Scores from Thursday, Sept. 11

Softball
Tishomingo County 13, Booneville 3
Amory 8, Hamilton 2
East Webster 18, Houston 3
Hatley 5, New Site 1
Mooreville 8, Itawamba AHS 7
Smithville 11, Houlka 0
South Pontotoc 12, West Union 0
Nettleton 21-17, Kemper County 0-0

Volleyball
Southaven 3, Tupelo 0

Posted in Sports

Video: Starkville QB Davis a perfect fit

@brandonspeck

Memphis commit Brady Davis is off to an unbelievable start and so is Starkville (3-0). No coincidence, the New Hope transfer has been the missing piece to a Starkville team that was already very talented, but in need of passer. Found him. Starkville, the Journal’s and the state’s No. 1 team, is off this week. The Jackets travel to Florence (Ala.) next week.

“I know (the stats) go under my name, but it’s them receivers, man,” Davis said after throwing 411 yards and six touchdowns in Week 2 at Oxford. “They beat the guys off the ball and my offensive line, I don’t even think I got breathed on tonight. They all  make it easy for me and I’m happy I can have numbers like that with them.”

Here is the link from today’s #DJournal, as well as video from my talk with Davis after last week’s win against West Point.

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Posted in Football, Recruiting

Bruce WR Johnson busier on the ground

@brandonspeck

Bruce wide receiver Jay Johnson will sign in February to play the position at Ole Miss. This year for Bruce, he’s been busier on the ground than through the air.

Through three games, Johnson has caught two passes. But he’s carried the ball 30 times for 187 yards and a pair of touchdowns, averaging 6.2 yards per carry.

Posted in Sports

Scores from Tuesday, Sept. 9

Softball
Booneville 10, Belmont 1
Falkner 14, Jumpertown 4
East Union 18, Walnut 1
Ingomar 6, Myrtle 4
Saltillo 11, South Panola 1
East Webster 23, Vardaman 0
Amory 16 , Nettleton 12
Biggersville 20, Wheeler 5
Mantachie 9, Baldwyn 3
Hamilton 12, Smithville 5
South Pontotoc 32, Holly Springs 0
Itawamba AHS 14, Tupelo 6
Mooreville 11-13, Kemper County 1-0

Volleyball
Pontotoc 3, Tishomingo County 1

Posted in Sports

Lighthouse Classic bringing top national hoops event to Corinth

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Vince Overholt talks Lighthouse Tuesday with Corinth Kiwanis. (brandonspeck)

Vince Overholt talks Lighthouse Tuesday with Corinth Kiwanis. (brandonspeck)

@brandonspeck

If people stood stomach-to-back at the entrance of New Albany’s Memorial Gym to see previous Hotbed Classics, they should be climbing the roof or Spiderman-ing the walls of the Corinth gym to get a sneak peak of the second annual Lighthouse Thanksgiving Classic.

The Nov. 28-29 tournament has rocketed to one of the nation’s top prep hoop events, this year’s the biggest tournament in Mississippi, maybe Southeast history.

Organizers Vince Overholt and Gary Caveness again went after great players, then great teams. The sum is a mixture of both.

“I don’t know which is better, Velma Jackson or Callaway, but I’ll tell ya, both are really good and both have marquee players,” Overholt said.

Those are likely the two best teams in Mississippi – and that’s just Mississippi.

There are champions, including six-time defending Georgia champ Miller Grove (5A), scheduled for a Saturday finale showdown with three-time MHSAA 5A champ Callaway and Malik Newman.

Newman is ranked the third best player in America by ESPN, second by others, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound 5-star prospect. He’s the top shooting guard in the country. In six years, Miller Grove has gone 170-27. Junior point guard Alterique Gilbert is ranked Georgia’s second-best prospect by ESPN for the 2016 class and No. 81 junior in the country.

There is local flare, this year all four Alcorn schools playing. Kossuth and Baldwyn both face Mt. Pleasant (Tenn.). Baldwyn has been to four of the last five Class 2A title games. Corinth has been to three of the last four in 4A and is playing two prime games against Bolton (Tenn.) and Lausanne Collegiate (Tenn.). Tupelo and Antonio Green faces Provine and Jerekius Davis.

