Columbus Girls and Boys Basketball Teams Prepare For The Playoffs
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — Columbus girls and boys basketball teams are preparing for the 2nd round playoffs on Friday and Saturday.
With a win this weekend, the teams will advance next week to Jackson for the state tournament.
“Kids have started to buy in to what we are doing,” said head girls coach Yvonne Hairston. “And now this is the result of some hard work that our girls have put in and our coaching staff.”
The Columbus girls basketball team have won eight straight games, and are playing well at the right time with post season play looming. This past week the girls won the district tournament for the first time since 2016.
“It actually feels great,” said junior center Deryona Smith. “Because that shows me that we really can make it to the state playoffs and bring the gold ball home.”
“We knew that we needed to win it in order for us to get a good seeding,” Hairston said. “And so we went up there and became district champs.”
After winning the district title, the Lady Falcons clinched a first round bye in the playoffs, and the team says it helps them to have extra time to prepare for their opponent.
“It helps us keep on working on what we got to do so we can win,” said junior forward Hanna White.
“Anytime you can come back home and play at home we are real excited,” Hairston said. “We are just really hard to beat in Columbus.”
Columbus has never won a state championship in girls basketball. Coach Hairston hopes this year can be the year.
“I’ve won one as a player,” Hairston said. “But I’ve never been able to coach one, so hopefully this year will be our year.”
While the Columbus girls are preparing for a playoff run, the Columbus boys basketball team is also making a run after winning the district tournament last week. The team has reeled off twelve straight wins and they feel they are playing their best basketball.
“I think we’ve been doing a good job,” said head boys coach Anthony Carlyle. “We are right where we need to be. It’s still some things we got to fine tune in these playoffs.”
“I feel like we are,” said senior forward Robert Woodard. “We are getting to that point where we are gelling pretty good. I feel like we are going pretty steady right now.
Columbus boys hasn’t made it to the state tournament since they won the whole thing back in 2016, but Woodard feels this team can get back and make a run.
“I feel like we really can,” Woodard said. “We been doing pretty good as a team. Had some adversity at first, but other than that I feel like we are doing pretty well.”
While it’s been 2 years since the Falcons won it all, coach Carlyle took home a gold ball last year at Velma Jackson, but his focus is on the games ahead of him.
“When you are coaching man you know you don’t think about the ones you’ve done in the past,” Carlyle said. “The only thing that matters is the one right now. What’s in front of you.”
Columbus girls will host Warren Central on Friday night at 7, and the Columbus boys will host Clinton on Saturday night at 7.