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Sports fans bring money to Lincoln Co.

“Ka-ching. Ka-ching. Ka-ching.”

The lively ring of a cash register has been replaced by thebeep, beep, beep of computer-linked money receptacles these days.There should be plenty of beeping going on this weekend at arearestaurants, service stations and convenience stores.

Football and basketball fans are invading the HomeseekersParadise by the hundreds. Two big state football playoff games areon tap Friday night. Two basketball tournaments are in action, too,starting today and playing Saturday.

Local eateries could get a boost if they roll out the welcomemat. Put a “Welcome Sports Fans” message on the marquee.

The Wayne County War Eagles invade Brookhaven Friday for theSouth 5A semifinals. There should be a huge crowd converging onKing Field for this revenge rematch.

At Brookhaven Academy, the defending MAIS Class AA statechampion Cougars host River Oaks of Monroe, La. for the South Statetitle game. Expect an overflow crowd to surround R.M. “Red” StuardField for another epic battle.

Meanwhile, the Brookhaven Tournament tipped off last night andcontinues tonight, featuring teams from Natchez, South Pike,Lawrence County and McComb. Four games also are on tapSaturday.

The Bogue Chitto Tournament features teams from West Lincoln,McLaurin and Prentiss. It’s set for tonight and Saturday.

If you don’t get enough basketball this weekend, at eitherBrookhaven or Bogue Chitto, consider the Lawrence CountyThanksgiving Tournament as it tips off at 1 p.m. Monday inMonticello. Enterprise, Loyd Star, Mendenhall, Magee and WayneCounty join the host LCHS Cougars and Lady Cougars in the 2-dayextravaganza.

The Co-Lin Wolfpack had a great year and won the South Divisionchampionship. They howled past East Mississippi in the openinground of the state playoffs but they encountered a super-talentedGulf Coast team in the state title game last Saturday night.

It was all tied up, 10-10, at halftime before the wheels cameoff. Three third-quarter interceptions, proved decisive and twothefts were returned for touchdowns. Co-Lin suffered five turnoversin the 31-17 loss.

Gulf Coast (9-2), the South Division runner-up, beat Co-Lin(9-2) twice this season, winning the regular-season game 23-3 atPerkinston. The Bulldogs earned the right to host the MississippiBowl Dec. 5, in Ocean Springs.

Apparently, Co-Lin has been overlooked in the postseason bowlpicture. Three other junior college bowl games are held inlocations like Texas, Kansas and Arizona. The transportation costis prohibitive in these tough economic times.

Still, Coach Glenn Davis and his Wolfpack have plenty to howlabout. Nine-win seasons don’t happen very often.

Delta State University’s football team has earned an invitationto the NCAA Division II playoffs. The Statesmen (9-4) received anopening round bye and No. 2 seeding. They will host the winner ofthe West Alabama-Valdosta State game Nov. 27, at noon, at ParkerField on the DSU campus.

Wesson/Co-Lin product Micah Davis did an admirable job atquarterback for the Statesmen this season. Davis has completed 259of 408 passes for 3,310 yards and 23 touchdowns. He’s beenintercepted 14 times. He has rushed for 243 yards and 4 TDs.

The other side of the Super Regional II bracket features No. 1seed Albany State (10-0), who awaits a meeting between the winnerof the Wingate (No. 4/8-2) versus Morehouse (No. 5/8-2) matchup.All games will be at the higher seed’s home field.

The Statesmen (8-3) are making their third appearance in theNCAA Division II playoffs in four years under head coach RonRoberts. The green-and-white made back-to-back appearances in 2007and 2008, including a quarterfinals finish in 2008.

This year’s field will be looking to end their season onSaturday, Dec. 18, in Florence, Ala., at Braly Municipal Stadium inthe national title game.

Meanwhile, Professor Hoopla B.S. is looking forward to theannual Thanksgiving Day feast. In case you didn’t know it, we areblessed to live in the USA and to enjoy the many benefits of agreat country.

Hoopla predicted the winners of 18 games last week and got 12correct. Here’s a preview of this weekend’s winners, starting withsome Friday night state playoff games.

Wayne County at Brookhaven: Panthers plot arevenge attack on the talented War Eagles. In a squeaker,Brookhaven 24-21.

River Oaks at Brookhaven Academy: It looks likeanother offensive show on R.M. “Red” Stuard Field but this time thevisiting Mustangs will score their share of points, too. BrookhavenAcademy 35-27.

North Pike at Forrest County AHS: Jaguars findsuccess in Brooklyn and advance to the South 4A semifinals. NorthPike 30-20.

Hazlehurst at Forest: The Bearcats are loadedwith enough talent to eliminate the Indians from the Class 3A stateplayoffs. Forest 28-16.

Tylertown at Jefferson County: Tigers havemoved their 3A state playoff home games to Jack Spinks Stadium onthe Alcorn State campus. Invading Chiefs are bent on successfullydefending their state title. Tylertown 28-20.

Hoopla sighted in his deer rifle before discussing Saturday’scollegiate scene.

Ole Miss at LSU: Tigers prefer playing afterdark but it won’t matter in this SEC blowout. LSU 32-14.

Arkansas at Mississippi State: Hogs are flyinghigh and the Bulldogs are hurting after their loss in Tuscaloosa.Arkansas 28-16.

Houston at Southern Miss: Golden Eagles rise tothe occasion and handle adversity as they remember their woundedteammates. Southern Miss 34-24.

Alcorn State at Jackson State: Braves can’tmatch the Tigers on offense or defense. Jackson State 38-20.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O.BOX 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mailsports@dailyleader.com