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Warriors rally past Wolves

WESSON — The East Central Warriors wouldn’t quit. Trailing theCo-Lin men 32-22 at halftime, the Warriors came out in the secondhalf and outscored the Wolves 42-23 to pull out a 64-55 SouthDivision win Thursday night at Mullen Gymnasium.

The win improves East Central’s division record to 5-7 and 10-12overall. The Warriors are coached by Billy Smith.

Co-Lin falls to 5-7 in division action and 10-11 on theseason.

The game was close in the opening minutes with freshman guardLedell Eackles nailing a free throw to put the Wolves up 5-4 at the16:45 mark in the first half. Co-Lin freshman forward Luke Loftonhit a jump shot, sophomore guard Jeremy Richardson nailed athree-pointer and Lofton came back with his own trey to push theWolves’ lead up to 13-4 with 14:04 left.

With 3:18 remaining in first-half play, Co-Lin was up 28-18 andbegan to spread the offense out and take time off the clock. A bigputback by sophomore forward Calvin Lockhart with 2:15 remainingpushed Co-Lin’s lead to 12 points, 30-18. Eackles followed up witha jumper for a 32-20 lead with 1:30 left. East Central freshmanforward Ryan Hudson nailed a pair of free throws to cut the deficitback to 10 points, 32-22, with 33 seconds showing. Lofton attempteda three-pointer at the buzzer but the basketball spun out of thegoal.

“We should have been up by 20 points at halftime,” said Co-Linmen’s head basketball coach Dennis Sims.

In the second half, East Central chipped away at the Co-Lin leadas the Wolves suddenly weren’t able to get their shots to fall. Atthe 11:25 mark, a steal and layup from East Central freshman guardgave the Warriors a 42-41 lead over Co-Lin that they would notrelinquish for the remainder of the game.

The Wolves stayed close with the Warriors, cutting the deficitback to two points, 57-55, with 2:08 left on a pair of free throwsfrom Lockhart. East Central answered back with four unansweredpoints for a 61-55 lead with one minute left to play.

“We couldn’t make the shots,” stated Sims. “In the second half,East Central picked it up and we didn’t. We had some looks anddidn’t make them.”

The only Wolf in double figures was Eackles with 13 points.Freshman guard Brandon Caston and Richardson netted nine pointsapiece. Richardson and Lockhart led off the backboards with ninerebounds apiece.

Powering East Central with 17 points was Ryan Hudson. Scoring 12points apiece were Desmond Jones and Tawon Walker. Al Willisfinished with 11 points.

Co-Lin travels to Southwest Monday for more division action. Thewomen begin play at 6 p.m. followed by the men.