Booneville forward Kenny Paul Geno will sign today to play at Georgia. Geno, a 6-foot-6 forward, verbally committed to the Bulldogs on Wednesday, one day after getting a scholarship offer from the school.
“When I went to my visit there, I had a good relationship with everyone in their program and the facilities were outstanding,” said Geno. “It just seemed like a good fit.”
Geno was a first-team All-State selection this season after averaging 22.3 points, 13.8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3.1 blocks to help the Blue Devils reach their third straight state title game after winning it all as a sophomore.
A preseason Dandy Dozen selection, Geno also received scholarship offers from Middle Tennessee State, Radford, Lamar, Jacksonville State, Mercer and Delta State.
“I am excited, the town of Booneville is excited and I am just glad I have the chance to do it,” said Geno.
Ridgeland earns big win over Madison
The Ridgeland High baseball team picked up another big win Tuesday night, knocking off top-ranked Madison Central 3-2.
“Obviously beating a team like that is always big,” said Clint Wilkerson. “We just came in and played hard. They had their No. 1 pitcher going and we had ours going, so it was just a great game. We are hoping we are playing our best baseball going forward.”
The Titans, who compete in Class 5A, beat the 6A Jaguars in the bottom of the seventh on Emil Evans’ RBI that drove in Bryce Williams, who had singled and stole second.
Senior Reed Evans went the distance, striking out 11 batters.
“Reed is really flying under the radar,” said Wilkerson. “If there is a better pitcher, I’d like to see him.”
Wilkerson is now 2-0 against Madison since taking over at Ridgeland last season.
The Titans improved to 20-6 and also boast a win over 6A powerhouse Oak Grove.
“We have probably played the toughest schedule in the state,” said Wilkerson. “We think our bats are starting to heat up.”
Making Tuesday’s win even more special is that the game was designated “Playing for Kate Night.”
All proceeds from the game went to Kate Cox, a 1-year-old battling leukemia.
Wilkerson is friends with Cox’s parents.
“It was a great atmosphere and playing for a bigger cause than just playing a game made it even more special,” said Wilkerson. “Madison Central got behind the idea and tag-teamed with us and we had a great turnout.”
The Titans are the No. 1 seed in Division 4-5A and earned a first-round bye for the MHSAA playoffs that begin next week.
Yazoo City claims division title
The Yazoo City baseball team beat No. 15 Neshoba Central 8-2 Tuesday night. It was the Indians’ third victory of the season over the Rockets, including a pair of wins two weeks ago when the Rockets were No. 2 in The Clarion-Ledger rankings. The sweep helped Yazoo City, coached by Gerald Peyton, win the Division 3-5A championship. It is believed to be the first division championship in school history.
MAIS vs. MHSAA showdown
One of the season’s most intriguing baseball games will be played Friday when MHSAA member Southaven hosts MAIS member Magnolia Heights.
The Chargers (18-5), currently No. 6 in The Clarion-Ledger MHSAA rankings, began the season ranked No. 1. The Chiefs (26-0) have been ranked No. 1 all season in the MAIS rankings. Magnolia Heights is currently on a 31-game winning streak and is looking to become the state’s first unbeaten baseball team since Sumrall went 36-0 in 2009.
St. Andrew’s looks to continue dynasty
The St. Andrew’s tennis team has won 10 straight state championships.
The Saints took the first step toward a possible 11th straight title with a 7-0 opening-round playoff win over Franklin County on Tuesday.
Saints coach Emillia Viljoen is guardedly optimistic. “We are as strong as we have been in the past, but you can’t judge how strong the opposition is going to be,” she said.
Three other schools boast streaks that might pale in comparison with St. Andrew’s but are nevertheless impressive. Ocean Springs has won three straight titles in 6A, Oxford has four straight championships — 2009 in 4A and the last three in 5A — and Madison St. Joseph has won three straight 2A titles.
Ocean Springs won its playoff opener over Terry 7-0. “I feel good about this year’s team,” said coach Kathy Gendron. “Each year, we gain a little more experience.”
The Greyhounds boys singles player, 2012 6A individual champion Skyler Flowers, and girls singles player Sadey St. Amant are both unbeaten against state competition.
Oxford won its opener 7-0 over Neshoba Central, and St. Joseph opened with a 7-0 win over Baldwyn.
Other defending champions are New Albany in 4A, which played Greenwood on Wednesday, and St. Aloysius in 1A. St. Al opens against Wheeler on Saturday.
Team championship matches are scheduled for May 1 at Bridges Tennis Center in Jackson for 6A, 4A and 2A and at Ridgeland Tennis Center for 5A, 3A and 1A.