Something will have to give Friday night in Vimville.
Southeast Lauderdale enters its second straight county rivalry contest with a two-game winning streak in the series. West Lauderdale, meanwhile, enters with Stan McCain back at the helm and during his first stint in Collinsville, McCain never lost against the Tigers.
“That’s right,” McCain said as West looks for its first win of the season and to extend its series lead against Southeast to 29-22-1. “But there was a different set of circumstances. When we got to West that first time, they had the upper hand for quite some time. We tried to make it important to beat our county rivals. And it still is.
“It’s real important. We have to get back to where we can compete with these county teams. Our kids all know each other and there are some bragging rights that go along with it.”
Southeast enters at 1-2 following consecutive losses to Newton County and Northeast Lauderdale. The Tigers are also wanting to push the series win streak to three games for the first time since winning five straight from 1993 through 1997. Those were also the last wins for the Tigers until the breakthrough in 2010.
In between was McCain’s 11-year run at West and the 2009 game where West hammered the Tigers 39-7.
“It’s not district, but it’s a huge game,” Southeast coach Charles Black said. “Within the county, these kids know each other. Like last week with Northeast, a bunch of the kids are related. And my son (Southeast quarterback Andrew) played youth baseball with a bunch of the West guys.”
And while both teams want to gain the upper hand in the rivalry, both are more concerned with making progress towards this season’s goals of playoff berths.
“We’re still in a few positions, still trying to put guys in the right sports so we can be competitive,” Black said. “We’re going to have to play better and can’t keep shooting ourself in the foot.
“We have to play physical with them.”
The Knights, meanwhile, have played plenty physical, especially on the defensive side. They are just trying to find a way to score, after totaling just 14 points in the first three weeks, including consecutive shutouts.
“We have got to get someone to put it in the end zone,” McCain said. “We outgained Philadelphia and our defense played really well. We gave up a short field touchdown and a pick-6.
“It’s important we find a way to score.”
And while they are at it, to continue their success in the county.
Something will have to give Friday night in Vimville.
- (PHOTOS) Newton County Class 4A State Championship Slideshow from games one and two of the MHSAA Class 4A State Championship.
Not done yet
After being shutout less than 24 hours earlier, the Newton County Cougars used a 10-inning affair to force a Game 3 in the Class 4A championship series, topping Lewisburg, 2-1, in Game 2 at Trustmark Park.
Hollins focused on Spurs, not his contract
Lionel Hollins has been more successful than any Grizzlies coach and will be a free agent after June 30.
He has the Grizzlies in the Western Conference finals for the first time and has won more games with this team than any other coach.
Slive focused on future after big changes
Mike Slive sprawls in a comfy arm chair, propping his feet on a coffee table between one massive tome on Winston Churchill and an even thicker "Encyclopedia of Southern Culture."
He's relaxed and feeling awfully good about the state of the Southeastern Conference.
It's a rare moment of calm for the SEC's cerebral commissioner, but he can afford it since his "A pile" of things to do has gotten considerably slimmer over the past two years.
’Bama bounces Ole Miss from SEC Tourney
For the second day in a row, the Rebels went into extra-innings but were unable to emerge with the victory as No. 21 Ole Miss (37-22) fell to Alabama (34-25) 7-5 in 10 innings at the SEC Tournament on Thursday.
With the loss, the Rebels were eliminated from the SEC Tournament and will now await NCAA Tournament selection announcements at 11 a.m. on Monday. The selection of the NCAA Tournament field will be televised by ESPNU.
Tanner Bailey (4-2) suffered the loss for the Rebels, allowing two runs on one hit with two walks in 2.1 innings of work.
Roy shows big-league talent in win
Every youth leaguer dreams of being a Major League Baseball player. In Tuesday's Cardinals-Mets game, 8-year-old Trace Roy swung the bat and flashed some leather that looked like a glimpse into the future.
Cougars fall in Game 1
A sixth inning rally by Lewisburg handed the Newton County Cougars their first lost of the postseason, 2-0, in Game 1 of the Class 4A baseball championship at Trustmark Park.
Bulldogs win again, beat S. Carolina in SEC Tournament
Demarcus Henderson and Wes Rea both had RBI singles in the ninth inning to lift Mississippi State to a 5-3 win over South Carolina Wednesday night in the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
The Bulldogs (42-16) loaded the bases with one out before Henderson and Rea drove in runs on consecutive at-bats for the second time in the game.
Mississippi State had beaten Missouri 2-1 in 17 innings Tuesday night, matching the longest game in SEC tournament history.
Reliever Myles Gentry (4-0) limited the Gamecocks (39-17) to a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth.
Gentry pitched 5-2/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits while striking out eight.
Rea was 3 for 4 while Henderson drove in three runs.
Mississippi State led 3-0 before South Carolina tied it up in the fourth.
Max Schrock drew a bases loaded walk and Brison Celek followed with a two-run single.
Hogs top Ole Miss in SEC Tournament
For the second time this season the Rebels played an extra-inning affair with the Razorbacks, but with a different outcome as No. 21 Ole Miss (37-21) fell to No. 15 Arkansas (36-19) 2-1 in 10 innings on Wednesday.
Fundamentals leading Newton County to Jackson
In 2006, Newton County baseball won the 3A state title. Since then, they've moved up a class but haven't had much luck – until now.
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