NW Rangers nip Wolves for state crown

Published 6:00 am Friday, March 4, 2005

WESSON — Before a packed crowd Thursday night, the Co-LinWolves gave the nationally ranked No. 7 Northwest Rangers more thanthey could handle.

In the final seconds, Co-Lin freshman guard Joe Hollidaylaunched a 3-pointer from the left corner that hit the back of therim and came out at the buzzer as the Rangers held on for a 71-70win and captured the MACJC State Tournament Championship in MullenGymnasium.

In the women’s title game, Mississippi Delta’s Lady Trojans blewaway Northwest in overtime for a 71-59 victory.

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Co-Lin (20-7) and Northwest (26-2) advance to the Region XXIIITournament at Mississippi College next week. The men will play theopening round Monday and the women Tuesday. The game times andopponents were unavailable at press time.

Northwest 71, Co-Lin 70

With 1:43 left to play, Northwest sophomore forward LamarSanders made a steal for a layup that put the Rangers in charge71-64.

The Wolves mounted a 6-0 run led by freshman forward Arvel Keys’putback, sophomore guard Brandon Caston’s pair of free throws andfreshman forward Tremaine Enoch’s two freebies that cut the Rangerslead to 71-70 with 42 seconds remaining.

Northwest missed a trey and Caston pulled down the defensiverebound with 18.6 seconds on the clock. Freshman guard IvoryDishmon tried going up the middle then passed off to Holliday withthree seconds left for the last shot to bounced off the rim as timeran out.

“The guys have come through for us,” said Co-Lin men’s headcoach Dennis Sims following the title game. “Give our kids credit.They fought back. We didn’t win it at the end.”

The Wolves led briefly early in the first half then trailed asmuch as 16 points, 31-15, with 9:55 left. Co-Lin chipped away atthe Northwest lead and cut it to 39-34 at the half.

Co-Lin took a brief lead, 49-48, for the first time in thesecond half at the 14:19 mark on a layup by Dishmon. The lead wentback and forth the remainder of the game.

“We missed Dexter Middleton tonight,” added Sims. Middleton, a6-2 sophomore guard from Brookhaven, injured his ankle the nightbefore against Itawamba and was out of action. “We played a veryathletic team. This should give us some more confidence.”

Powering the Wolves with 14 points was Eackles. Holliday andCedric Walker fired in 13 points apiece. Lamar Hall finished with 9points. Tops off the backboards with seven rebounds was Enochfollowed by Walker and Eackles with five apiece. Keys grabbed four.Eackles also made three steals. Dishmon led with six assists.

Northwest, coached by Don Skelton, got 16 points from Sandersand 12 from sophomore guard Joemal Campbell.

Mississippi Delta 71, Northwest 59

At the end of regulation, both teams were tied at 54-all. In OT,the the Lady Trojans outscored the Lady Rangers 17-5 to clinch thestate title.

Mississippi Delta (18-7) was led by Jessica Boyd with agame-high 23 points. Vancherrika Mitchell netted 14 points. LatishaBrown scored 11 points followed by Jazmine Cain with 10.

Leading Northwest (15-11) with 22 points was Sharlene Murphy.Nikita Taylor collected 13 points. Scoring 11 points each wereCandy Hall and Takela Gunn.