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Co-Lin meets Holmes in state tournament

WESSON – Fresh from winning the South Division Tournament,Co-Lin’s Wolves go after bigger game tonight in Mullen Gymnasium.They host the Mississippi Association of Community/Junior CollegesState Tournament and meet the Holmes Bulldogs in the opening round.Tipoff is 8 p.m.

In the other opening round men’s game, South Division runner-upJones County (19-8) faces North Division champion Northwest (20- 5)at 4. In the women’s bracket, South champion Jones County meetsNorth runner-up Northeast at 2 and North champion Northwest meetsSouth runner-up Pearl River at 6.

The women’s title game is Tuesday night at 6. The men’schampionship is at 8.

The Co-Lin men (21-5) won the South title last Thursday night atSouthwest in Summit, edging Jones County 87-81 in overtime.Playmaker Barry Whitley directed the victory with 27 points andguard Brandon Dickerson added 24.

Forward Brannon Barfield added 14 points to the victory andcenter Quentin Christian netted 12. Whitley also head 10rebounds.

Co-Lin coach Dennis Sims said there’s a definite advantage ofplaying in Mullen Gymnasium. However, Holmes can’t be overlooked ortaken lightly.

“They are a much improved team since earlier in the year,” saidSims. “They have beaten Pearl River twice.

Co-Lin won its season opener at Wesson, beating Holmes 83-64. Inthe fifth game of the season. the Wolves won 85-67 over Holmes atGoodman.

The Wolves beat Northwest 89-76 in the fourth game of the year,at Wesson. Northwest defeated Holmes 79-71 in the North title gamelast Thursday.

“It feels like it has been a year ago since we played them,”said Sims.

Holmes (18-11) is led by forward Rod Newton and point guard GregTucker. In the first meeting with Co-Lin Tucker scored 27 points.He scored 20 in the second game. Newton scored 9 points in eachmeeting with Co-Lin.

“Holmes is very athletic,” Sims continued. “They play smart andthey play well together.”

Sims said the Wolves are ready to play. Two years ago Co-Linswept the men’s and women’s state titles in Mullen Gymnasium. TheCo-Lin women (23-1) were upset by Pearl River 88-85 in threeovertimes, in last Wednesday’s South semifinals.

Last year, the Wolves won the South Division Tournament and lostto Northwest by one point in the opening round of the statetournament at Northeast in Booneville.

“We must continue playing well,” said Sims. “We must play hardon defense.”

Northwest is averaging 95.7 points per game. Jason Rogan, a 6-5point guard, leads the team with a 19.7 points per gameaverage.