Lee (Huntsville, Ala.) has a trio of Division I prospects and faces Louisiana’s Madison Prep and ESPN’s No. 38 prospect for 2015, SG Brandon Sampson (6-foot-4, 175).

That just scratches the surface of the 14-game schedule. When Sampson and Newman face off at 8 p.m. Friday, the country’s two best unsigned guards will try and get the best of each other.

“I want people to be able to say … people many not remember the team, but they’ll remember the player when they’re in college or maybe the NBA,” Overholt said. “In five years, I want people saying, ‘I saw Newman play in Corinth.’”

Attendees of last year’s inaugural Classic will have the chance to say that, with White Station’s Leron Black at Illinois and Chris Chiozza at Florida and Moss Point’s Devin Booker already making noise at Kentucky.

Newman’s offers include Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi State, North Carolina State and Ole Miss. Velma shooting guard Quinndary Weatherspoon (6-foot-5, 170) is Mississippi’s second-ranked player, a Mississippi State commit.

“I can’t imagine what it will be like when this all comes about,” Caveness said, “knowing Newman is not committing until at least December and him in that first matchup Friday and Miller Grove Saturday. I can’t imagine what the hype is going to be. Every college on his top five will be there if they’re not playing.”

On Friday, Velma is playing Tennessee’s Haywood County, a team featuring Jordon Varnado, brother of former Mississippi swatter Jarvis. Velma has won back-to-back 3A titles and Haywood went 27-2 last season. On Saturday, Velma plays Southwind, featuring 3-star shooting guard Donte Fitzpatrick, who committed to Ole Miss Tuesday.

Three of Memphis’ best are on the docket: Southwind, Bolton and Lausanne. Bolton boasts 2016 point guard Jaylen Fisher, according to 247Sports the No. 10 junior in the country. Lausanne has Isaac Stokes. The brother of Grizzlies rookie Jarnell is rated by 247 as the country’s No. 3 strong-side defensive end. On the court, he’s Tennessee’s top-rated sophomore and by ESPN the country’s No. 14 sophomore prospect.

Lausanne may also then have Skal Labissiere, a 6-foot-10, 5-star center in the process of transferring from ECS. If Labissiere is approved by the TSSAA, then two of the top four players in the country according to Future150 will be in one gym.

The 2013 crowds were solid, more than 5,500 fans making it the biggest basketball event ever in Northeast Mississippi, but so were the coaches.

“Our best selling thing from year one was the coaches who came in,” Caveness said. “They’re well-known in the nation and especially the Southeast. Apparently we did something right. They really sold this event to other coaches. They’re calling us now.”

Overholt added: “Nothing but positive, of the ones we did not invite back, we had almost all of them calling me saying ‘Can we come back?’ They spread the word to other coaches. Coaches have called out of the blue. They’ve been told, ‘If you only get in two of these deals, this has got to be one of them.’”

THE REAL REASON

“Ultimately it’s all about the Lighthouse Foundation,” said Overholt, Lighthouse president.

Overholt said for the first time in four years, the Christian nonprofit foundation didn’t have to solicit funds with a begging letter. The Classic was the missing revenue the foundation needed, plus a basketball tournament Mississippi needed.

“It’s probably been faster growth than we thought it would be,” Lighthouse executive director Caveness said. “We really thought we could get a lot of great talent here, but I don’t know if we imagined what happened. We really did think there was a niche.”

Lighthouse will go against the Egg Bowl. That game time is yet to be announced. But the 8 p.m. game is announced and there won’t be a better one in America – maybe all year – when Miller Grove and Callaway go at it.

Crowds should be bigger this year, despite the Egg Bowl. Overholt said some may have been hesitant last season, unsure about the new event or maybe unsure about cramming into Corinth’s gym, but it took only one Classic to prove its worth.

Caveness says the key to the tournament’s success is to get a year ahead. That’s where they are now, already planning a bigger 2015, while this one should be a Top 10 national event for the hoops season.

“Once, we had to convince coaches it was a top-notch tournament. Now, they’re begging to come,” Caveness said.

And it’s only year two.

It started as a dream idea to raise money for Lighthouse’s numerous youth programs. Now it’s taken on national legs, given by two AAU guys with a heart for the foundation and a heart for the game.

“I didn’t think I’d ever meet anyone who loved basketball more than me, but he does,” Caveness said. “For him, this is just a dream.”

