrius Wilson was named Player of the Game after a 21-point outing. He hit five 3-pointers and got to the rim when he wanted. J.O. Johnson 2017 SG John Petty, the country’s No. 5-ranked junior, sat the first quarter and finished with 17 points.

No surprise Kentucky wants him. Petty’s shot is silky smooth. He has good vision and finds open teammates almost to a fault.

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Video: Lighthouse Classic G3: Cordova soph Harris sets Lighthouse assists record


Lighthouse Thanksgiving Classic Game 3

Cordova, Tenn. 78, Callaway 74

Callaway 15 15 21 16 7 – 74

Cordova, Tenn. 16 21 13 17 11 – 78

Leading scorers: (COR) Curtis Reeder, Jr. 27, Rodgerrick Brown 20, Tyler Harris 19. (CAL) Kassim Nicholson 18, Tanarrio Ransburg 15, Damion Moore 14, Marcus Summerville 13.

Records: Cordova 4-0. Callaway 2-3.

Cordova, Tenn. 2018 G Tyler Harris scored 19 points and had a Lighthouse record 14 assists. He hit a 3-pointer to send the game to overtime and scored 17 points. Cordova is ranked No. 2 by the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Harris’ coach Terrance Scales said the soph has an eye for the basket, making a 3-pointer on a lob in a game this season.

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Video: Lighthouse Classic G2: Tupelo stays unbeaten


Lighthouse Thanksgiving Classic Game 2

Tupelo 53, Lausanne, Tenn. 44

Lausanne Tenn. 8 15 11 10 – 44

Tupelo 13 7 15 18 – 53

Leading scorers: (T) Tre Jenkins 19, Joseph Jones 13, Nick Ratliff 10. (L) Isaiah Stokes 10.

Records: Tupelo 7-0. Lauasanne 0-1.

Tupelo 2016 guard Tre Jenkins was named Player of the Game with 19 points as Tupelo (7-0) remained undefeated. Lausanne, ranked No. 10 by the Memphis Commercial Appeal, was playing its first game of the season. Center Isaiah Stokes (6-foot-8, 240) had 10 points. Stokes is the No. 1 junior in Tennessee. He had 11 rebounds and four blocks.

Jenkins is averaging 14.2 points per game and looked the leader against the Lynx. Stokes blocked his share of shots but also showed great movement and touch inside. Stokes is the No. 18 offensive tackle for 2017 but did not play football this season. He said he was gaining too much weight to play basketball and has dropped some 50 pounds. He said his basketball offers include Ole Miss and Tennessee.

He had football offers including Alabama, Ole Miss and Tennessee.

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Video: Lighthouse Classic G1: Cam Smith big in return


2015 Lighthouse Thanksgiving Classic Game 1

Okolona 79, Biggersville 61

Okolona 23 22 11 23 – 79

Biggersville 11 15 15 20 – 61

Leading scorers: (O) Cam Smith 17, Jacouris Stanfield 17, Ladarrious Spears 16, Deshunta Thompson 10; (B) Devonte Spears 22, Greg Robinson 12, Cameron Barnett 10.

Okolona 4-1. Biggersville 2-3.

In his second game back from after kneecap surgery, 2018 Okolona G Cam Smith (6-foot-4) scored 17 points. He hits five 3-pointers. Devonte Spears scored 22 for Biggersville. Okolona led 45-26 at the half. Biggersville cut it to 48-32 until a Smith 3. He did it again when the lead got to 12.

Okolona big man Ladarrious Spears (6-foot-5) scored 14 of his 16 in the first half, was active on the glass and showed why he has an argument as the best big man in the area.

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Jones making case as North Mississippi’s best


This may be the deepest year of individual basketball talent in quite some time in North Mississippi. Pontotoc’s Ty Jones has an argument to be on top of the list.

Jones, a 6-foot-6, 205 pound versatile junior G/F, was on full display at the Bob Jones N2Hoops Invitational in Alabama.

In a 55-47 loss to Class 7A Bob Jones, Ty Jones had 25 points and 11 rebounds. In a 51-50 OT win against 5A Pope John Paul II, he had 30 points and eight boards. And in a 58-56 loss to 7A Grissom, Jones had 42 points and 10 rebounds.

