By CHUCK HATHCOCK
With postseason play less than a month away for both the Grenada High School and Kirk Academy basketball teams, the emphasis for all for teams will be improving seeding for their respective tournaments.
Over at Kirk, the Raiderettes and Raiders host familiar division foe Indianola. On the girls’ side, Kirk has lost twice to the Lady Colonels. They dropped a 51-46 decision at Indianola after leading by as many as 17 points. Last weekend, Kirk was on the short end of a 38-31 decision to IA in the finals of the Kirk Invitational.
“We have been bothered by their pressure on defense,” Kirk Coach Amy Carroll Hudspeth said. “It has forced us to be impatient with our offense. We have put up shots too quick.”
The winner of the game will have a leg up on the top seed in the District Tournament, which will be held at Indianola in early February.
“No question, this is a big game,” Hudspeth said. “We want to win the regular season championship. and this is one step toward hat. There are still some big games left with North Delta, Carroll, and Marshall.”
Spencer Segrest’s Raiders lost to Indianola 45-34 back in December. The first-year head coach knows one of the biggest things to improve will be offensive production.
“Anytime you hold someone to 45 points, you are supposed to win,” Segrest said. “We struggled to score against their zone. They are going to press, and then get back in a zone. We are going to have to be able to make shots.”
Kirk, 6-12, 1-3 still has district games left with Carroll, Marshall, and North Delta in addition to tonight’s home game with the Colonels.
“This is an important game to improve our seeding for the tournament,” Segrest said. “You want to stay out of the 4-5 game to avoid Marshall in the semifinals.”
Following tonight’s game, the Raiders and Raiderettes will travel to Holly Springs Tuesday to face Marshall Academy.
The Grenada Chargers will be looking to get to the .500 mark tonight when they host Class 6A member Brandon.
Grenada, 8-9, lost a 56-49 decision to the Bulldogs back in December at the Hattiesburg Invitational Tournament.
“That earlier game was one that we felt like we had chances to win,” Coach Jaworski Rankin said. “There were several opportunities throughout the game, and we didn’t take advantage of them.”
Brandon brings a 13-9 record into Friday’s contest following a 54-45 win over Forest Hill Friday night.
Rankin expects to send the same starting lineup to the floor that he used in the win over Tupelo. That means Tyrin Jones and Trevion White will both be coming off the bench once again.
In the girls’ game, GHS, 2-11, faces a Brandon team that stands 18-4 following a win over Forest Hill earlier this week.
The Chargers and Lady Chargers will follow tonight’s home contest with a home game against Class 1A foe Coffeeville Saturday night. Junior varsity action begins at 4 p.m.
Grenada still has region games at South Panola and Tupelo. There is one region contest remaining at home against South Panola.
The Region 2-6A Tournament will take place the week of Feb. 11 at Batesville.