The Calhoun City Wildcats are two wins away from the school’s first state championship in basketball since 1988 and Coach Daren Coffey aims for his team to “finish” the job.
“We’ve been preaching ‘finish’ all year long,” Coffey said. “The guys put the work in during the summer with the goal of getting to Jackson. Now we’re there and we have to ‘finish.’”
Calhoun City, 22-11, will take on S.V. Marshall Friday at 10:30 a.m. in the Mississippi Coliseum.
Admission will be $10, and Coach Coffey urges all Wildcat fans to wear orange.
This is the third trip to Jackson in the past six years for the program, but they haven’t advanced to the state title game the previous two trips.
“We believe this is our time,” Coffey said. “Our guys are up for the challenge.”
The challenge begins with a Marshall team Coffey described as “big, physical and athletic.”
“This will be a game of size versus speed,” Coffey said. “Hopefully the old saying proves true – speed kills.”
Rebounding will be the key, Coffey said, and playing four periods of basketball.
“We have to play consistent basketball for four periods,” Coffey said. “We can’t have a third period like we did against Baldwyn.”
The Wildcats were outscored 20-7 in the third period of the North Half Championship against the Bearcats last Saturday night to send them to Jackson as a number two seed. Baldwyn will play Heidelberg at 2:30 p.m. Friday in the other 2A state semifinal.
“It takes playing four periods to win in Jackson,” Coffey said. “We’re excited for the opportunity to go do exactly that.”
The Wildcats will make the trip to the Capital City Thursday afternoon after classes and have a shoot-around that night. They will travel to the coliseum Friday at 9 a.m. for the 10:30 a.m. tip-off. See coverage of the North Half Tournament on page 9.