Co-Lin adds talent to women’s team

Published 5:00 am Monday, June 9, 2003

WESSON – Copiah-Lincoln Community College women’s basketballcoach Gwyn Young has been encouraged by his latest recruiting crop.His Lady Wolves won back-to-back state tournament championships andseveral outstanding players must be replaced.

The Co-Lin Lady Wolves have added several high school standoutsto their squad, among them Jessica Melton of Bogue Chitto, AyanaTillman of Brookhaven, Dana King of West Lincoln, Aiesha Collins ofHazlehurst, Travelyn Smith of Jefferson County, Crystal Brown andGloria Lewis of Natchez and Demetrice Jackson of Tallulah, La.

Travelyn Smith, Jefferson County: 5-9 postplayer. She averaged 25 points and 10 rebounds per game for CoachFlora McKnight’s Lady Tigers.

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“Travelyn’s a good athlete,” said Young. “She scores well aroundthe basket. She can really rebound well.”

She is a first cousin to Shaquita Smith, Co-Lin’s all-starcenter.

Crystal Brown, Natchez: 5-11 post. Averaged16.1 points and 11.3 rebounds per game.

“Crystal is real physical around the basket,” said Young. “Shescores well inside and she’s real aggressive.”

Gloria Lewis, Natchez: 5-6 guard. She averaged13.6 points and 3.5 assists per game for Coach Mary Irving’s LadyBulldogs.

“Gloria can play the one or two guard positions,” said Young.”She does a real good job handling the ball and passing. She’s alsoa good shooter.”

Dana King, West Lincoln: 5-5 guard: Sheaveraged 18 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists for Coach LaneYoung’s Lady Bears.

“Dana is a really good shooter, especially from the outside,”said Young. “She’ll probably play a shooting guard position forus.”

Ayana Tillman, Brookhaven: 6-0 forward.Averaged 14.6 points, 8.9 rebounds per game for Coach BillyHolmes.

“Ayana has a real good shooting touch for a post player,” saidYoung. “That will help us out a lot. She has improved a lot on herpost moves.”

Jessica Melton, Bogue Chitto: 5-7 point guard.She averaged 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 4.4 assistsper game for Coach Mickey Myers. She has a 23-inch verticaljump.

“Jessica can play the point and the 2-guard some,” said Young.”She’s a good ballhandler and passer. She penetrates well.”

Melton was named Miss Basketball on The DAILY LEADER’SAll-Lincoln County Girls Basketball Team.

“I’m excited about playing for Co-Lin,” said Melton. She plansto pursue a career in nursing.

Myers said he was happy to see Melton sign with Co-Lin. “I’mthrilled for Jessica. She has the opportunity to step in acontribute immediately.

“Coach Young runs the best junior college program inMississippi,” Myers pointed out. “It’s a win-win situation forJessica and Co-Lin.”

Aiesha Collins, Hazlehurst: 5-7 forward. TheDAILY LEADER’s All-Area Player of the Year. She played for hermother, Alfreda Craft. Collins averaged 13 points, 8.5 rebounds and4.4 assists per game for the Lady Indians.

“Aiesha is really physical,” said Young. “She can shoot the ballfrom the outside.”

Co-Lin has signed one out of state player in Demetrice Jackson,a 5-2 guard from Tallulah, La. She averaged 31.7 points and 3.2assists. per game for Coach Rob Jones.

“Demetrice is quick and handles the ball well,” said Young. “Shecan play a shooting guard, too.”

Collins, Melton, Brown and Smith playing in the MAC all-starbasketball game, July 19, at Mississippi College.

“I like the group we have recruited up to this point,” saidYoung. “We are losing some good players but we have some good onescoming in, too.”

Lost to graduation were All-American guard Tiania Burns, postShaquita Smith, forwards Nikki Blakely and Lindsay Altman plusguards Ayme Beeson, Monica Townsend, Roberta Johnson and SherikaHarried.

Burns is headed for Mississippi State. Blakely is going to WestGeorgia. Beeson, a point guard, is headed for MississippiCollege.

“We still want to sign one player out of state and we may signone more in state,” said Young.