The “Southern Six” had an impressive showing over the weekend in the opening round of the MHSAA soccer playoffs. 19 teams joined the 13 division winners in the second round. Round two was scheduled to be played Tuesday but similar to the weekend, several teams moved up their games to Monday night to get ahead of the potential weather and some others have been moved back a day to Wednesday. Several second-round matchups involve contests between teams in the coastal six counties.
On the girl’s side of things in 6A, D’Iberville, coming off a first-round win at Pearl fell to the Gulfport Lady Admirals Monday night 7-0. Gulfport will host the winner of St. Martin and Brandon on Saturday. The other side of the 6A bracket has two big matchups as Biloxi travels to Northwest Rankin and Ocean Springs hosts the Oak Grove Lady Warriors.
In Class 5A, Long Beach has rescheduled their game at Florence for Wednesday with the game to be played at Pearl High School. The other 5A matchups have East Central traveling to South Jones while West Harrison will host West Jones. The Lady Hurricanes would host Saturday if they were victorious. George County is in a similar situation, if they can defeat Picayune they would host the Long Beach-Florence survivor.
In Class 4A. Pass Christian defeated Northeast Jones on the road Monday night 1-0 and will face their neighbor Bay High who also went on the road and knocked off Poplarville 3-2. Pass Christian will host as the higher seed on Saturday. Stone advanced at home with a 2-1 win over Sumrall and the defending 4A State Champs will host the winner of Greene County and North Pike.
In Class 1, OLA advanced to the South State semi-finals with a 4-1 win over Clarkdale on the road and the Lady Crescents await the winner of Sacred Heart and Franklin County. On the other side of the bracket, St. Patrick hosts SE Lauderdale and with a win, the Lady Irish would host the winner of Lloyd Star and McLaurin.
In 6A boys, all that remains are the top seeds and the second seeds. Gulfport won at home over the weekend and now must travel to NW Rankin to take on the defending state champions while Oak Grove travels down to Ocean Springs to take on the Greyhounds in a two-game slugfest between the boys and girls. An Ocean Springs win will see the Hounds at home on Saturday. St. Martin joins Gulfport in Rankin County as they take on Brandon with Pearl heads to Biloxi to take on the Indians. Biloxi holds a home-field advantage for the next round if they are victorious.
In 5A Picayune joins the girls as they travel to George County. Picayune defeated Wayne County on the road in their opening round game in a contest that was delayed until Monday night. If the Rebels win, they would host the winner of the Pearl River Central-West Jones matchup being played in SoSo. East Central’s boys join the Lady Hornets in Ellisville as they take on South Jones while Gautier and Long Beach will clash on Wednesday. A Bearcat win gives them home field advantage in the next round.
In 4A things played out the same way as the girls’ bracket with Stone and Bay High going on the road to pick up wins over Division champions. The Tomcats defeated Poplarville 3-2 while Bay traveled to Sumrall and knocked off the Bobcats 3-2. Bay will host Stone on Saturday. The other side of the bracket sees Pass Christian hosting NE Jones and with a win, the Pirates would stay in the Pass and get the winner of Greene County vs, McComb.
In Class I, St. Patrick has advanced with a 2-0 win over Clarkdale and awaits the winner of St. Stanislaus and Franklin County. Rounding out the bracket Lloyd Star travels to Crystal Springs and Sacred Heart hosts the winner of Morton and Hazlehurst. The South State finals are set for Tuesday, January 31st, weather permitting of course.