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|NFFHF banquet Thursday|
Scattershooting while wondering why the best sleep of the night is minutes before you wake up:
There is no way LSU would be close to the basketball team it is now under John Brady.
The Mississippi State game in Starkville, Ole Miss game in Baton Rouge and Arkansas game in Fayetteville are prime examples.
LSU defeated State in double overtime despite losing Bo Spencer to an injury and Chris Johnson, Terry Martin and Storm Warren to fouls.
LSU played terrible against Ole Miss for the most part, trailing in the second half before rallying for the win.
Against Arkansas, the Tigers were down 18 in the first half.
Brady would have had his head down in all three games and stopped coaching.
Trent Johnson has the guys believing in themselves, able to regain their poise when they lose out, and having fun. The Tigers really got the cream of the crop with this guy.
• Speaking of Brady, Joe Pasternack III, whose family moved from Ferriday to New Orleans when he was very young, got a win over the former LSU coach Thursday as the University of New Orleans defeated Arkansas State 73-63 on Senior Night in the Lakefront Arena.
Arkansas State played at Louisiana-Lafayette the week before. In both instances, Brady had his press people inform the media he would not be talking about LSU after the game. ASU plays at Louisiana-Monroe on Feb. 28. I bet the same memo goes out again.
UNO is competing for a No. 7 or No. 8 seed Pasternack is in his second year as head coach of the Privateers after serving as an assistant coach at California.
• Kind of strange to get a Southern Mississippi baseball media guide and not have someone from Vidalia in it. Josh Hoffpauir was followed by Jarrett Hoffpauir who was followed by Barry Bowden. Josh is now an assistant coach at Pearl River Community College, Jarrett is looking to make the St. Louis Cardinals major league team and Barry is in the Kansas City Royals organization.
By the way, Josh still holds the team record for stolen bases in a game with six in 2000, Jarrett holds the record for most hits in a season with 109 and RBIs with 92 in 2004, while Barry ranks seventh all-time among pitchers with best ERA at 2.12 in 2008 and is second all-time in starts with 52.
• If players get left out of the Hall of Fame because of steroids, gambling or other violations, should their managers be banned if they knew about it?
• There just had to be a better way to handle the Deuce McAllister exit. The guy just has way too much class and has done so much for the Saints than to just show him the door. Hopefully they will bring him back as a coach or advisor somewhere down the road. That is if he doesn't have Frank Melton's job by then.
• I saw where the average age for Auburn's assistant coaches is 42. That got my curiosity up and I had to check out LSU's staff. The answer to that is 45. John Chavis is the oldest at 52, just nipping 51-year old Gary Crowton. The youngest is Larry Porter, the running backs coach who is in his third year at LSU. Porter was actually born in Jackson, Miss., and went to school at Memphis. Only one assistant has already celebrated a birthday - 47-year-old Ron Cooper on Feb. 11. Incidentally, head coach Les Miles was born Nov. 10, 1953, which makes him 55.
• The Louisiana High School Athletic Association's Ladies Top 28 basketball tournament will be held at two sites this year because of a possible conflict with the University of Louisiana-Monroe's men's and women's basketball teams and the Sunbelt Conference tournament.
Games scheduled for Wednesday, March 4, will be played at Thomas Assembly Center at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston.
All other games will be played as previously scheduled at Fant-Ewing Coliseum at ULM.
Wow, don't you wish ULM and Tech could work together like that when it comes to schedule college contests - especially against each other.
• Love him or hate him, Lane Kiffin is going to make an already interesting 2009 SEC season even more interesting.
Things are sure to get even rockier on Rocky Top every time the new Vol coach opens his mouth. Look for ol' Lane to be a youtube regular this fall.
Vidalia High and Ferriday High boys basketball teams begin playoffs Friday as the Vikings host Jena, while Ferriday will travel to Lakeside for a first-round playoff contest.
Vidalia, which was rated No. 1 in power ratings in Class 3A according to kenramsey.com last week, slipped to No. 2 behind Plaquemine.
Jena is rated No. 31.
"It's time for us to get re-focused," said Vidalia coach Robert Sanders. "It's a new season. One game and it can all be over."
Vidalia was seeded No. 9 last year, but lost to Winnfield by one point in the first round.
"That is certainly in the back of our players' minds," Sanders said.
Ferriday is rated at No. 27 in Class 2A, while Lakeside is No. 6.
Ferriday lost to St. Thomas Aquinas in the Class 2A state finals last year, but lost several seniors from that squad.
Ferriday is 12-16 on the season after going 6-2 in District 2-2A.
The Trojans defeated Sicily Island by three points Friday and beat Winnsboro in Winnsboro by three points Tuesday in games added to get ready for the playoffs.
"I think the game at Winnsboro really helped us because we have not played well on the road," said Trojan coach Glen Henderson. "It's a new season and I told the guys everybody is 0-0. There is no pressure on us. We have a couple of seniors who know about playing in this kind of atmosphere."
Vidalia defeated Buckeye Friday in its final regular season game at Deville.
Buckeye attempted to take the air out of the ball, which worked for one quarter before the Vikings decided to take the ball out of their hands.
Vidalia picked up its defensive intensity in the second quarter after leading only 13-6 at the end of the first quarter and outscored the Panthers 29-11 on its way to an 88-29 win in its final regular season game of the year.
