Team - Saltillo, Current Record: 0-10 (Current Region Record: 0-1), Head Coach: Cassie Farris
The Lowdown: This team averages 22 points per game. To put that in comparison, Jarkel Joiner is scoring close to 30 a game. This is not a very good team in comparison to last year. They don't even have a roster listed on Maxpreps because they haven't won a game. This team should go two and done in the region tournament and be the team excluded from the playoffs.
Team - New Hope, Current Record: 4-9, Head Coach: Chad Brown
The Lowdown: One of two teams with a new first-year head coach in the region. Their record will not indicate how much they've improved from last year. I personally think their new head coach Chad Brown is a big reason. The players have been there for the Lady Trojans, but their coaching prohibited them from claiming a Gold Ball a couple years ago. They aren't talented this year, but they are heading in the right direction. Because of how bad Saltillo has been this year, they will get some playoff taste this year. They have been somewhat competitive in every game this season.
Team - West Point, Current Record: 11-3 (Current Region Record: 1-0), Head Coach: Dashmon Daneil
The Lowdown: A team that has steadily improved in each of the past two years. This is the team that threatens to push Oxford off the region title. After this coming Friday night, West Point must travel to Oxford likely twice in front of their home crowd (as the region tournament is at Oxford this year) to claim the title. Their losses have been to Starkville and Tupelo. This team has also split a pair with Neshoba Central. Their biggest win is over a recent 5A Champion in Canton. Not bad considered who they scheduled. This is an above average team and can take the region from Oxford.
Team - Oxford, Current Record: 11-4, Head Coach: Cliff Ormon
The Lowdown: The other team with a first-year head coach in Cliff Ormon coming from Ripley who had outstanding seasons with the Tigers. Oxford is going into West Point after having beaten 14-2 New Site on the road and gave the Royals their first loss from a Mississippi team this season. This team has played a tough schedule themselves and their losses consist of a 13-1 Ridgeland team by three, two one-point losses to out-of-state competition from Georgia and Arkansas, and the crosstown loss to Lafayette. Oxford has also won games from out-of-state competition from Arkansas and Virginia. Oxford's defense will be tough to deal with and they are seen as the favorites by opponents until somebody takes this team down.
The Girls are finished here, now here are the Boys capsules:
Team - Saltillo, Current Record: 9-5 (Current Region Record: 0-1), Head Coach: Craig Lauderdale
The Lowdown: Saltillo already had a crazy season to this point. This team started 9-0, but trouble brewed in their game against Baldwyn. Several team members entered the stands as a fight aroused in the area, causing the suspension of several players that had caused them to drop five in a row. Word is they returned for the West Point game, but blew a lead they held all game long to start region play behind the 8-ball. We will see how this affects the Tigers as they begin region play.
Team - West Point, Current Record: 6-8 (Current Region Record: 1-0), Head Coach: Brad Cox
The Lowdown: West Point has had a roller coaster type of season as well (but in the competitive manner than the manner off the court). This team started 0-8, but like the Kansas City Chiefs, they are getting hot at the right time winning their last six. Who they played has helped in their 0-8 start (playing opponents such as Starkville and Tupelo). This team can compete scoring in the high 50s-low 60s, but their defense is suspect. They also roster just 10 players on Varsity (according to Maxpreps) so depth may be an issue as well. I do expect this team to compete as they are very well coached by coach Brad Cox.
Team - New Hope, Current Record: 11-3, Head Coach: Drew McBrayer
The Lowdown: This team is the favorite in 2-5A this year with a Dandy Dozen player on the team. Two of their three L's have come to Columbus who is making their case to be a huge threat in 6A this year. Through 14 games, this team has scored one point shy of 1,000 on the year. This team can roll offensively to hide whatever mistakes they have defensively. They will need to use defense if they want to get by defending regional champion Oxford this year on the Charger's court.
Team - Oxford, Current Record: 10-3, Head Coach: Drew Tyler
The Lowdown: Oxford is prepared to take on the region. They've already taken on out-of-state foes this season and will play Cedar Ridge who has a player that is pretty close to Malik Newman this team has had to deal with in 5A the last four years. That type of player is what New Hope has as well so they will get to see a team similar to New Hope before they get to play them twice this season. Everyone knows the region runs through Oxford this year, having home court advantage for the region tournament. The other three teams will have to come to Oxford and take it from them if they want the region title.
The real season starts Friday night for Oxford. Let's see how it plays out. The 2-5A Tournament is in Oxford this year.