Recruits

Future 150 Rank

Class of 2015

No. 2 Malik Newman (6’3, 180), 5-star SG, Callaway – Uncommitted

Offers include: Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi State, North Carolina State, Ole Miss

No. 41 Brandon Sampson (6’4, 185), 4-star SG, Madison Prep – Uncommitted

Offers include: California, LSU, Oklahoma State, St. John’s, Texas A&M, UCLA

No. 99 Quinndary Weatherspoon (6’4, 175), 4-star SG, Velma Jackson – Mississippi State commit

Offers include: Mississippi State, Middle Tennessee State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Wake Forest

No. 117 Donte Fitzpatrick (6’5, 180), 3-star SG, Southwind, Ole Miss commit

Offers include: Ole Miss, Alabama, Tennessee

No. 135 Jordon Varnado (6’6, 200) 3-star SF, Haywood County (Tenn.) – Uncommitted

Offers include: Western Kentucky

Class of 2016

No. 21 Jaylen Fisher (6’2, 170), 5-star PG, Bolton – Uncommitted

Offers include: Arkansas, Baylor, Connecticut, Florida, Memphis, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Southern Cal

Class of 2017

No. 25 Isaiah Stokes (6’6, 220), 4-star PF, Lausannae Collegiate – Uncommitted

Local Stars

Kendall Stafford (6’3, 190), G/F Corinth, Class of 2015

Antonio Green (6’2, 165), SG, Tupelo, Class of 2015

Conner McKay (5’11, 155), PG, Baldwyn, Class of 2016

Felix Hayes,(6’1, 170), SG, Baldwyn, Class of 2017

Schedule

Nov. 28

11 a.m. Alcorn Central vs. Middleton (Tenn.)

12:30 p.m. Kossuth vs. Mt. Pleasant (Tenn.)

2 Marshall Academy vs. Shannon

3:30 Haywood (Tenn.) vs. Velma Jackson

5 Bolton (Tenn.) vs. Corinth

6:30 Lee (Huntsville, Ala.) vs. Provine

8 Callaway vs. Madison Prep (La.)

Nov. 29

11 a.m. Adamsville (Tenn.) vs. Biggersville

12:30 p.m. Baldwyn vs. Mt. Pleasant (Tenn.)

2 Provine vs. Tupelo

3:30 Lee (Huntsville, Ala.) vs. Madison Prep (La.)

5 Southwind (Tenn.) vs. Velma Jackson

6:30 Corinth vs. Lausanne Collegiate (Tenn.)

8 Callaway vs. Miller Grove (Ga.)

brandon.speck@journalinc.com

Posted in Basketball, Recruiting

Ole Miss picks up 5-star OL

Ole Miss picked up a huge verbal pledge for the 2015 signing class Tuesday morning when Drew Richmond chose the Rebels over Tennessee.

The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Richmond attends Memphis University School…

More from on-site with @oxfordcitizenjd.

Posted in Football, Recruiting

Time to regroup for 1-2 West Point

@brandonspeck

West Point is 1-2, but the two straight losses have come against South Panola and Starkville. Starkville handed its rival a 34-3 loss Friday. Talked after the game with Green Wave coach Chris Chambless, whose team should get to 2-2 against Columbus. Then it’s Noxubee County and Oxford.

Link to the story in Monday’s #DJournal.

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Posted in Football

Memphis commit Davis would hear SEC out, but …

@brandonspeck

Brady Davis is a Memphis commit, a firm one. But if an SEC school swoops in on the Starkville senior …

“I’m not going to say an SEC school can’t come in and talk to me and I’m not going to be interested in talking,” Davis said Friday after a 34-3 win against West Point, “but it’s going to be hard to pull me away from Memphis. Those guys have really made me feel welcome.

“Y’all are going to see them put up a fight against UCLA. They’re heading in the right direction.”

Davis will be watching closely as Memphis aims for its first 2-0 start since 2004. That will take an upset in Pasadena against No. 11 UCLA. Davis watched the Bruins struggle to beat Virginia last week and says he watched scrappy Memphis over the spring and summer.

“I believe they’ll give them a fight, if not pull it out,” Davis said.

Davis has Memphis fans excited for what could come. He has thrown for 832 yards and 13 touchdowns in a 3-0 start for No. 1 Starkville. One Tigers fan joked Friday night on Twitter: “I hope he doesn’t get so awesome he goes somewhere better lol,” via @MartySullivan10.

