Wolves, Middleton swamp Southwest in second half

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 26, 2004

WESSON — Dexter Middleton and his Co-Lin teammates were staringat a 29-27 halftime deficit Thursday night in Mullen Gymnasium,trailing archrival Southwest Mississippi Community College. Afterthe halftime sermon by Co-Lin head coach Dennis Sims, the Wolvescaught fire, went on a scoring rampage and beat the Bears 71-56 inSouth Division action.

Middleton, a freshman guard from Brookhaven, finished with 19points, scoring 13 the second half and grabbing 5 rebounds. Anear-capacity crowd watched sophomore forward Jeremy Richardsondirect the Wolves with 22 points, also scoring 13 in the secondhalf.

“We played better defense and got after (Southwest) in thesecond half,” said Middleton. “We knew we should have blown themout in the first half but we weren’t executing.

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Middleton scored 19 points in Monday’s road victory at EastCentral. He said Co-Lin sophomore teammates Dontae Dixon andDerrick Jarvis provide him with encouragement.

“Dontae gets onto me and Jarvis gives me some encouragement,”said Middleton, smiling. “I feel good about my offense.”

Coach Sims said he was pleased with Middleton’s performance.”Dexter played a nice, solid game tonight. He wasn’t flashy but hegot the job done.

Richardson provided the Wolves (8-7, 3-3) with a spark to openthe second half. His dunk, followed by a long jumper from thecorner launched an 11-0 scoring spree by Co-Lin, giving the hosts a38-29 lead with 16:16 left in the game.

“Jeremy Richardson had a good offensive game for us,” said Sims.”Don Lockhart did a good job on Southwest’s post players whenJarvis got in foul trouble.”

Lockhart finished with 5 rebounds and 6 points. He helped shutdown Nic Gamble, Southwest’s 6-foot-7 sophomore center. Gamble,from Dexter, was held to 9 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bears (5-11, 3-4) shot the lights out in the first half,sacking 5 treys. They only made 1 trey the second half as Simsadjusted the defense.

“The second half was as good as you would want your kids to playon the defensive end,” said Sims. “We scored points off Southwest’sturnovers.” The Bears committed 29 turnovers in the game.

“Co-Lin’s defense took us out of everything,” said Southwesthead coach Bill Wallace. “We stood around and watched.”

Wallace’s Bears were fresh from an impressive 79-64 SouthDivision victory at Jones County but they folded in the second halfagainst Co-Lin. They got a team-high 12 points from playmakerTorrey Crumedy and 10 from D.J. Jones.

Co-Lin forged an 18-point lead in the second half. Middleton hita short jumper and followed with a driving layup and a free throwfor a 67-49 advantage with 3:29 left in the game.

Nine minutes earlier, Middleton had cashed in a steal with athundering dunk, pushing Co-Lin ahead by 15 points, 48-33. Pointguard Dartez Edwards contributed 13 points, 5 assists and 3 stealsto the victory.