The lights have been turned out at the "Big House" and the time has come to close the book on the 2010-2011 high school hoop season. But before we close the book completely we want to look back with a few observations of the eight day run that was the MHSAA state Tournament.
Our first order of business is always to give the state championship teams their due. This year's state champions were:
6A Boys: Meridian 6A Girls: Northwest Rankin
5A Boys: Wayne County 5A Girls: Jackson Lanier
4A Boys: St. Stanislaus 4A Girls: New Albany
3A Boys: Booneville 3A Girls: Ripley
2A Boys: Piney Woods 2A Girls: Scott Central
1A Boys: Durant 1A Girls: H.W. Byers
It seems to be a general consensus that the MHSAA shut down the Grand Slam a year too early. One of the pitfalls for the previous Grand Slams had been the appearance of apathy from many of the schools and coaches after they had won their gold ball, but this year had at least four teams that would have felt that they had a honest chance of winning the overall title which would have made for a exciting event.
Best Fans Award: Booneville
This year was one of the best attended state tournaments in the last few years and a number of teams really bought out the fans, but our award goes to the Booneville fans who really turned out and gave their team a true sixth man in the building not once but twice. It seemed as if the whole town of Booneville was in the coliseum and man did they let you know they were there.
Best Dressed Coach Award: Milton Ray - Forest Hill
With no Wayne Brent nor Seber Windham in the house, this year was not particularly the flashiest year for coach's attire but we have to give due to Coach Ray. While in his first year at Forest Hill, Ray is no newcomer to the state tournament and Coach Ray dressed the part of a veteran in a dapper beige suit that gets our nod.
Best Game of the Tournament Award: Rosa Fort vs. Pass Christian
This tournament had lots of exciting moments and quite a few hard fought games but there were only a couple of games that we can say really went to the wire, and with that criteria in mind there is no doubt in my mind that the best game of the tournament was the Rosa Fort-Pass Christian game which was a fast paced contest that had a number of lead changes, multiple momentum changes and was decided at the buzzer on a last second tip in.
Play of the Tournament: Game winning tip in Rosa Fort-Pass Christian game
It's only fitting that the play of the tournament is the game winning play in the game of the tournament. Somehow Rosa Fort let Stanley Magee, Pass Christian's best player, get his hands on the ball in the open court and then Magee made not one but two game winning plays, first he pushed the ball up court and found an open teammate coming down the baseline and hit him with a perfect pass for what should have been the game winning lay-up and then when his teammate missed the layup he was there to tip in the miss just before the buzzer sounded for the game winning points.
Dunk of the Tournament:Davon Hayes of St. Stanislaus against New Albany.
By now many of you have seen a picture of this dunk on the internet but rest assured looking at the picture does nothing for you like being in the house when it happened. Hopefully the New Albany player who Hayes jumped through and over isn't traumatized for life behind this play. OUCH!!!
Lead Tornado, Put two big games back to back for 2A champs.
Stanley Magee - Pass Christian
Big finish willed Pass into the state championship game and did all he could in a runner-up finish.
This pretty much puts a wrap on the high school hoop season with the only thing left being the Mississippi-Alabama All-star game. Here are this year's rosters for the game to be played March 18th at the Pelham Civic Center in Pelham, Alabama.