Davis is a fan of Memphis coach Justin Fuente’s track record with quarterbacks, namely Andy Dalton while TCU’s offensive coordinator.

Posted in Football, Recruiting

Video: Mitchell, Brown after Starkville romp of West Point

@brandonspeck

No. 1 Starkville is 3-0, a very loud 3-0 after wins against Noxubee County, Oxford and West Point.

Last week at then-No. 1 Oxford, QB Brady Davis threw for 411 yards and six TDs. Three of those scores went to senior WR Raphael Leonard, who had 169 yards.

Last night in an unpredictable rivalry game against West Point, Starkville again dominated. Davis threw for 286 yards on only eight completions, four of them TD passes to junior AJ Brown, who had four catches for 195 yards.

Coach Jamie Mitchell would like to see less feast or famine and more consistency, but he did smile when asked if they could pick and choose the receivers of choice each week.

“I wish I could say we did,” Mitchell said. “What do you do? And they’re both so unselfish. Ralph couldn’t be happier for AJ tonight.”

Brown is a baseball star and pending draft pick, but his speed and elusiveness set the tone against the Green Wave.

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Posted in Football, Recruiting

Four Downs: Week 3

@brandonspeck

1. My gosh, Starkville.

The Yellow Jackets have beaten Noxubee County, Oxford and West Point, all with seeming ease. Looks like New Hope QB transfer Brady Davis was the missing piece. Has thrown 13 TDs in three games and has an unreal offense, great line and great defense when he’s not out there. Tonight in a 34-3 beating of rival West Point, he threw for 238 yards, 195 and four TDs to junior AJ Brown. Last week, it was Raphael Leonard with the numbers, now Brown. And there are even more options. Jackets have sights set on 6A title and the train is headed there with force.

2. Game of the Night

Another A-Game, another classic. Aberdeen won its sixth straight, but it took stopping the Panthers on a final drive that could have tied it. Still one of the most underrated rivalries in the state.  Aberdeen is legit in 3A and Amory, they’re headed back.

3. Upset of the Night

Belongs to Houston. Toppers may have gotten the win they needed – 44-6 against Okolona – to get the ship righted again. There is talent there. This may propel it. Okolona is for real. A win that big against the Chieftains is impressive.

4. When will Saltillo get its respect?

Tigers are 3-0 after a clutch win, 22-7 at Itawamba AHS. They go to Tupelo Friday. It’s a game Tupelo should be favored in, but win or lose, Saltillo is good. Learn to like it.

