High school football in DeSoto County ended on Friday, Nov. 22, as the two remaining teams were eliminated from the MHSAA playoffs.
Olive Branch, in 6A, lost to top-ranked Starkville 20-3, while in 5A, Lake Cormorant fell at Neshoba Central 36-28.
The 6A North Half finals this Friday night will have Starkville at Oxford, while the 5A North Half championship game will have defending champion West Point hosting Neshoba Central.
Oxford advanced with a 17-7 win over South Panola in 6A, and West Point edged Oxford Lafayette 21-14 in the other 5A North Half second round game.
At Starkville, all of the scoring in the Olive Branch contest came in the first half, with Quistors’ senior placekicker Shane Lasher booting a 43-yard field goal in the first quarter.
But, the Quistors’ offense was silenced from there, as the Yellowjackets tacked on six points in the first quarter and 14 more in the second quarter for the eventual final score.
Olive Branch, which finished the year with a record of 9-4, was held to 99 yards rushing and one passing completion in seven attempts for just one yard.
At Philadelphia, Lake Cormorant held a 14-7 halftime lead against the home Rockets, which then took off for 14 points in the third quarter and 15 more in the final 12 minutes of the victory.
J.J. Daniels caught six passes for 81 yards for the Gators and Druvez Williams picked up five more passes for 75 yards and a touchdown. The loss broke a four-game winning streak for Lake Cormorant, which finished the year 8-5.
BOYS BASKETBALL WEEKLY: Defending MHSAA 5A state boys’ champion Center Hill is the highest-ranked DeSoto County squad in the early part of the season, having reeled off six straight wins after a season-opening 55-51 loss to 6A Tupelo to open the year at Tupelo.
Center Hill is ranked third in Class 5A, according to MaxPreps.
The Mustangs were able to achieve a bit of revenge of the Golden Wave with a 67-61 victory on “The Hill” on Friday, Nov. 22.
Decorian Payton finished with 21 points, 16 rebounds, and added three blocks for the Mustangs. Payton has had five double-doubles through the early part of the year and has averaged 15.0 points and 12.3 rebounds a game thus far.
“Everyone doubts my ability and this team's ability, and it wills this team to win basketball games,” Payton said afterward. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Among the six Center Hill victories is a 76-68 overtime win at Holly Springs, a team the Mustangs also defeated 62-53 at home earlier in the year.
Center Hill plays The Webb School, Tennessee during the Corinth Lighthouse Classic on Friday, Nov. 29, at 3 p.m.
Olive Branch, last year’s 5A runner up to Center Hill, is the top-rated 6A team from DeSoto County in its return to the classification this season. The Quistors are 10th among 6A teams, according to the national high school sports service MaxPreps.
The Conquistadors ran off three straight wins to start the year before losing to Germantown, Tenn. Houston at home 63-50 on Nov. 21.
Olive Branch also plays in the Corinth Lighthouse Classic, taking on Ramsay, Alabama at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30.
GIRLS BASKETBALL UPDATE: Olive Branch also has the county’s top high school girls’ basketball team, as last year’s 5A champion Lady Quistors have also returned to 6A this season. Olive Branch, ranked ninth in 6A by MaxPreps, ran off three wins to start the year before Germantown, Tennessee Houston pinned a 64-57 loss at Olive Branch on Thursday, Nov. 21. The Lady Quistors rebounded for 76-22 win over Lausanne Collegiate, Tennessee on Monday, Nov. 25, and will travel to Houston for a rematch on Dec. 3.
KICKING IT WITH SOCCER: Last year’s MHSAA 5A state boys’ soccer champion Lewisburg has picked up where it left off last winter, as the Patriots have fashioned a 6-0-1 record through its first seven matches. The only blemish for the season start is a 1-1 draw against Oxford on Nov. 15.
The Lewisburg Lady Patriots have also won six of its first seven matches for a 6-1 record before Thanksgiving. Lewisburg’s only loss on the year thus far is a 4-2 defeat against Oxford, also on Nov. 15.
SOCCER ALL-STARS NAMED: DeSoto County will again be represented at the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star Soccer Games. On the boys’ North team will be Benjamin Mullins and Connor Murphy from 5A state champion Lewisburg, Dereck Gomez of Southaven, and Ashton Taylor of Center Hill. On the girls’ North squad will be Morgan Williams of Southaven. Lewisburg boys’ coach Harl Roehm will be joined by Lewisburg girls’ coach Scotti Miles in coaching the North boys’ team. The All-Star Games will be played at Brandon High School on Feb. 15, beginning with the girls’ match at 12 noon.
Sportswriter Alex Gomez contributed to this article.