“Jones has improved dramatically, across the board,” Pontotoc coach Chris Vandiver said before the season.

Pontotoc is 6-2 and a legit force in Mississippi 4A. Eight games in, Jones is averaging 25.5 points (14 points higher than his sophomore season), 8.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game. The Warriors host Southaven and Tupelo next week.

More on the Warriors in Friday’s Daily Journal.


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Scores from Tuesday, Nov. 24

(G) Itawamba 61, New Albany 35
(G) Ripley 59, Kossuth 56
(G)  Ingomar 53, Shannon 28
(G) Jumpertown 78, Baldwyn 75
(G) Oxford 50, Cleveland 36
(G) West Union 63, Tremont 46
(B) Niceville, Fla. 71, Calhoun City 58
(B) New Albany 90, Itawamba AHS 73
(B) Baldwyn 79, Jumpertown 47
(B) Ripley 67, Kossuth 42
(B) Ingomar 50, Cleveland 41
(B) Shannon 64, Niceville, Fla. 63
(B) West Union 57, Tremont 48
(B) New Site 53, Walnut 47

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TCPS QB Kitchens receives first offer


Coach Shaune Holiday is doing all he can to get Tupelo Christian football on the map. The Eagles set a school record with eight wins this season and play one more year of independent ball before going into MHSAA division play in 2017.

Monday, some of the hard work paid off. Senior QB Caleb Kitchens received a scholarship offer from Cincinnati’s Mount Saint Joseph. Kitchens threw for 1,777 yards this season on 120-of-207 passing with 21 touchdowns against five picks.

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Scores from Saturday, Nov. 21

(G) Biggersville 60, Mooreville 40
(G) Phil Campbell, Ala. 46, Mantachie 44
(G) Sulligent, Ala. 46, Tremont 39
(G) Choctaw Central 55, Ingomar 46
(G) New Site 68, Wheeler 36
(B) Tishomingo County 52, Wheeler 44
(B) Phil Campbell, Ala. 66, Mantachie 51
(B) Choctaw Central 70, Ingomar 62
(B) Sulligent, Ala. 55, Tremont 40
(B) Saltillo 86, Biggersville 56

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Baldwyn LB Price talks Baldwyn quarterfinals win


Baldwyn’s defense did it again Friday night. 

Calhoun City had scored 42 points a game in its last three. Baldwyn’s defensive front made matching that output a problem. Big DT Jimmy Tyes had 17 tackles. LB Jacob Harper had 13. DT Zack Richardson had nine tackles, three TFLs. At safety, Duke Upshaw had nine tackles.

Calhoun City RB Brieton Sykes got his, 134 yards on 25 carries. Outside that, Baldwyn held the Wildcats to 235 total yards, City’s lowest since Week 1.

Winners of 10 straight, Baldwyn (12-2) is allowing a mere 11.9 points per game and for those who thought it was all a product of a less-than-stout division schedule, see Eupora and Calhoun City results.

Another 4-2A test is Friday against East Webster for a state title berth.

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Notes from Friday’s quarterfinals

There are five games with seven teams from the Journal’s coverage area remaining in the football playoffs. Four of them host in Friday’s North finals, the winners advancing to the state title games the next week at Ole Miss.

In 1A, Smithville will host Simmons. Smithville’s defense has been stingy. The 13 points Shaw scored in a 14-13 loss to the Noles was the most Smithville has allowed in eight weeks. Simmons scored 75 points Friday on West Lowndes. Something has to give.

In 2A, Baldwyn hosts East Webster. Baldwyn beat Calhoun City 30-16 Friday and allowed only 235 yards to the Wildcats, City’s fewest since Week 1. Baldwyn’s defense has been outstanding and the Bearcats will have a size advantage. EW QB Jack Wilson is dangerous though, another something-has-to-give game. Baldwyn has beaten 4-2A teams Eupora and Calhoun City. East Webster finished second in that division.
Against City, Baldwyn DT Jimmy Tyes had 17 tackles, two TFLs. Sophomore DT Zack Richardson had three TFLs.

In 3A, Aberdeen goes to Charleston. Everyone knew it would come down to these two in the North. They’ve played five playoffs games in eight years. Charleston has won the last three. Jerrick Orr is the X-factor for Aberdeen.

