Monday, November 26, 2018

East Central Basketball Teams Go Undefeated in Annual EC Classic

The East Central Community College basketball teams weren’t kind to their visitors in the annual EC Classic Thanksgiving week tournament held on the campus in Decatur as the Lady Warriors and Warriors went undefeated in the two-day event Nov. 19-20.

On the opening night of the EC Classic in Brackeen-Wood Gym, the East Central Lady Warriors got a big 115-42 win over Southern University-Shreveport (La.), while the Warriors defeated Mississippi Delta 96-79. On day two, the Lady Warriors opened with a 75-62 win over MACJC opponent Coahoma, while the Warriors followed with a 75-67 win over the Coahoma Tigers.

With the wins, both East Central teams improved to a perfect 5-0 on their 2018-19 seasons.

It was the second straight game that the Lady Warriors eclipsed the 100-point mark in the win over the SUSLA Lady Jags. All 14 Lady Warriors played and scored, led by 18 points from both freshman guard Jariyah Covington of Starkville and sophomore forward Sharan Turner (Gonzales, La., East Ascension). Freshman guard KeiMoya Walker (Jackson Murrah) added 16 and sophomore guard Breanna Riley, who prepped at Biloxi High School, chipped in 11.

East Central controlled the boards 49-24 led by eight rebounds each from freshman forwards Timia Dora of Louisville and Jamaica Almons of Jackson Murrah. The Lady Warriors also got 16 steals in the contest, including four by Walker.

MACJC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week Roti Ware continued his hot shooting with his second straight career night in the Warriors’ win over Mississippi Delta. The sophomore guard out of Morton High School scored 43 points on 14 of 21 from the floor, including 6 of 9 from beyond the three-point line. He also hit all nine of his free throws and pulled down nine rebounds. Ware’s previous career high was 32 points against Bishop State on Nov. 12.

Three freshman Warriors scored in double figures in the win over the Delta Trojans, including forwards JaQuarius Smith of Noxubee County and Dontavious Smith of Terry with 13 each, and guard Nick Preyer (Mobile, Ala., Leflore) with 10. Dontavious Smith had a game-high 11 rebounds, while Preyer dished out a game-high nine assists.

On the second day of the tournament, the ECCC Lady Warriors got 21 points from Riley in the defeat of non-division foe Coahoma Lady Tigers. Sophomore forward Whitney Waters of Heidelberg came off the bench to score 11. Nine other Lady Warriors scored in the contest. Sophomore forward Diamond Wraggs of Louisville led East Central with seven rebounds, while Turner and freshman forward Kimberly Green (Greenwood Amanda Elzy) had six apiece. The Lady Warriors produced another 10 steals in the win.

Preyer pumped in a career-high 23 points to lead the Warriors in the second day win over Coahoma. Ware added 16, while JaQuarius Smith had 13 and freshman guard Devin Carter of Pearl came off the bench to score 10 points. Ware is now averaging 25 points per game this season.

East Central outrebounded Coahoma 41-22 in the win with freshman forward Marcus Bates (Tuscaloosa, Ala., Paul Bryant) and Dontavious Smith with eight each and JaQuarius Smith and Ware with seven apiece.

The Meridian Community College Lady Eagles and the Pearl River Wildcats also participated in the tournament.

The Lady Warriors and Warriors will play their final home games of 2018 on Monday, Nov. 26, when Delgado Community College visits from New Orleans. The women will play at 5:30 p.m. and the men will tipoff at 7:30 p.m. in Brackeen-Wood Gym.

The games will be available on WKOZ Cruisin 98.3 radio and also via live stream video at

Following that action, the East Central teams will visit Gulf Coast on Dec. 3, Coahoma on Dec. 8, and Delgado on Dec. 13.