The boys (and girls) of summer are back in DeSoto County with last weekend’s start of the Dizzy Dean World Series at Snowden Grove Park in Southaven for baseball and at Greenbrook Softball Complex in Southaven for softball.
The first session of the baseball World Series began this past weekend at Snowden Grove Park with teams in five divisions in competition.
After divisional play, the four remaining teams in the seven-and-under division were the Northport (Alabama) Nationals, Hopewell (Georgia) Mustangs, Oregon Park (Georgia) Sharks and CenterPoint (Alabama) Eagles.
The Canton Stingers reached the final round of the nine-and-under division and were awaiting the survivor of the elimination bracket for the championship. That would come from one of five teams.
Madison (Georgia) City Blue was the remaining team in the winner’s bracket of the 11-and-under division and they were set to play one of three teams, including the Clarksdale Delta Drive, for the championship on Tuesday.
Six squads, including the Tunica Lions, were still in the hunt for the 14-and-under World Series crown. That tournament continues into the finals on Wednesday morning.
And, in the 16-and-under division, Grenada and Huffman are matched for the World Series championship Tuesday morning. Coming from the elimination bracket, Huffman needs two victories over Grenada for the title.
In softball action from the Greenbrook Complex, Greenwood and Southaven were the remaining teams in the six-and-under division, with Southaven needing to beat Greenwood twice to claim the championship. They were scheduled to play Monday morning.
Union Chapel (Alabama) awaited the elimination bracket survivor for the championship in the eight-and-under division. Southaven, Caledonia and Heard County, Georgia were the remaining teams in the elimination bracket. That division will be determined on Tuesday.
Walker County, Alabama meets Yazoo City for the 10-and-under crown on Tuesday as they were the remaining teams left after last weekend’s schedule of games.
It will be Yazoo City against Saltillo for the 12-and-under championship Tuesday, with Saltillo needing two victories to win from the elimination bracket.
Lady Fusion (Mississippi) took the 14-and-under title with their win over Yazoo City in that division’s championship game, and Houston, Mississippi took home the high school division championship with their final game win over Cleveland, Mississippi.
TAYLOR, USA ADVANCES: The USA Team, including Olive Branch’s Myah Taylor, Monday defeated Japan 89-84 and will play Australia Wednesday for the gold medal at the World University Games in Naples, Italy.
Taylor’s Mississippi State women’s basketball team, representing the USA, trailed Japan 56-48 at halftime and 73-70 entering the final 10 minutes of the contest, but once again rallied to reach the final game. Rickea Jackson led USA with 28 points.
The Bulldogs entered Monday’s contest off another comeback victory, this time over China 87-79 on Sunday.
USA Team rallied with a 17-1 run to end the game to earn the semifinals spot against the Japanese, a team they edged in a friendly to start their overseas trip to Italy before the World University Games started.
In Sunday’s action, China came back from an 11-point deficit at halftime to take a 68-65 lead going into the final frame. The U.S. struggled to hit a basket early on but finally got the offense going while also holding China scoreless in the final minutes to storm back for the victory.
While Taylor only scored one point on a free throw, MSU coach Vic Schaefer noted her play in the second half helped the Bulldogs rally back and win the game.
"I thought Myah Taylor was really good,” Schaefer said. “She helped bring us back.”
Earlier in the tournament, USA Team hammered Slovakia 92-52 and Chinese Taipei 93-85 this past weekend.
VOLLEYBALL ALL-STARS: The Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star Volleyball Games will be played at the Hangar Dome on the Millsaps College campus in Jackson on Wednesday, July 17.
Instead of saying it will be North vs. South in the All-Star Games, you could really call it DeSoto County vs. the South, as the entire roster, outside of two players, will come from DeSoto County schools.
There will be three players on the North team from Lewisburg, who will be joined by coach Allison Burchyett as a coach. Three more will come from DeSoto Central, two from Lake Cormorant and one each from Hernando and Center Hill.
The Lewisburg contingent will be Londyn Bakeris, Morgan Lee and AveryBeth Durdin. From DeSoto Central will come Maya Newsome, Raegan Stafford and Lauryn Fitzgerald. Angie Gonzalez and Isabella Beasley will be the pair from Lake Cormorant. Alexis Graves of Hernando and Zakiyah Taylor from Center Hill complete the group of players heading to the All-Star Games from DeSoto County.
Burchyett is joined by Caledonia’s Samantha Brooks as coaches. The two remaining players on the North roster will be Tori Brooks of Caledonia and Morgan Ray of Clinton.
Last year, the North swept the South in three straight games, 25-21, 25-11 and 25-19. The North leads the series against its South counterparts 8-6. The MAC has used the North-South format since 2006 after an East-West setup was used the first year of the All-Star series in 2005.
Bob Bakken is Sports Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.