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Center Hill’s Mikaila Coleman claimed the MHSAA 5A state girls’ singles championship this week in Oxford with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Ally Bowen of Lafayette.  

There will be new people leading the boys’ and girls’ basketball programs at DeSoto Central next season, as leading the boys’ squad will be Blake Ormon while Gwendolyn Petty takes over the girls’ team.

William Bentley and Paul Hayden led the Jaguars and Lady Jags, respectively, this past season.

Ormon, who lives in Olive Branch, comes to DeSoto Central from Independence High School, where he has been the Wildcats’ head man since 2015. This past season, Ormon’s squad finished with a 13-17 record.

Petty comes to DeSoto County from the very successful girls’ program in Starkville, where she was an assistant coach. Starkville finished this past year with a 19-4 record and reached the second round of this year’s MHSAA 6A state playoffs before a 55-48 loss to Horn Lake.

“I look forward to working with them and they’re both really excited about coming here,” said principal Cliff Johnston. “I’m excited for the programs moving forward.”

Johnston said there was good interest in both of the positions, having to choose from close to 40 applicants.

BASEBALL JAGS WIN; PATS, TIGERS FALL: High school baseball playoff action continued in Mississippi and started up in Tennessee for Northpoint Christian School Thursday and continued Friday.

DeSoto Central moved within one victory of a North Half Final berth in MHSAA thanks to Cade Smith’s no-hitter pitching gem in a 4-0 blanking of Oxford at DeSoto Central Thursday night. The Jaguars tagged losing pitcher Hays Roth with nine hits in the game-one victory, including a solo home run from Blaze Jordan, who finished with a three-hit performance. Dylan Hale also collected a trio of hits for DeSoto Central and drove in a pair of runs. Smith struck out three in the win. If DeSoto Central won Friday in Oxford they move into the North Half Final. If not, a deciding game three is Saturday at DeSoto Central, starting at 7 p.m.

The other two DeSoto County teams still playing in the MHSAA postseason did not fare as well Thursday night. Hernando lost to Northwest Rankin 8-7, as the Cougars took a 1-0 lead in their series. Hernando had tied the game at 7-7 in the top of seventh, coming back from a 7-3 deficit after four innings. Ben Brantley hit a two-run homer for the Tigers, which actually led the game early at 3-1 in the second inning. The Hernando comeback included two runs each in the sixth and seventh innings before Northwest Rankin’s walk off to win the game. Dylan Fiveash struck out 11 Northwest Rankin batters in 5.2 innings on the mound for the Tigers. After Friday’s game two in Hernando, a potential deciding contest would be played at Northwest Rankin Saturday night at 7 p.m., if Hernando won on Friday.

In MHSAA 5A, Lewisburg lost a slugfest to Saltillo 11-7 to open their best-of-three series Thursday on the Patriots’ diamond. Saltillo scored four runs in the third and five more in the sixth inning of their victory. Lewisburg answered with four runs in the fifth inning. Jack Olson led the Lewisburg offense with three hits and two RBIs. Ethan Kreyer struck out four in 3.2 innings pitched. If the Patriots came back to win Friday, a deciding game three would be played Saturday night at Lewisburg.

Northpoint Christian School advanced in the winner’s bracket of the TSSAA Division II-A West Region tournament Thursday with a 2-1 victory over Sacred Heart of Jesus (Jackson, Tenn.).

Northpoint scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning for the win, but were the Trojans were held to just two hits. Landon Murrell drove in both Northpoint runs with a walk off base hit in the bottom of the seventh. Logan Smith struck out three on the mound for the Trojans, which continued in the winner’s bracket of the tournament, at Tipton-Rosemark, Tenn. Friday night.

LADY TROJANS FALL IN SOFTBALL POSTSEASON: Northpoint Christian School fell in the TSSAA Division II-A West Region playoffs to Fayette Academy Thursday by the score of 3-1. Fayette Academy rallied with single runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings to recover from a 1-0 Northpoint lead after one inning. Sarah Gill drove in the Lady Trojans’ only run of the game. Northpoint is scheduled to play University School of Jackson (Tenn.) in a loser’s bracket game on Monday.

(UPDATE: Click here for updated Friday scores.)

STATE TRACK WEEKEND: State track champions are being determined this weekend at Pearl High School. The meet started Friday and will continue to its finals on Saturday. Center Hill is the defending MHSAA 5A state girls’ champion.

(UPDATE: Click here for Friday 5A results.)

CALL HER CHAMP: Center Hill and Lewisburg had the best county finishes at this week’s MHSAA 5A state individual tennis meet, led by Center Hill’s Mikaila Coleman, who won the girls’ state singles title in a 6-3, 6-2 straight-set win over Ally Bowen of Lafayette. Coleman was the number one seed going into the tournament and Bowen was seeded second. Isaiah Sheffield and Reagan Salter finished second in the 5A mixed doubles draw, dropping a 6-4, 6-1 decision to Jacob Bell and Hannah Johnson of Germantown (Madison) in the final match.

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

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