0308 Decorian Payton.jpg

Decorian Payton, of MHSAA 5A state champion Center Hill, joins rival Cameron Matthews of runner-up Olive Branch as teammates in the upcoming Mississippi Association of Coaches annual North-South All-Star games Saturday, March 23 at Mississippi College.

Among high school baseball action reported late this week, Olive Branch allowed two Pascagoula runs in the sixth inning of a 6-4 loss at the Battle at the Beach on Thursday. The Conquistadors also Thursday lost to Harrison Central, coached by former Center Hill skipper Neil Frederic, 9-3. Wednesday, Olive Branch allowed two Ocean Springs runs in the bottom of the seventh in a 4-3 loss, also at the Battle at the Beach. 

Lewisburg Thursday dropped a 5-1 decision to St. Thomas More, La. and had a 6-0 loss to Acadiana of Lafayette, La.

Southaven on Thursday lost to Ocean Springs St. Martin 10-5 and to East Union 13-6. Wednesday, Stone defeated the Chargers 8-5 despite a rally in the last two innings, where Southaven scored twice in the sixth and three times in the bottom of the seventh.

DeSoto Central Wednesday pounded out an 18-0 win in five innings over Oxford and used a 10-run first inning in a 15-2 run-rule victory over West Union.

BIG HUSTLE WEEKEND AHEAD: The Memphis Hustle Friday opened a crucial road trip at Oklahoma City. The three-game set includes a stop in Sioux Falls, S.D. to play the Skyforce on Sunday and a trip to Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday, March 19. The season finale is at home against Oklahoma City on Friday, March 22.

Entering Friday’s action, the Hustle were one of four teams fighting for the last two playoff spots in the NBA G League Western Conference. At 25-21, Memphis is tied with Salt Lake for the fifth spot in the conference standings and the top six teams make the playoffs. However, Agua Caliente, in seventh place, is a scant one-half game behind Memphis and Salt Lake and has one extra game to play. While in an eight-game losing skid, Sioux Falls, at 23-22, is still in striking distance with an end-of-season surge.

MAC HOOPS ALL-STARS NAMED: DeSoto County prep basketball players slated to play in the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) All-Star Games on Saturday, March 23 are: Decorian Payton of Center Hill and Cameron Matthews of Olive Branch for boys, along with Endya Buford and Neisha Eason of Olive Branch and Alyssa Greer of Hernando for girls.

All-stars will be paired as North vs. South in games between players from 1A/2A/3A and 4A/5A/6A. The annual event will be played at Mississippi College.

ALUMS SHINE IN POSTSEASON: Middle Tennessee State played UAB Friday night in the semifinals of the Conference-USA women’s basketball tournament at Frisco, Texas. The Lady Raiders advanced with a 66-44 victory Thursday over UTEP, with 11 points, seven rebounds and two assists coming from former Horn Lake high school standout A’Queen Hayes. MTSU is the number three seed in the tournament, UAB is the second seed.

Liberty University and former Northpoint star Ashtyn Baker are in the Atlantic Sun Conference women’s basketball title game, set for Sunday, March 17 at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida. Baker scored 10 points for Liberty in the Lady Flames’ 65-51 semi-final win Wednesday at home against North Florida, which has another former Northpoint standout in freshman Lauren Gross on its roster. Gross played briefly for the Ospreys in the loss but did not score.

JAGS HONORED AT SHOWDOWN: Three members of the DeSoto Central baseball team were named to the all-tournament team at the recent Perfect Game High School Showdown played in Hoover, Alabama.

All-tournament hitters included Blaze Jordan of DeSoto Central. All-tournament pitchers included Colby Crocker and Will Logsdon of DeSoto Central, and Kendall Williams, who’s listed as from Olive Branch but who plays for IMG Academy. The Jaguars finished with a 2-2 record at the Showdown.

Bob Bakken is Sports Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

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