By Robert Wilson
The second winningest active girls basketball coach in the country – Pillow Academy’s Durwin Carpenter – comes to Metro Jackson Tuesday night to try to give Jackson Prep its first loss of the season.
In a rematch of the 2020 MAIS Overall championship game, Pillow, 7-2, makes the two-hour trip from Greenwood to Flowood to play at Prep, 11-0, Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Prep hasn’t lost since a 72-60 decision at Overall champion Leake Academy in the Overall quarterfinals last season.
Carpenter has won 1,116 games, 10 state titles and four Overall championships in his 48 seasons as head coach, the last 28 at Pillow, 1 four Overall titles. Only Lamar Rogers of Clarkrange, Tenn., who began this season with 1,270 has more wins among active coaches. Carpenter is also the second winningest coach in Mississippi history, only trailing Doyle Wolverton, who won 1,249 games in from 1975-2014 at Leake Academy. Carpenter is 10th all time in career wins. He has 749 at Pillow and won 357 games in 20 seasons at Central Holmes.
If Carpenter wants to win No. 1,117 Tuesday night he needs to slow down Prep senior point guard and Alabama-Huntsville signee Andie Flatgard, a member of the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson Preseason Elite 11 Team. Flatgard comes into Tuesday night averaging 16.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.5 steals. Flatgard has made 27 3-pointers this season, the most in Mississippi and tied for 17th in the country, according to MaxPreps. She hit a national record seven in one quarter earlier this season. Also, Prep senior guard Josie Duncan is shooting 42.5 percent from 3-point range (20 of 47), third in Mississippi according to MaxPreps.
Prep coach Michael McAnally has won his share of games as well. The former Prep point guard has won 577 boys and girls games and one Overall title in 21 seasons. He has won 364 girls and 213 boys games in his career. McAnally has 147 victories in his eighth season at Prep. He won the MAIS Class 5A state girls title in 2020, the first one at Prep since 2006, and was the MAIS Overall runner-up to Pillow in 2020. McAnally led East Rankin to an Overall girls title in 2010. He has coached at Huntington, La. (2001-2003), Copiah Academy (2003-2006), East Rankin (2006-2014) and Prep.
Carpenter and McAnally has split Overall championships against each other. Carpenter defeated McAnally 57-37 in 2020 and McAnally, when he was coaching at East Rankin, defeated Carpenter 62-44 in 2010.
Pillow, whose only two losses are to defending Overall champion and undefeated Leake, is led by senior Madeline Mattox, who is averaging 18 points per game.