Tuesday, February 9, 2016

East Central Basketball Teams Complete Season Sweep of Copiah-Lincoln

The East Central Community College Lady Warriors used a 15-2 
run to open the third quarter and break open a close contest en route to a 72-53 home win over the Copiah-Lincoln Lady Wolves Monday, Feb. 8, in a battle for first place in the MACJC South Division.It was the Lady Warriors 13th straight win.

In the men’s action, East Central’s Prince McDaniel took over the game in overtime, scoring 11 points in the five-minute extra period to help the Warriors escape with a 93-84 win over the Co-Lin Wolves.The games were played in Brackeen-Wood Gymnasium on the East Central campus in Decatur.

The East Central Lady Warriors entered the contest with a one-game lead in the MACJC South Division over both Copiah-Lincoln and Southwest Mississippi. East Central now leads Co-Lin by two games and Southwest, a winner Monday over Mississippi Gulf Coast, by one game.“This win gets us one step closer to winning the South Division,” said East Central head women’s coach Crandal Porter.

The Co-Lin Lady Wolves led at the intermission 32-31 after a first half that saw the Lady Warriors shoot just 34 percent from the field and get out-rebounded 22-10.The Lady Warriors controlled the boards and the scoreboard in the second half. East Central out-rebounded Co-Lin 23-14 in the final 20 minutes, and controlled the third quarter by outscoring the Lady Wolves 23-7. The Lady Warriors built the lead to 15 at the end of three quarters. After Co-Lin cut the lead to eight points with 6:35 to play in the game, East Central went on a 16 to 5 run to close the game.

“I thought we lacked energy in the first half, and as a result the game was close,” said Porter. “We turned it up at the beginning of the second half and made some runs to get the win.”

Kalybriah Haskin took control of the game offensively on three different points in the ballgame to pace the Lady Warriors. The sophomore guard from Olympian High School in Chula Vista, Calif., scored the eight, seven, and six straight points for the Lady Warriors at three crucial points of the game on the way to a game-high 25 points. Samantha Duncan out of Oak Grove High School had 20 points and Alexia McDonald out of Petal High School had 11 of her 13 points in the second half. Guard Miracle Rushing out of Meridian High School pulled down 18 rebounds, with 13 coming in that big second half. The Lady Warriors won the first meeting between the two teams 80-60 on Jan. 14 in Wesson.

The East Central Lady Warriors improved to 18-2 overall and 10-1 in the MACJC South Division. The Co-Lin Lady Wolves dropped to 17-3 overall and 8-3 the South Division.

The men’s game was a seesaw affair for the first 20 minutes with 10 lead changes. Both teams had a hard time finding the basket in the early going, but East Central eventually pulled out to an eight-point lead at 19-11 and clinged to a one-point 32-31 lead at the intermission.

The Warriors scored the first nine points of the second half to pull out to a 10-point lead. But four three pointers by Co-Lin’s Donte Watson in the final four minutes, including one as time expired, helped the Wolves send the game to overtime.

East Central had a chance to win the game in regulation. Keion Peoples out of Memphis Ridgeway scored and was fouled with 11 seconds to play to give the Warriors a 72-69 lead, but his free throw attempt was no good leaving the door open for Watson’s last-second heroics.

McDaniel, a product of Pascagoula High School, finished with 21 points. Ravion Henry out of Leake Central High School added 20. Forwards Randy Phillips out of Lanier High School and Derrick Dandridge out of White Station High School both produced key baskets down the stretch and in overtime for East Central, and help the Warriors control the boards in the game 42-26. The East Central Warriors improved to 12-8 overall on the season and 7-4 in MACJC South Division play. The Co-Lin Wolves fell to 4-16 and 2-9 in the South Division.

ECCC entered game tied for fourth place in the South with the top four teams making playoffs. East Central travels to Utica on Thursday, Feb. 11, to face Hinds Community College in South Division action at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

The Warriors and Lady Warriors travel to Poplarville to face Pearl River Community College at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 15, before finishing regular season play on Thursday, Feb. 18, in Decatur by hosting Southwest Mississippi Community College at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. in Brackeen-Wood Gymnasium.

Listen to all East Central Community College basketball games at: http://850amwqst.com.