Stage set for Red Carpet Classic

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 23, 2001

[01/23/01] The biggest obstacle facing this year’s Red Carpet Committee was finding enough teams to play, especially on the girls’ side of the bracket.

It was not from a lack of trying, though.

Warren Central girls coach Donny Fuller, whose teams have beaten a No. 1- and a No. 2-ranked team in previous Red Carpet Classics, will be forced to play St. Frederick (La.) after almost 15 teams in Mississippi declined the invitation.

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Fuller gave tournament director Peter Mims the names of every ranked team in the state that the Lady Vikes weren’t already scheduled to play. No takers.

“I’m not disappointed; St. Frederick has a great team,” Fuller said of the Louisiana Class 2A power, which is No. 2 in 2A, from Monroe that beat the Lady Vikes in December. “We called all the ranked teams and no one wanted to play. Either they already had a game or they didn’t want to come.”

Only one other ranked team will be playing in the showcase tournament, which begins Saturday at noon at Warren Central. Admission is $6.

“Everything seems to be done,” said Mims, who will head the last committee meeting tonight. “We have all the teams lined up and everything seems to be going as scheduled.”

Purvis, which comes into the game ranked No. 13 in The Clarion-Ledger poll, has a pair of Division-I caliber guards, Vicksburg High girls coach Mike Coleman said.

“They wanted some exposure,” Coleman said of the Class 3A school 15 miles south of Hattiesburg. “I told them the Red Carpet would be a good opportunity.”

On the boys side, Warren Central coach John Duett and former assistant Charlie Parkerson will be reunited. Parkerson is now the principal at Quitman High, which produced NBA star Antonio McDyess.

Vicksburg will play Wingfield, while the St. Aloysius boys and girls will play Class 2A Wesson.

Each team will get T-shirts and trophies during presentations after each game.

“We’ll have some very good matchups,” Mims said.