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Area boys teams get on the court in playoff outings

February 14, 2012

West Oktibbeha coach Danny Crawford instructs his team during a timeout last week. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)

Mississippi High School boys playoffs starts one day later than the girls and will be starting all around the state today.

There are four local boys squads that are gearing up for the final push to Jackson.

West Oktibbeha, East Oktibbeha, East Webster and Eupora all finished in the top four of its division tournaments and qualified for the North and South half playoffs.

The West Oktibbeha Timberwolves gained the No. 2 seed from their division and host the first round of the playoffs today. The Ingomar Falcons from Union County will be making the trip to Maben at 7 p.m.
The Timberwolves cruised into the division tournament as the No. 1 seed but could not get pass Houlka in the finals.

The fire and energy was not there for West Oktibbeha, so head coach Danny Crawford told his team the truth to motivate them.

"I told them the importance of being ready to play and how to get ready to play," Crawford said. "The importance of executing. Lose and we go home, but win and we go on. That's our motivation."
East Oktibbeha won its division for the fourth straight year and will be the No. 1 seed and play host to Hinds AHS.

The Titans will host a first-round playoff game for the fourth year in a row as they have won the division title four years in a row.

Focusing on what got the Titans here is what head coach Barnett Robinson wants his team to do.
"l want my guys to continue to play well," Robinson said. "I want my guys to continue to do the small things and not lose focus."

Eupora beat East Webster in the consolation game of its division tournament to claim the No. 3 seed. The Eagles are heading south to take on Wesson at 6 p.m.

The win is something head coach Bryant Thomas hopes carries over and keeps the team going deep in the playoffs.

"The win is definitely going to carry over," Thomas said. "When we win a game, the momentum carries over. I am hoping it carries over deep into the playoffs."

East Webster earned the No. 4 seed and will also travel south to take on Bassfield at 6 p.m.

Head coach Corey Stidham of the Wolverines wants his team to focus and and not squander the opportunity they have.

"There are plenty of teams sitting at the house wishing for this opportunity," Stidham said. "We live to play another day. We need to focus on what we need to do. We need to leave it all on the floor."

The teams that win today advance to either North or South State championship tournaments at various sites.

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