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Pearl River stuns Lady Wolves in 2 OTs

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SUMMIT – The underdog is always a threat as the Co-Lin LadyWolves found out Wednesday night at Southwest Community College.The 14-12 Pearl River Lady Wildcats forced two overtimes and upsetthe No. 5 nationally ranked Co-Lin women 89-85 in the semifinals ofthe MACJC South Division Tournament.

Co-Lin’s record fell to 23-1 with the loss. The Lady Wolves willreturn in the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament in Clinton at MississippiCollege in two weeks.

In the earlier women’s game, Jones County eliminated Hinds84-67.

In today’s championship games, the Co-Lin men meet Jones Countyat 8 p.m. and the Jones County women face Pearl River at 6.

“It’s a new experience for them,” said Pearl River women’s coachEd Walley after the win. “We are thankful for the team effort. Weare capable. We just wanted to hang in.”

In the second 5-minute OT, Co-Lin freshman forward Tiffany Dalesscored a layup to close the deficit to one point, 86-85 with 12.7left to play. Pearl River got the ball back and the Lady Wolveswere forced to foul when they could not produce a steal. JessicaPucheu, a 5-7 guard from Bay St. Louis, netted two free throws foran 88-85 edge with 11.7 left.

Pearl River’s Dee Flannery stole the ball, was fouled and nettedher second of two free throws for a four-point, 89-85 advantagewith 1.7 left to play.

“Pearl River shot the ball well and ran their offense,” saidCo-Lin women’s coach Gwyn Young. “They played defense realwell.”

The teams were deadlocked 63-all at the end of regulation play.In the first overtime, sophomore guard Rusti Smith went 1-for-2from the free throw line to give the Lady Wolves a 75-73 lead with25 seconds left to play. Pucheu was fouled and nailed a pair offree throws to tie the game at 75-all. With 11 seconds left, Co-Linheld for the final shot and missed after the buzzer.

Near the end of regulation, Co-Lin led Pearl River 63-62 with9.3 seconds left. Following a timeout by Young, Co-Lin was calledfor a foul, sending Quinisia Hatten to the charity line where shetied the game at 63-all and forced the first OT.

The Lady Wolves dominated the first half, leading as much as28-10 with 4:29 remaining until halftime. The Lady Wildcats awokeand went on a 20-1 run to close the deficit to 28-20 athalftime.

Pearl River came out and stayed on Co-Lin until the end of thegame. The Lady Wolves largest lead was 13 points, 46-33 with 10:42left in the game. The Lady Wildcats never quit and came back toforce the overtime.

Freshman Christy Brown, a 5-9 1/2 forward from Zachary, La.,kept the Lady Wolves in the game with a game-high 22 points. MindyLivaudais fired in 16 points and pulled down nine rebounds beforefouling out with 13.6 seconds left in regulation. Rusti Smith andTiffany Dales netted 14 points apiece. Dales led off the backboardswith 16 rebounds. Following with 12 rebounds was Denise Catchings.Smith had four assists.

From the free throw line, Co-Lin was 39 of 52 and Pearl Riverwas 19 of 26. Dales led netting 12 of 14 followed by Smith going 8of 12.

Directing Pearl River with 22 points, six rebounds and fiveassists was Pucheu. From the charity stripe, she was 8 of 10.

“No. 21 (Pucheu) did a real good job of running their offense,”said Young.

Dee Flennory scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds for theLady Wildcats. Following with 11 points and nine rebounds wasQuinisea Hatten.

“We had too many missed opportunities,” said Young. “We missedtoo many free throws. We didn’t execute and do the things like weneeded to.”

Jones County 84, Hinds 67

Powering the Jones women with 20 points was EbonyJohnson. Tammika Sims netted 18 points.

Hinds got 21 points from Tamekia Read and 11 points fromJovita Noble.

WOMEN

Pearl River 89, Co-Lin 85 (2OT)

Pearl River (89) Jessica Pucheu 22, DeDilvely 2, McSwain2, Graves 4, Small 10, Flennory 16, M. Ladner 6, Brandi Ladner 9,Hatten 11, Nabours 2.

Co-Lin (85) Christy Brown 22, R. Smith 14, Dennie 2,Simmons 4, Dales 14, Andrews 2, Livaudais 16, Catchings 8,Fairchild 3.

Halftime score: Co-Lin 29, Pearl River 20.

Regulation: Co-Lin 63, Pearl River 63. 1st Overtime:Co-Lin 75, Pearl River 75.

Total fouls: Pearl River 31. Co-Lin 25. Fouled out-B.Ladner, Graves, Livaudais, R. Smith. Technicals-None.

Free throws M-A: Co-Lin 39-52. Pearl River19-25.

3-point goals: Smith 2, Small 2.

Rebounds: Co-Lin 63 (Dales 16, Catchings 12, Livaudais12, Fairchild 8). Pearl River 47 (Hatten 9, Graves 8, B. Ladner 7).Steals: Pearl River 13. Co-Lin 10.

Assists: Co-Lin 10 (R. Smith 6). Pearl River 10 (Pucheu5). Turnovers: Co-Lin 17. Pearl River 14.