"We knew they were down because they had some players quit," Sanders said. "But they like to hold the ball and in a low-scoring game anything can happen. Our players were determined not to lose this one."
Vidalia outscored Buckeye 29-6 in the third period and 18-6 in the final quarter.
Quartrell Thomas led the Viings with 20 points, while Torrey Dixon added 19. Jacob McGraw chipped in 12, while Louis Whitley and Gary Stewart added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Vidalia's only loss coming to Sicily Island on Dec. 3.
"It might have been a good thing because there was not that pressure of staying undefeated," Sanders said.
It was a first half Ferriday High girls coach Lisa Abron would like to forget Monday night at Ferriday's gym. Fortunately, the second half was much better to watch as the Lady Trojans slipped past Westminster Christian 64-63 in a Class 2A second round playoff contest.
The No. 4-seeded Lady Trojans missed wide-open shots under the goal, threw the ball away and let a defensive rebound bounce under Westminster Christian's goal before a Lady Crusader guard ran under the goal, grabbed the ball and put in a layup.
As a matter of fact, Westminster's final goal of the first half came after a missed free throw when a Lady Crusader grabbed the ball and put it back in at the buzzer to give the visitors a 29-19 advantage.
But as bad as Ferriday played in the first half, the Lady Trojans did enough in the second half and in overtime to survive a tough second-round matchup.
Northwestern State signee Jasmine Upchurch, after a sluggish first half, sank two free throws with 20 seconds remaining to give the Lady Trojans a 64-60 lead and Ferriday would hold on for the win.
"I don't know if it was just the nervousness or pressure," Abron said. "The girls were not listening to anything I said during the breaks. We have got to learn to play under pressure at this level and all come together. We have got to do a better job of keeping our composure."
Ferriday will now travel to Oakdale for a quarterfinal contest Thursday.
Oakdale upset Evangel on Monday. If Evangel had won, Ferriday would have hosted the quarterfinal contest.
"Oakdale has a 6-4 girl who we will have to defend and a real quick guard," Abron said. "We certainly have a lot of work to do before playing them."
Westminster used the 3-point shooting of Abby Olivier to keep the pressure on the Lady Trojans in the first half.
"She is a really good shooter," Abron said. "Luckily in the second half, the shots weren't falling for her as much."
The Opelousas team led 14-12 after one period and had four 3-pointers in the second quarter.
Atasia Banks picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter and was forced to the bench.
"Atasia usually comes off the bench and we'll do that for the next game," Abron said. "She does a better if she sees what's going on before going in."
Only a 3-pointer by Jasmine Butler kept Ferriday from trailing by more than 10 at halftime.
Ferriday scored the first five points of the third period before the Lady Crusaders extended the lead back to double figures.
Ferriday used the inside game of Upchurch and point guard Chanta Poole's quick drives to the basket to take a 42-21 lead going into the final period.
Westminster tied the game at 55-55 with seconds remaining and Upchurch's final shot was off the mark to send the game into overtime.
"The girls got down to business and we made free throws in the second half," Abron said.
Upchurch led the Lady Trojans with 26 points, while Butler added 17 and Poole 12.
Oliver and Jasmine King each had 24 for Westminster.
The winner of Thursday's game between Ferriday and Oakdale will advance to the Ladies Top 28 Tournament which will be held in Monroe and Ruston.
If Ferriday wins, the Lady Trojans will likely face No. 1 John Curtis in the semifinals. The Lady Patriots face Donaldsonville.
The 28th Annual Miss-Lou Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame banquet will be held Thursday, at the Natchez Eola Hotel at 7 p.m..
The banquet is held each year to present scholarships to seven area scholar-athletes. Seven junior high scholar-athletes will be recognized.
Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt will be the featured speaker.
Representing Concordia Parish will be Jake Martin of Vidalia High, Levier Pryor of Ferriday High and Drew Loomis of Huntington.
Others being honored are T.J. Johnson of Adams County Christian School, Harrison Burns of Cathedral, Jackson Bryant of Trinity and Melvin Davis of Natchez High.
Robert "Bob" Barrett will receive the Contributor to Amateur Football Award, while Floyd Eppinette will be honored with the Distinguised American Award.
Pryor, the son of Gail Pryor, played linebacker at Ferriday and has a 3.57 GPA.
Loomis, the son of Johnny and Rami Loomis, played defensive back at Huntington. He has a 3.83 GPA and made a 19 on ACT.
Martin, the son of Joey and Kathy Martin, played center at Vidalia High where he has a 3.41 grade point average and scored a 21 on his ACT.
Junior high athletes being recognized are Garrett Rehms of Vidalia, Jarvis D. Brooks of Ferriday, Dalton Corbett of Huntington, Dakota Vaughan of Cathedral, Kevin Campbell of ACCS, Caleb Upton of Trinity.
Barrett coached 12 years in all sports after playing football and running track at Delta State.
Eppinette was a three-sport letterman at Natchez high.
Nutt turned around Ole Miss program's in just a year after a stint at Arkansas, leading the Rebels to five straight wins and a 9-4 record. Ole Miss upset Texas Tech, 47-24.
|Frank Morris Murder Series|