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Lady Wolves howl in 2nd half

WESSON — Co-Lin guard Jessica Melton said the Lady Wolves beganto focus on the task facing them at halftime. They overcame adismal start, expanded a 29-22 halftime lead and buried the HindsCommunity College Lady Bulldogs 70-43 Thursday night in MullenGymnasium.

The Lady Wolves raised their record to 16-7 overall andconcluded South Division play 11-3, claiming second place behindEast Central in the South race. They advance to next week’s MACJCState Tournament at Northeast Community College in Booneville andface either Northwest or Delta Tuesday at 8 p.m.

“The first half was very sloppy,” Melton, a Bogue Chittoproduct, admitted. “We kept our heads up and came back out ready toplay.”

Melton said Co-Lin’s reserves made a big contribution to thevictory. “We had a lot of people come off the bench and play well.Ayanna (Tillman) hit the boards and Me-me (Demetrice Jackson) madesome good passes and dribbled the ball well.”

Jackson accounted for 7 assists and 4 steals in the victory.Tillman, a 6-foot freshman from Brookhaven, scored 11 points andmatched fellow reserve post Renee Fields in offensive production.Fields also had 9 rebounds.

Freshman forward Travalyn Smith led Co-Lin’s attack with 15points and added 9 rebounds. Freshman guard Gloria Lewis scored all10 of her points in the second half. Victoria Richardson pulleddown 13 rebounds.

Co-Lin is the 2-time defending state champion.

“We are excited about going to state,” said Melton. “We want tobring home another state title.”

Hinds (5-19, 1-13) played with intensity in the first half andCo-Lin missed 16 shots in the lane. Melton’s baseline jumper withjust 1 second showing gave Co-Lin its 7-point halftime margin.

Co-Lin women’s coach Gwyn Young watched his Lady Wolves grab aseason-high and possible school-record 58 rebounds in the game. Histeam had 36 defensive rebounds and 22 offensive.

“It seemed like we were up by five points and suddenly we wereleading by 25,” said Young, recalling the second half surge. “I washappy we hit a big run. Jackson did a good job coming in off thebench for us.”

Young will take nine players to the state tournament. Reservepost Crystal Brown was dismissed from the team this week fordisciplinary reasons. Three other players have fallen by thewayside this season.

The Lady Wolves went on an 20-0 run starting at the 6:45 mark,increasing their lead to 67-38 in a 4-minute span.