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Lady Wolves seek region title

CLINTON – After winning the MJCAA State Basketball Tournamenttitle last Thursday night, the Copiah-Lincoln Community CollegeLady Wolves pursue another title this week. They are among eightwomen’s teams competing for the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament title inA.E. Wood Coliseum on the Mississippi College campus.

The Co-Lin women (23-2), ranked No. 7 in the latest NJCAA poll,are the No. 1 seeds out of Mississippi. They meet Northwest Mondaynight at 8.

In other first-round women’s games, Itawamba plays Pearl Riverat 12 noon, state tournament runner-up Southwest plays Northeast at2 p.m., and Meridian versus East Central at 6. Wednesday’ssemifinals feature East Central/Meridian winner versus theSouthwest-Northeast winner at 12 noon, and the Co-Lin/Northwestwinner vs. Itawamba-Pearl River winner at 6.

Championship finals are Thursday night at 6. The winner advancesto the NJCAA National Tournament.

Co-Lin won three straight games in the state tournament atItawamba Community College in Fulton. In the title game, Co-Linedged Southwest 70-65, powered by freshman guard Tiania Burns with36 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists.

Burns, a 5-foot-7 Nashville product, hit 10 of 18 field goalattempts from 2-point range and 3 of 7 from beyond the arc in herseason-high performance. She made 7 of 10 free throw attempts asCo-Lin beat Southwest for the second time in a week.

Co-Lin coach Gwyn Young was happy to see his Lady Wolves beatSouthwest again. The Lady Bears nearly erased a 13-point deficit inthe second half, climbing within 1 point.

Freshman forward Nikki Blakely of Brookhaven supported thevictory with 12 points and 8 rebounds. Co-Lin’s bench outscoredSouthwest’s bench 24-9.

The Lady Wolves outrebounded Southwest 41-22. Sophomore centerMindy Livaudais and sophomore forward Laurie Ann Davis each had 6rebounds.

Southwest (19-6) got 17 points from Traci Forrest.

It was the fourth state title for Coach Young in the last 12years. This is his 27th year at Co-Lin and 26th as women’s coach.He has compiled a record of 556 wins and 173 losses.

In last week’s state semifinals, Co-Lin eliminated Pearl River67-58, led by Livaudais with 25 points. In the first round, Co-Linbeat Holmes 62-50, led by Livaudais with 18 points and 14 rebounds.Burns scored 14 points and Christy Brown 12.