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Richardson’s scoring spree sparks Co-Lin men over Gulf Coast Bulldogs

WESSON — Co-Lin men’s basketball coach Dennis Sims comparedMonday night’s 72-66 South Division victory over Gulf CoastCommunity College to a tennis match. Gulf Coast won the first setconvincingly and led 36-32 at halftime. Then Sims saw his Wolvesrally behind the 16 second-half points of Jeremy Richardson to winthe contest in Mullen Gymnasium.

Richardson, a wiry 6-6 sophomore guard from Zachary, La., saidthe Wolves struggled in the first half. “We didn’t play too good.Then we started doing what we needed to do to win in the secondhalf.

“We got in a huddle and said, ‘It’s time to play.’ We picked upour defense a lot the second half.”

The Wolves lost powerful sophomore center Derek Jarvis to a kneeinjury before the game was 3 minutes old. Jarvis was to have theknee examined by a specialist today.

Ron Lockhart and Rayshone Autman stepped up and took care of theboardwork. They had 5 rebounds apiece in the win.

“We played poorly until the last 14 minutes of the game,” saidSims. “It was like a tennis match where you get whipped the firstset and play terrible. Then you play better and win the secondset.”

Sims said Co-Lin guards Brandon Caston, Dexter Middleton andLedell Eackles played well in the second half. “We had to defendand we began to frustrate (Bulldogs) with our defensivepressure.”

Gulf Coast (8-12, 4-5), coached by Wendell Weathers, was tiedwith Co-Lin (10-8, 5-4) for fourth place in the South Divisionbefore last night’s game. The top four teams out of the North andSouth Divisions will advance to the State Tournament Feb. 23-26. Itwill be hosted by the North Division women’s champion, probablyNortheast at Booneville.

The Bulldogs produced a dazzling display of perimeter shootinglast night, sacking 10 treys. Courtney Brown and Terrell Jordan,both freshmen from Gulfport, sacked 5 and 4 treys respectively.

Co-Lin trailed by 12 points, 57-45, with 10:52 left to play.Catching fire and capitalizing on turnovers, the Wolves went ahead66-65 with 2:21 remaining when Eackles sank a driving layup.Richardson followed with a long jumper from the corner and Co-Linled 68-65, capping a 13-0 run.

Caston and Eackles combined for 4 straight free throws in thelast 69 seconds to preserve the victory. Guard Dartez Edwardsprovided 5 assists in the win.

Wolf Tails: Prior to the men’s game, the crowd was askedto stand for a moment of silence and meditation in memory ofDorothy See, a longtime Co-Lin basketball fan who passed away lastweek.

@Bbstandings:Co-Lin 72, Gulf Coast 66

Gulf Coast (66) Courtney Brown 18, Terrell Jordan 14,Blackwell 3, V. Jordan 5, Curry 7, Williams 1, Turner 0, Stewart 9,Washington 2, Biggons 7.

Co-Lin (72) Jeremy Richardson 16, Ledell Eackles 14,Middleton 9, Caston 10, Edwards 6, Autman 9, Stewart 2, Lockhart 4,Jarvis 2.

Halftime: Gulf Coast 36-32.

Total fouls: Gulf Coast 27. Co-Lin 19. Fouledout-Blackwell.

Free Throws M-A: Gulf Coast 12-19. Co-Lin15-27.

3-point goals: Gulf Coast 10 (Brown 5, T. Jordan 4, V.Jordan). Co-Lin 5 (Richardson 2, Caston 2, Eackles).

Rebounds: Gulf Coast 23 (Biggons 5, Brown 5). Co-Lin 21(Autman 5, Lockhart 5).

Turnovers Gulf Coast 18. Co-Lin 13.