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Wolves outscore East Miss.; tackle Itawamba in semis

WESSON — Standout sophomore guard Ledell Eackles sat out muchof the second half Tuesday night but his Co-Lin teammates picked upthe slack. Freshman guard Joe Holliday scored 22 points and Eacklesadded 21 as the Wolves eliminated East Mississippi CommunityCollege 88-74 in the MACJC State Basketball Tournament.

Eackles, from Baton Rouge, watched freshman guard Ivory Dishmoncome off the bench to sack 15 points, helping lead the Wolves intotonight’s semifinals against Itawamba. Game time is 7:45 in MullenGymnasium.

In the other men’s semifinals game, Hinds tackles powerhouseNorthwest at 3:15. Northwest, ranked No. 7 in the nation, smashedGulf Coast 102-67 yesterday. Hinds beat Coahoma 78-72 and Itawambashaved Pearl River 73-70 in other men’s games.

Women’s semifinals today send Northeast against Northwest at1:30 and Mississippi Delta against East Central at 6. Statechampionship finals are Thursday night at 6 and 7:45.

“When I came out with four fouls, I expected my teammates tokeep up the scoring,” said Eackles. “Joe Holliday shot the ballwell and Cedric Walker had a tremendous game.”

Eackles said the Wolves are hungry for a state title. “I believewe will be prepared for Itawamba. We’ve been working for this allseason.”

Against East Mississippi last night, the Wolves had to contendwith the NBA-range, 3-point shooting of Boo Ramsey, a 6-2 sophomorefrom Meridian. Ramsey pumped in 6 treys, netting 4 the first half,as the Lions trailed 42-38.

“I had heard about No. 23 (Ramsey),” said Eackles. “He wasreally hot. I had to see him in person.”

Eackles sacked 14 first-half points and Holliday bagged 13 asthey combined for 5 treys. Ramsey and Phillip Lockhart both had 14points for the Lions at halftime.

“East Mississippi was making some long-distance shots andgetting the rebounds in the first half,” said Co-Lin coach DennisSims. “I told our guys to play better defense. They (Lions) startedto get tired with about four minutes left in the half.”

Dupree Hall, EMCC’s 6-foot-7 post player, blocked 4 Co-Lin shotsin the opening 10 minutes of the game. He had 5 blocks and 1goal-tending call in the first half.

In the second half, Co-Lin went on a 16-8 run in the opening 8minutes, sparked by Dishmon’s steals and assists. The Wolves led60-46 on a driving layup by Dexter Middleton, and 12:31 left toplay.

Sims said foul trouble for Dishmon and Middleton and LukeLofton’s absence due to illness, forced him to juggle his lineup.”We had to mix and match some subs off the bench and they did agood job.”

Co-Lin outrebounded the Lions 34-29. Middleton and Walker bothhad 6 boards.

Hinds 78, Coahoma 72

Janario Burton scored 23 points and Brandon Washington 12 asHinds beat Coahoma. The Tigers got 20 points from Richard Cannonand 15 from Edwin Smith.

Itawamba 73, Pearl River 70

The Indians prevailed when Pearl River missed a game-tying trey.They were led by Courtney Bradley’s 33 points. Bradley is a 6-5forward from Utica. Reggie Gunn chipped in 21 points.

Pearl River got 18 points apiece from Thomas Fraise and AltonRobinson. Jeremy Holder netted 13 points.

Northwest 102, Gulf Coast 67

Bryan Ray’s 20 points led 4 Rangers in double figures. AdrianBanks scored 18 points, Lamar Sanders 17 and Currye Todd 13.

Gulf Coast was led by Garland Stewart’s 18 points. Jason Watsonadded 12.