Co-Lin splits with Pearl River

Published 12:00pm Friday, February 21, 2014

POPLARVILLE – Will the Copiah-Lincoln Lady Wolves basketball team make the post-season? That we’re still not sure of, but the team did all they could to bolster their cause on Thursday night with a 63-48 victory over Pearl River. In the men’s game, Pearl River held off a late push from Co-Lin to defeat the Wolves, 71-68.

Co-Lin 63, Pearl River 48 

The MACJC South Division standings are nothing short of a logjam. Three teams (Pearl River, Jones, Meridian) sit atop the standings with identical 10-4 records. Co-Lin and Southwest follow in the standings as both have a 9-5 mark. The process of breaking the ties starts with figuring out who is the top seed. Sounds easy enough? Not so fast my friends. Tie-breaker after tie-breaker ends in another tie. It appears that point differentials might end up deciding first place. The issue will be formally sorted out on Friday by MACJC Commissioner Jim Southward.

For Co-Lin to even be in the discussion for a berth is nothing short of extraordinary. The Lady Wolves began division play 0-4. Coach Gwyn Young would finally see his young team find another gear after the Christmas break and the Lady Wolves went 9-1 in division play after their terrible start.

Co-Lin (16-7, 9-5) was led in the win over Pear River (15-5, 10-4) by sophomore guard Ashley Minor with 16 points and sophomore forward Jessica Wilson with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Wilson led a group of Co-Lin post players that impressed their head coach with strong physicality throughout the night.

“Our post players have played a lot better lately. Jessica Wilson has led them and they’ve played with a high level of intensity,” said Young.

For only the fourth time this season, Co-Lin freshman guard Claresa Banks failed to score in double figures, finishing with a season low six points. The reigning MACJC Player of the week did pull down a team-high 12 rebounds.

Co-Lin never trailed by more than two and led Pearl River, 30-25, at halftime. The win was the 12th straight regular season win for Co-Lin over Pearl River.

Pearl River 71, Co-Lin 68 

As has been the case in every game since their roster was cut down to only six men, the Co-Lin Wolves battled until the very end. The Wolves lost nine games this season by six points or less. The Wolves will lose the services of sophomores Terrence James, Michael Vardaman, and Corey Cox, but head coach Kenny Bizot believes a strong foundation has been laid.

“This group of guys has extreme character and extreme class. In the face of adversity, they’ve had nothing but the best attitudes. I told them in the locker room their mark on this program won’t be forgotten for a long time,” said Bizot.

The Wolves trailed 37-35 at halftime and saw Pearl River grow their lead 12 with just over 11 minutes remaining. With 2:20 left in regulation Co-Lin had cut it to 65-63, but the Wolves would get no closer as Pearl River made enough late game free throws to preserve the win.

Co-Lin (9-14, 5-9) was led against Pearl River (16-6, 9-5) by Vardaman’s 20 points. James scored 15, freshman LaJustin Anderson chipped in 14, and freshman Terry Morris added 13 points.

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