In 5A, Oxford hosts West Point. Oxford has had West Point’s number, winners of four straight in a rivalry that has become very intense. Oxford is aiming at a third straight title game.

In 6A, Starkville hosts Madison Central. MC knocked South Panola out last week, opening the door in 6A. Starkville WR A.J. Brown had one catch Friday against Clinton and Starkville won 45-27. That’s frightening.

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Scores from Friday, Nov. 20

(G) TCPS 58, Starkville Christian 43
(G) Red Bay, Ala. 50, Pontotoc 41
(G) Itawamba AHS 60, Kossuth 31
(G) Myrtle 56, Houlka 55
(G) Corinth 75, Alcorn Central 42
(G) Tishomingo County 59, Saltillo 36
(G) East Union 63, Blue Mountain 47
(G) Belmont 51, Ingomar 45, OT
(G) Pine Grove 57, North Pontotoc 33
(G) New Site 72, Biggersville 25
(G) Amory 80, Okolona 18
(G) Ripley 62, Walnut 49
(G) Booneville 75, Nettleton 40
(G) South Pontotoc 77, Bruce  59
(G) Hatley 65, Thrasher 38
(B) Pine Grove 63, North Pontotoc 53
(B) Thrasher 47, Hatley 43
(B) Blue Mountain 71, East Union 60
(B) Biggersville 63, New Site 60
(B) Nettleton 56, Booneville 53
(B) Myrtle 66, Houlka 46
(B) Okolona 73, Amory 32
(B) TPCS 60 Starkville Christian 56
(B) Bruce 74, South Pontotoc 67
(B) Saltillo 54, Mooreville 48
(B) Ingomar 72, Belmont 56
(B) Corinth 63, Alcorn Central 44
(B) Ripley 59, Walnut 36

Posted in Sports

Super Bowl winner Buckley impressed with McQuary interception record

Terrell Buckely with the Patriots. (AP)

Terrell Buckely with the Patriots. (AP)

Denver McQuary pulls down an interception against Amory. (Deste Lee)

Denver McQuary pulls down an interception against Amory. (Deste Lee)


Houston DB Denver McQuary broke Mississippi’s career interceptions record last week. McQuary picked three passes at Rosa Fort to get to 32, breaking the record of 30 held by four players, including former NFL MVP Steve McNair (Mount Olive) and Super Bowl winner with the Patriots Terrell Buckley (Pascagoula).

I got in touch with Buckely, now a cornerbacks coach at Louisville, who set the record at 30 in 1988.

“Make sure you tell him congratulations,” Buckley said. “Records, that’s what they’re meant to be is broken and that’s impressive. I was very, very excited when I heard the news. Congratulations to him. That’s awesome.”

Buckley was a pick machine in the NFL. He had a pick in 13 consecutive seasons with the Packers, Dolphins, Broncos, Patriots, Jets and Giants. His 50 career picks ranks 35th all time.

McQuary is a Mississippi State baseball commit. Like the double play on the diamond, the interception is one of the game’s most intricate plays.

“Especially for corners, say if you’re in bump and run technique, you have to control the wide receiver, judge his speed, see if he’s running intermediate routes and then finally once you get him under control, to turn, find the ball, judge it, time your step up or whatever you want to do, attack the ball, usually trying catch it at the highest point, snatching it, tucking it because you don’t want to receiver to do it, and maintaining that, I would say yes. That’s a lot of stuff in one play,” Buckley said.

It’s not for the lighthearted either. Good defensive backs will be posted on the opponent’s best receivers. McQuary had a pick-6 that sealed a playoff-opening win at Corinth. Buckley had a pick in the Patriots 2001 AFC title win against Pittsburgh and two weeks later won a Super Bowl ring with New England.

“You better have a short memory,” Buckley said. “It’s tough and if you take a play off, it’s a touchdown. That’s really so much pressure on you. Some other positions, maybe you can take a play off or something or make a mistake. On that island, you can’t do it. Everybody sees. It’s like playing quarterback. Everybody sees it.”

Buckey said a lot of what great corners have is God-given. He tries to teach percentages and angles and work on handles every day, catching at the highest point, hand position, bad balls, etc.

“I think if you’re blessed with it and you practice the right way, it can turn into something beautiful,” Buckley said. “If you’re not blessed with it and you work on it, you can develop some ball skills.”

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