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Northwest clips Co-Lin Wolves 82-79 in title test

WESSON -Jarvis Smith made the biggest shot of his career Tuesdaynight in jam-packed Mullen Gymnasium. Northwest’s sophomore pointguard cashed in an old-fashioned 3-point play, with four secondsleft in the game, lifting the Rangers to a thrilling 82-79 victoryover the Co-Lin Wolves in the championship finals of the MACJCState Tournament.

Co-Lin had rallied to tie the score at 79-79 on a pair of jumpshots by playmaker Barry Whitley. His second jumper, a 13-footer,tied the scoreboard at 79-all with 20 seconds left to play.

Northwest coach Don “Bubba” Skelton called a timeout with 13seconds left to set up a play. Smith scored from the lane andtacked on a free throw for the 3-point margin of victory. Adesperation 3-pointer by Whitley, launched from 24 feet, failed toconnect.

In the women’s title game last night, Jones County whippedNorthwest 84-67.

Skelton recognized Smith’s improvement since his arrival atNorthwest two years ago from Potts Camp. “He came to us as awalk-on two years ago. He has grown into a good one in a conferencefull of great players.”

Skelton, in his third year at Northwest, moved to theSenatobia-based school from Southwest Miss. Community College inSummit where he coached two years. His Rangers (22-5) were staterunners-up to Northeast Community College last year.

Asked about his game plan, Skelton said, “We are a pressing andrunning team. We wanted to attack. We tried to be aggressive.

“I know Co-Lin has a quality team and I knew it would bedifficult to come in here and win on their floor.”

Co-Lin (22-6) was outrebounded 37-28 and committed 17 turnovers.The Wolves watched Northwest forward Marquis Shead pump in 17first-half points, leading the Rangers to a 49-42 advantage at thebreak. Shead, a 6-4 sophomore from Pompano Beach, Fla., finishedwith 23 points and 8 rebounds.

Whitley played 31 minutes in the high-octane contest and scored21 of his game-high total in the second half. He also had 10rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals.

Sophomore guard Brandon Dickerson followed Whitley with 20points. Freshman center Quentin Christian had 12 points.

Co-Lin was hoping to repeat its performance of two years agowhen the Wolves claimed the state title in Mullen Gymnasium. Theymade just 3 of 14 treys and clicked on 24 of 37 field goal attemptsfrom inside the arc.

“Northwest played really hard,” said Co-Lin coach Dennis Sims.”They were at a higher level of intensity than us the whole game.In the first five minutes we played at their level.”

The Wolves took a quick 5-0 lead on Whitley’s trey and fieldgoal. The Rangers regrouped and claimed their first lead at 12-11on a trey by Shead and 16:23 left in the half.

Taking control at halftime, the Rangers led by as much as 13points in the second half, 59-46, on a free throw by Dennis Isonwith 16:09 left to play. Ison, a 6-5 sophomore center from Byhalia,finished with 13 points.

“We made a bunch of poor decisions,” said Sims. “We had the gametied but we didn’t do what we needed to do at the end. Northwestwas quicker and stronger physically.”

Regional At MC

Both Co-Lin teams advance to the NJCAA Region 23 Tournamentwhich starts Monday at Mississippi College in Clinton and runsthrough Thursday. The men’s games start Monday and Co-Lin playsPearl River. The women play Tuesday. Semifinals are Wednesday inboth brackets.

Jones County 84, Northwest 67

Center Ebony Johnson and forward Tammika Sims bothscored 22 points to lead Jones County (23-7) over Northwest in thewomen’s title game. Forward Jeannelle McMillian added 18 points andplaymaker Brittany Sumrall 13.

Northwest (16-12) got 20 points from RhondaCooper.

Northwest 82, Co-Lin 79

Northwest (82) Marquis Shead 23, J. Smith 13, Hamilton3, Isom 13, Rhodes 0, Rogan 19, Amos 0, Draine 7, Dodson 0, Sacks4.

Co-Lin (79) Barry Whitley 26, C. Smith 0, Haynes 4,Barfield 9, B. Smith 2, Calcote 0, Black 4, Dickerson 20, Christian12, Townsend 2.

Halftime: Northwest 49-42.

Total fouls: Northwest 20. Co-Lin 16. Fouledout-none.

Free Throws M-A: Northwest 15-17. Co-Lin22-26.

3-point goals: Northwest 5-17 (Shead 2, Draine,Hamilton, J. Smith). Co-Lin 3-14 (Haynes 1-2, Whitley 2-8,Dickerson 0-4).

Rebounds: Northwest 37 (Shead 8). Co-Lin 28 (Whitley10).

Turnovers: Northwest 24. Co-Lin 17. Assists: Co-Lin 16(Whitley 7). Steals: Northwest 12. Co-Lin 13 (Whitley5).

Field Goals M-A: Northwest 31-71. Co-Lin27-51.