By Rion Young
MS High School Sports Page
JACKSON — “There’s no recruiting we just raise em. And that’s just what it is!”
Chief Cyrus Ben was very pumped after he had members on four different teams participate in a championship this weekend. Three of those teams won the gold ball.
The Chief set things straight after Neshoba Central’s victory over Columbus. After Choctaw Central’s victory over Tishomingo County Thursday night there were a few posts and comments over on Facebook saying NC & CC recruit. If you are familiar with the Philadelphia area then you know that isn’t true.
The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians have proven over twenty plus years they are champions. Choctaw Central won their 8th championship Thursday night. The first one came 26 years ago in 1996.
This isn’t anything new to them.
All over MS High School Sports Page this week there has been a lot of trash talk for the Choctaw Community. There has been so many claiming that what these girls are doing is hype. Let me be one of the first to tell you it is not. They raise these girls from the ages of three and up. These girls have mothers, older sisters, aunts and cousins who have raised the gold ball before.
“I’m so happy for Neshoba. They are my cousins and friends. I can’t wait to see them play,” said Malaka Morris, player of the game for the 4A Lady state Champs, Choctaw Central.
Choctaw Central played a very tight game Wednesday against Tishomingo County. The Lady Braves were playing to win and shooting the ball very well.
Tishomingo County called a timeout after Choctaw Central went on a 7-0 run with 4:38 left in 3rd qtr. The Lady Warriors were in the lead 38-26. The MBCI community were loud. A fan from Choctaw Central had came over to the Tishomingo Co side and did his dance. Welp, immediately after a Lady Brave fan went to the Choctaw side and did his dance. It was a great time at the Big House. The game was getting interesting.
By the end of the 3rd the Lady Warriors took off again and they were in the lead 46-33.
With 1:12 left in the game Ansley Ray hit a three for the Lady Braves and brought the game to within four, 53-49.
However the Lady Warriors were victorious with the help of Malaka Morris. They were playing tight defense and sinking tough layups. She had 20 points in their victory.
Chief was excited and told me the job wasn’t finished. A quote that was cliché this weekend. I guess a lot of these schools were in a Mamba Mentality this weekend.
Friday night was upon us and it was time for the MBCI to load up and hit the road again. Just as the night before the Neshoba Central Rockets were hanging banners sponsored by MBCI just like Choctaw Central did. Their local community fan base showed up in amazing numbers.
Neshoba Central Lady Rockets vs Columbus Lady Falcons. I knew we were in for a good one. It was easy to be fans of the Lady Rockeys. With that being said, a lot of fans across the state were pulling for them. Some even saw it as an easy victory. Not me. I have seen the Lady Falcons on several occasions. Our first game covering after football season was a New Hope vs Columbus game. Boys and girls. I saw Columbus play Starkville. I already knew what they had in store for the Lady Rockets.
At the end of the first quarter the score was 10-9. A very tight game. The size of the Lady Falcons were helping them stop the run and shoot offense of the Lady Rockets. Nobody expected this to be a low scoring game. Especially so low in the first quarter.
“I’m glad our girls were able to show they aren’t just a high scoring act,” said Coach Broom in reference to comments over social media last week.
The Lady Falcons would gain the lead early in the first, but with 5:57 left in the first half the Lady Rockets would regain the lead with the score being 14-13.
By halftime the score was 21-20 Neshoba. My thoughts were proving me right. The Lady Falcons came out to play. Rieves and the Lady Falcons did not want to end the year without taking home the gold ball.
At the end of 3 the score was 40-32. The Lady Rockets were holding on to a tight lead and getting after it on defense. They weren’t letting the length of the Lady Falcons get to them.
With about 5:30 to play in the 4th quarter the score was 43-40. Neshoba was making an inbound pass and a foul was called. The fans of C-Town (Columbus) were very upset. They felt it was a questionable call and the refs could have let them play. It wasn’t the best inbound pass and some fans felt each player had a chance to catch the ball.
The final score was 49-41 and the Lady Rockets were bringing the gold ball back to Philly.
“You can love the game, but you also have to put the work in it. That’s exactly what these girls do who won it last night and today. They say great things come in pair. Well we’re fixing to take two gold balls back to Neshoba County!”
Chief is very proud of his girls and he should be. They handled business this weekend in a respectable fashion!