Posted in Football

Week 3 Scores

Thursday

Ripley 64, Falkner 13

Friday

Aberdeen 36, Amory 28

Baldwyn 30, Mooreville 14

Belmont 35, Tishomingo County 21

Benton County 54, Biggersville 0

Caledonia 46, Smithville 13

Calhoun Aca. 42, North Sunflower 12

Calhoun City 28, Water Valley 7

Coffeeville 36, Bruce 13

Corinth 45, Lewisburg 27

East Webster 28, Nettleton 7

Hamilton 25, Hatley 19

Houston 44, Okolona 6

Kossuth 44, New Site 16

Lafayette 3, Desoto Central 0

Mantachie 19, South Pontotoc 16

Marshall Aca. 55, Tunica Aca. 6

North Pontotoc 45, Choctaw County 42

Northpoint Christian 38, Holly Springs 26

Noxapater 47, Vardaman 7

Oxford 50, East Side 15

Pontotoc 16, New Albany 14

Potts Camp 21, East Union 20, OT

Saltillo 22, Itawamba AHS 7

Starkville 34, West Point 3

Starkville Aca. 24, Washington School 0

Tri-County Aca. 20, Oak Hill Aca. 7

Tupelo 38, Shannon 8

TCPS 28, Macon Road Baptist, Tenn. 14

Walnut 44, Alcorn Central 6

Coahoma County at Houlka

Coldwater at HW Byers

–––––

AROUND THE STATE

Thursday

East Marion 14, West Marion 6

Friday

Amite School 27, Baton Rouge CHEF, La. 14

Bassfield 44, Prentiss 16

Bay Springs 49, Pelahatchie 6

Bay St. Louis 17, West Harrison County 7

Bowling Green, La. 13, Wilkinson County Christian Aca. 12

Brandon 21, Clinton 7

Briarfield, La. 72, Strider Aca. 18

Canton 46, Holmes County Central 39

Cathedral 52, Bogue Chitto 17

Centreville Aca. 56, Adams Christian 44

Clinton Christian Aca. 38, Mt. Salus 6

Enterprise Clarke 28, Stringer 7

Eupora 25, Winona 14

Florence 73, McLaurin 32

Forest Hill 13, Wingfield 10

Franklin Aca. 28, Tensas Aca., La. 12

Franklinton, La. 20, Tylertown 12

George County 45, South Jones 7

Germantown 21, Mendenhall 8

Hancock 41, East Central 21

Harrison Central 38, Collins 24

Hartfield Aca. 37, Central Hinds Aca. 31

Heidelberg Aca. 33, Central Holmes 12

Heritage Aca. 44, Winston Aca. 14

Hernando 46, North Panola 42

Humphreys 8, Shaw 6

ICCE 45, Carroll Aca. 0

Indianola Aca. 34, Bayou Aca. 14

Jackson Prep 38, Forest 2

Kemper Aca. 40, Humphreys Aca. 6

Kosciusko 30, Newton County 7

Lamar School 7, East Rankin Aca. 0

Laurel 42, Northeast Jones 0

Leake Aca. 33, Manchester Aca. 30

Madison Central 33, West Monroe, La. 14

Mize 25, Raleigh 14

Morton 40, Magee 35

Murrah 41, Jackson Jim Hill 0

Nanih Waiya 28, Lake 22

New Hope 35, Columbus 24

North Pike 28, Brookhaven 27

Northwest Rankin 42, Pearl 21

Noxubee County 49, Louisville 14

Oak Forest, La. 38, Presbyterian Christian 14

Ocean Springs 14, Moss Point 0

Olive Branch 26, Charleston 16

Pascagoula 34, Greene County 14

Petal 31, West Jones 0

Picayune 19, D’Iberville 10

Pillow Aca. 48, Clarksdale Lee Aca. 0

Poplarville 48, Long Beach 10

Prattville, Ala. 43, Gulfport 23

Prentiss Christian 21, Brookhaven Aca. 20

Provine 8, Callaway 7, OT

Puckett 33, Enterprise Lincoln 8

Purvis 21, Sumrall 14, OT

Rebul Aca. 28, Calvary Christian 14

Sacred Heart 34, Park Place Christian Aca. 14

Senatobia 28, Independence 8

Sharkey-Issaquena Aca. 36, Hebron Christian 0

Silliman, La. 20, Parklane Aca. 6

Simpson Aca. 20, Canton Aca. 0

South Panola 42, Meridian 13

Southaven 38, CBHS, Tenn. 12

Southeast Lauderdale 34, Northeast Lauderdale 7

Springfield, La. 33, Loyd Star 12

St. Aloysius 31, St. Joseph-Madison 7

St. Andrew’s 14, Pisgah 6

St. Martin 35, Vancleave 0

St. Patrick 21, Pope John Paul II, La. 6

Stone County 28, Forrest Co. AHS 14

Strayhorn 14, North Delta 6

Sylva-Bay Aca. 21, Benton Academy 7

Taylorsville 14, Madison-Ridgeland Aca. 6

Terry 16, Ridgeland 13

Varnado, La. 36, Dexter 6

Warren Central 42, Vicksburg 0

Wayne County 46, Quitman 0

West Lincoln 20, Cedar Ridge, Ark. 6

Winona Christian 52, Kirk Aca. 25

Posted in Football

Davis, Smith among MaxPreps Stat Stars

Starkville QB Brady Davis and Nettleton QB Jordan Smith have big tasks tonight if they are to top last week’s performances.

Thanks to their inflated stat sheets in Week 2, both made MaxPreps’ Stat Stars. Two Journal coverage area guys among the 26 listed from across the country.

Davis, in a win against then No. 1 Oxford, threw for 411 yards and 6 TDs on 21-of-32 passing. The new No. 1 large school Jackets are hosting West Point.

Smith went 27-of-42 for 436 and 6 TDs in a 47-27 win at Mooreville. The Tigers host East Webster.

Posted in Football

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