Half of the four girls’ teams in Region 8-6A comprise the Class 6A Final Four in the overall state championship tournament in The Big House in Jackson this week.
That’s the reason that Region 8-6A was considered by many as the toughest girls’ league in the state of Mississippi this season.
But will that tough competition throughout the season result in either the Biloxi Lady Indians winning their first-ever girls’ state title or the Harrison Central girls bringing home their 14th Gold Ball, but the first since 2005?
We’ll find out Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night, as BHS and HCHS battle two of the most powerful opponents in the state.
Biloxi faces Tupelo at 4 p.m., in the semifinals, with Harrison Central and Germantown set to follow at 5:30 on the playing floor at the Mississippi Coliseum in the State Capital.
Biloxi stands 25-6 overall while Tupelo is an even more impressive 26-2 on the season. The Lady Golden Wave lost to Germantown 55-47 just before Christmas and then fell by one to Starkville 59-58 six weeks ago.
Biloxi and Tupelo met once before this season, as the Lady Wave took a close 52-46 win in the “Tangle on the Trail” Tournament in Pontotoc in mid-December.
The second semifinal contest is also a rematch from the regular season, as Germantown traveled to Lyman and knocked off home-standing Harrison Central 65-51 five days before Christmas. The Harrison Central High School girls stand 20-13 overall, as all four teams in Region 8-6A won at least 20 games this season. Germantown checks in with the best record of all four teams in the Final Four, as the Lady Mavericks stand a spiffy 27-2 overall on the year.
Germantown is led by Prep All-American center Madison Booker, a 6-foot-2 University of Texas signee. Booker is averaging 22 points and nine rebounds per game in her senior season. She has been a starter on two consecutive USA national teams and is rated the third-best senior prospect in the country in the Class of 2023. She chose Texas and head coach Vic Schaefer over Duke, Tennessee, LSU, and Mississippi State as well as over 50 other schools. Schaffer is the former head coach at Mississippi State.
Germantown’s only two losses this year came to Choctaw Central 57-56 in mid-November and to Hoover (Ala.) High 59-49 almost four weeks later. The Lady Mavs have won 16 games in a row since that loss.
The pair of survivors from Tuesday’s semifinal match-ups will meet Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m., in the Class 6A title tilt. Germantown has also never won a state crown, but they did play in the championship game in booker’s sophomore season two years ago. Tupleo won its only state title in 2001, but has played in the championship contest also in 1999, 2000 and 2007.