Bill Smith will be coaching basketball this week at the East Central Community College's Brackeen-Wood gym, but he'll have a different group of Lady Warriors playing for him.

The longtime ECCC women's basketball coach will be leading his current team, the Choctaw Central Lady Warriors, into the annual ECCC high basketball tournament.

"It's a big local tournament," Smith said. "The best teams will be there. We haven't had that many games and it will give us a chance to see what we have."

Smith admitted it was going to be a little different returning to the gym and playing in the tournament he helped put in for so many years.

"I spent a lot of good years there," Smith said. "But now we are going to try and win the tournament."

The action tipped off with a full slate of games on Monday and Tuesday. Also Participating in the double-elimination event are squads from Louisville, Newton, Forest, Morton, Scott Central, Southeast Lauderdale, Lake, Newton County, West Lauderdale and Northeast Lauderdale.

Choctaw Central is the No. 3 seed in the girls bracket and was to play the winner between Newton County and Lake on Tuesday night. The winner will advance to the semifinals at 4 p.m. Friday.

Southeast Lauderdale is the No. 1 seed in the girls bracket. Perhaps we'll see the first game of maybe six meetings between the Lady Warriors and Lady Tigers of this season.

"We'll see," Smith said. "But all we can worry about is getting to the finals."

The Choctaw Central boys were to play Newton County on Monday with the winner advancing to play West Lauderdale on Tuesday.

Girls' and boys' champions will be crowned Saturday, Dec. 1 following finals at 7 and 8:30 p.m.

Neshoba Central

The Neshoba Central girls recorded a 53-51 overtime victory over Tupelo on the Monday before Thanksgiving.

Katlyn Duke hit four clutch free throws in overtime to claim the victory.

"This was really a big road win of us," coach Fred Morris said. "Tupelo jumped out to a big lead but we played our way back into the game. I was really proud of the way we played."

Neshoba Central trailed 16-7 after the first quarter. The Lady Rockets came back to outscore Tupelo 17-12 in the second quarter and trailed 28-24 at the break. The score was tied at 46-46 when regulation ended. The Lady Rockets outscored Tupelo 7-5 in the overtime period and improved their record to 5-1.

Breona Foster led the Lady Rockets with 18 points while Duke added 14.

The Neshoba Central boys dropped a 64-52 decision to the Gold Wave. Tupelo took control of a close game during the third quarter and held on for the win. Chayton York led Neshoba Central with 12 points and T.J. Ben added nine points.

Neshoba Central was to host Kosciusko Tuesday in their only game this week.


The Tornado basketball teams return to action after taking the holiday weekend off. Philadelphia was to visit Germantown Monday, and then will play in the Sebastopol tournament on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Leake Academy

The Leake Academy basketball teams have four games slated this week.

Leake Academy was to host Lamar on Monday, play an away and home pair of games with Carroll Academy, respectively, and then host Heidelberg Academy on Saturday.

Last week, Leake Academy split a pair of games with Columbia Academy. The Rebelettes beat Columbia 64-53 while the Rebels lost 74-69.


The Yellowjackets were to visit Leake Central in their only games of the week.