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Lady Wolves give Young 600th win

MERIDIAN — The Copiah-Lincoln Community College Lady Wolvesheld off the Meridian Lady Eagles 65-62 Thursday night to give headcoach Gwyn Young his 600th career win in MAJAC South Divisionaction.

The Meridian men needed a big home win Thursday night to try andget back into the thick of things. The Eagles got a huge home courtwin over the Wolves (9-8, 4-4) in overtime by a final of 70-66 togive the hosts a boost in the standings.

Co-Lin 65, Meridian 62

Young had many reasons to smile after a big three-point win onthe road over Meridian (10-9, 1-7).

“Winning the game was the most important thing for this team andthey did such a great job of coming here tonight to take such a bigwin in conference play,” said Young. “It is nice to get that manywins, but that was not as important as getting this wintonight.”

The Lady Wolves started off by taking a 15-7 lead in the firstthree minutes of the game on several baskets from Travalyn Smith.Meridian was able to cut the lead to 15-14 with 10:36 left in thefirst on seven straight points from Stephanie Mosley.

Co-Lin (11-6, 6-2) was able to hold off a late Meridian chargein the first half to hold a 37-31 lead.

The Lady Wolves built the lead back to 45-35 to open the secondbehind the efforts of Smith once again. The Lady Eagles fought backto cut the lead to 60-56 with 2:51 left in the second thanks to thegreat inside play of Danielle Cooper. The Lady Eagles could notclimb back in the game and took the loss.

“We know that we have our backs against the wall and we justneed to play hard from this point forward,” said Meridian headcoach Hilary Allen. “We have lost three straight three-point gamesand it is tough, especially in conference action.”

Victoria Richardson led the way with 18 points and three stealsfor the Lady Wolves. Smith and Jessica Melton added 16 pointsapiece. Tops off the backboards with 11 rebounds was LaurenWilliams. Smith and Melton grabbed seven rebounds apiece.

Mosley led the way with a game-high 20 points for Meridian andCooper chipped in with 15 points and six rebounds.

Meridian 70, Co-Lin 66 (OT)

The Meridian men are currently 13-6 overall and 3-5 inthe South Division and head coach George Brooks was proud of thegreat team win.

“We really pulled together as a team at the end and whenthings got hard they depended on each other,” said Brooks. “I am soproud of the effort and the way we played teambasketball.”

Meridian fell behind early in the game by a score of29-17 as the Wolves got a great 10-0 run in the opening moments totake the large lead over the Eagles. Meridian was able to cut thelead to 35-26 at the end of the first half after falling behind byas much as 14 points in the final four minutes.

The Eagles broke out of its shooting slump to open thesecond half on a 9-0 run and make the score 36-35 in favor ofCo-Lin. Mecose Todd connected on a pair of three-point shots tolead the scoring run.

The Wolves extended their lead to 46-41 with 9:58 leftin the second half on a couple of big jump shots from DexterMiddleton. The next possession for the Eagles may have been thebiggest of the second half.

Meridian kept fighting through the shooting woes andtook its first lead with 5:14 left in the second on an insidebasket from Willie Powers. Powers ended the night with a team-high17 points and Brooks praised his heroics down thestretch.

“He (Powers) stopped the bleeding on a lot of thepossessions in the second half and especially at the end,” addedBrooks. “He has a lot of character and he is such a great leader onthis team.”

Co-Lin took the lead back with 4:52 left on a jumperfrom Middleton, but Meridian answered on the opposite end of abasket from Winfield to tie the game at 53-53.

The Eagles fell behind once again with 2:13 left in thesecond on yet another big basket from Middleton to make the score57-54. Rodney Hampton kept the Eagles’ hopes alive on the next tripup the floor with the what may have been the biggest basket of thesecond half.

The Starkville freshman drained a three-point shot fromthe right corner to tie the game at 57-57 with 1:50 left inregulation. Meridian forced the overtime on the free throw line andwon the game with four free throws in overtime to secure thewin.

Todd also had a great night with 15 points for Meridianand Keno Leflore chipped in with 14 in the victory.

“Meridian was more physical and aggressive than us,”said Co-Lin men’s head coach Dennis Sims. “We’ve got to make playson both ends of the floor and tonight we made few. Our team has notmatured enough to stay focused, which makes this gameeasier.”

For the Wolves, Middleton led the way with a game high18 points and Ledell Eackles added 15 in the loss. Derek Jarvis hada career high 18 rebounds.