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Lady Wolves chill Gulf Coast

WESSON — After playing their best first half of the season, theCo-Lin Lady Wolves found themselves holding off a fierce rally bythe Gulf Coast Community College Lady Bulldogs. Sophomore forwardVictoria Richardson and her teammates held off the Lady Bulldogs83-69 Monday night in Mullen Gymnasium.

Richardson finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds as Co-Linraised its record to 12-6 overall and 7-2 in the South Divisionrace. Sophomore post Renee Fields directed the offensive attackwith a game-high 22 points.

Gulf Coast (15-5, 5-4) got 18 points from JoAnna Williams, 14 ofthem coming in the second half rally. Down 45-21 at halftime, theBulldogs reduced their deficit to 9 points, 54-45 on back-to-backjumpers by Angel Liddell.

“We played good team ball and good defense the first half,” saidRichardson, a 5-foot-10 Hazlehurst product. “We were kind of slowto start the second half but our guards started to handle the pressbetter. Gloria (Lewis) does a good job handling thebasketball.”

Co-Lin, limited to 4 points in the opening 8 minutes of thesecond half, finally regained the offensive touch. The hosts wenton an 11-6 run. Fields sank a short jumper off and assist fromRichardson and followed with a pair of free throws for a 12-point,65-53 lead with 4:39 left to play.

Gulf Coast’s determined rally didn’t surprise Co-Lin head coachGwyn Young. “I felt like they would make a run at us. I was hopingwe would hang on. We had a great first half but than we got alittle tight.”

The victory kept Co-Lin in contention for the South Division’stop rung. They trail division leader East Central by one game. OnThursday night, Co-Lin entertains Jones County Junior College foranother important South Division test.

After the game, Young was honored by Co-Lin president Dr. HowellGarner on his milestone victory last Thursday night at Meridian.Young was presented a plaque and an autographed basketball forwinning his 600th game at Co-Lin. Young’s overall record is601-181.

Gulf Coast boasted a towering front line, led by 6-1 LashondaBerry and 5-11 Twila Clayton. Co-Lin center Lauren Williams was inearly foul trouble and fouled out with 1:30 left in the game,limited to 3 points.

“No matter what size player you’re up against, you have to blockout and hit the boards,” said Richardson. “We did what coach(Young) told us to do.”

Richardson also had 4 assists and 4 steals. Travalyn Smith andLewis followed Richardson with 12 and 11 points respectively.

The Lady Bulldogs, coached by Greg Holmes, got 14 points fromJoAnna Williams in the second half charge. Berry scored 12points.

@Bbstandings:Co-Lin 83, Gulf Coast 69

Gulf Coast (69) JoAnna Williams 18, Ross 10, Kogel 2,Liddell 10, Woods 0, Keney 0, Fowler 0, Clayton 9, Scruggs 2, Berry12, Anderson 6.

Co-Lin (83) Renee Fields 22, Victoria Richardson 15,Tavalyn Smith 12, Gloria Lewis 11, King 9, Melton 7, Jackson 0,Williams 3, C. Brown 4.

Halftime: Co-Lin 45-21.

Total fouls: Gulf Coast 28. Co-Lin 20. Fouledout-Clayton, L. Williams, Ross.

Free Throws M-A: Gulf Coast 10-21. Co-Lin22-40.

3-point goals: Gulf Coast 1 (Ross). Co-Lin 4 (King 3,Melton).

Rebounds: Gulf Coast 27 (J. Williams 5). Co-Lin 38(Richardson 10, Melton 7, L. Williams 6).

Turnovers: Gulf Coast 17. Co-Lin 13.