Three Lincoln County standouts sign with Lady Wolves

Published 5:00 am Friday, April 13, 2001

Copiah-Lincoln Community College women’s basketball coach GwynYoung went 3-for-3 Thursday. Young signed three high schoolstandouts from Lincoln County to scholarships, including centerLindsay Altman and guard Amy Smith of Brookhaven Academy andforward Nikki Blakely of Brookhaven.

“All three girls will be an asset to our program,” said CoachYoung. “They were well-coached in high school.”

Smith, a 5-foot-7 guard, was a perimetershooter. She averaged 12.3 points, 3.1 assists and 3.2 steals pergame for Coach Barry Gray’s Lady Cougars, helping them to a 40-3record, a runners-up finish in the Class AA State Tournament andthe quarterfinals of the MPSA Overall Tournament.

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“I’m looking forward to playing for Co-Lin,” said Smith. “Theyhave a real good basketball program.”

Smith said she appreciated Gray’s influence on her career.”Coach Gray pushed us hard and helped us get to where we arenow.”

She plans on a nursing career. Smith runs the relay events onthe track team.

“Amy is a good outside shooter,” said Young. “She has goodball-handling skills and she sees the floor real well. That will bea real asset for her.”

Altman, a 5-10 post player, led the Lady Cougars inscoring (13.9 ppg) and rebounding (8.2 rpg). She and Smith bothplayed in the MPSA All-Star Game.

“It will be fun playing for Co-Lin,” said Altman.”Co-Lin has a very good basketball program.”

Gray said Altman and Smith had been playing for himsince the sixth grade. “They have been a blessing to me. They’reboth good students. They’ll be an attribute to Co-Lin’sprogram.”

Altman is a member of the track team. She runs relayevents, the 400-meter dash and competes in the longjump.

Looking ahead to her freshman season at Co-Lin, Altmansaid she would be moved to the forward position. “Coach Gray workedwith me on my outside shooting. He helped us very much with lifeand everyday living.”

Altman comes from an athletic family. Her father, DannyAltman; played for former Co-Lin coach M.K. Turk when the Wolveswon the regional and advanced to the national tournament inHutchinson, Kan., in 1974, his freshman year.

Altman, from Monticello, is married to the former CheriCole of Bogue Chitto. She was Coach Young’s first scholarshipsignee in 1976. She helped the Lady Wolves advance to the regionaltournament in Cleveland, Tenn.

“Lindsay is a versatile player who can step outside andshoot the jumper or go inside,” said Young. “She reboundswell.”

Blakely, a 5-9 forward, is a member of the NationalHonor Society and maintains a 4.0 GPA. She has scored 22 on theACT.

As a senior, Blakely averaged 18.2 points and 8.9rebounds per game for Coach Ronald Gill’s Lady Panthers. Theyfinished the season with a 19-10 record and were seeded No. 1 inthe Division 6-4A Tournament.

“I’m excited about signing with Co-Lin,” said Blakely.”Co-Lin has a good program and it’s close to home,too.”

Blakely said she plans to major in prelaw atCo-Lin.

Gill said Blakely has practiced overtime making theshift from post to forward. “Nikki works hard to get better. Shehas a beautiful jump shot.”

Young said Blakely is a versatile player. “She istwo-dimensional. She can shoot from the wing and she has good movesat the post position.”

All three signees were named to The DailyLeader’s All-Lincoln County Basketball Team for the 2000-01season.

Juliana Wallace, another Brookhaven standout as a 5-10center, announced plans Thursday to pursue a career in medicineinstead of playing basketball in college. She maintains a 4.0 GPAand was named to the Leader’s All-Lincoln CountyTeam.

Young said he may sign seven players, including oneout-of-stater. He must replace four starters and seven sophomoresfrom the 24-2 team which won the South Division regular seasontitle and advanced to the regionals.

Wolf Tails: Denise Catchings, one of two Co-Lin playersin the MACJC All-Star Women’s Game, scored 11 points as the Southbeat the North 91-88. Co-Lin teammate Tiffany Dales added 7 points.Young was recognized as MACJC Women’s Coach of theYear.