Photo/James Pugh

This year, last year – both are one and the same when it comes to the goals Kevin Grimes and his team has.

“We basically want to accomplish the same goals that we had last year,” said the Bay Springs senior standout, “…and that’s to win state. We realized where we messed up last year, and we’re trying not to let that happen again this year.”

As a junior, Grimes and the Bulldogs fell 16 points short in the 2018 MHSAA Class 2A Boys Basketball title game. 

This season the Bulldogs are 24-3 overall and 8-0 in region play as they head into the 5-2A tournament. Grimes is a big reason for the team’s success – both this year and in year’s prior.

“He’s been one of our leaders over the past three years,” said head coach Corey Mackey. “Hopefully this year he’ll help us get over the hump and bring back another state title.” 

Grimes averaged 21.9 points a game in January as the team’s leading scorer. He also averaged 8.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 5.6 steals per contest. The senior standouts success in the month has earned him Sports601’s Basketball Player of the Month (January) honor.

“He’s a very exciting player to watch,” Mackey said. “He works hard on and off the court. He’s a hard worker in practice, and that seems to carry on into the games. 

“In the month of January, he’s elevated his game. But I’m expecting more from him as we go through the final stretch of the season.”

One game in January stands out to Grimes.

“I mostly remember the game we played in the [New Albany Kiwanis] Hotbed Classic,” said Grimes. “We played against Ingomar. It was a tough game for us. We weren’t getting [the shots] we normally get. We got out of character for a second. It was all about being mentally tough and that game we weren’t able to do that.”

Ingomar was one of Bay Springs’ three losses on the season, and the second in January. Bay Springs also lost to 5A Laurel 66-63 in another basketball classic tournament. 

The closest to Grimes stats-wise resides in the same county. Stringer standout Keyshawn Dease averaged 21 points a game in January with 8.2 rebounds and 3.0 assist per game. 

His presence on the floor commands the best from those around him said, Mackey.

“When he’s not in the game sometimes we look scared and frantic,” Mackey noted. “Once he gets back on the court, everything seems well. There have been some games where Grimes has gotten into early foul trouble and had to sit. The team seems to be a little frantic, but then they get themselves together and realizes they can go on.”

Several offers lay on the table for Grimes, who has yet to make his decision public.