West Tally Chocs in state quarterfinalsBy CLAY MCFERRIN,
WEBB — The West Tallahatchie High School Choctaws are quarterfinalists in this year’s Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A Boys Basketball Championships.
The 16-9 varsity Choctaws are scheduled to face the 13-8 West Lowndes Panthers of Columbus Thursday night in a 7 o’clock tipoff at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville.
If they win, the Choctaws will suit up again Monday, March 2, in a noontime semifinals match at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson. Their opponent would be either the Pine Grove Panthers (27-5) of Ripley or the Baldwyn Bearcats (16-12) of Baldwyn. Those two squads battle in a 5:30 Thursday evening starter at Itawamba Community College in Fulton.
This year’s 1A state championship game will be played Thursday, March 5, at 3 p.m., at The Pavilion on the Ole Miss campus in Oxford.
Four other teams remain in the Class 1A hunt entering Thursday night’s games. The 22-9 Shaw Hawks will battle the 8-11 Brooks Tigers in an 8:30 p.m. starter at Pearl River, while the 33-2 Ingomar Falcons will play the 22-7 Coffeeville Pirates in an 8:30 p.m. tipoff at Itawamba college.
Thursday night’s game will mark the Chocs’ first state quarterfinals appearance since 2017, when they won and advanced, only to lose a semifinals heartbreaker on a last-second shot. A year before, during the 2015-16 season, West Tally won a Class 2A state championship and compiled a 34-0 record.
To get to the quarterfinals this year, the Choctaws put together a 14-9 regular-season record and then won their first two playoff games, smashing Sacred Heart 80-37 in Webb and then topping Leake County 72-65 on the road.
Corey Grayson is in his third year as West Tallahatchie boys’ head coach.