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Lady Wolves achieve new level in FG shoot

WESSON — Offensively, the Co-Lin Lady Wolves have achieved anew plateau in field goal percentage. Entering the second half oftheir basketball season tonight, Co-Lin women’s coach Gwyn Younghopes the shooting accuracy continues.

His Lady Wolves (9-1), ranked No. 16 in the nation, meet theNortheast Community College Lady Tigers today at 5 p.m. in MullenGymnasium, followed by the men’s game at 7. The games are startingan hour earlier to accommodate the long-distance bus ride fromBooneville.

Co-Lin begins South Division play next week.

“Offensively, we have shot the ball pretty well,” said Young. “Ithink we were shooting 45 percent from the field and that’s animprovement.”

Sophomore playmaker Nikki Williams of White Castle, La., leadsCo-Lin in scoring. She averages 15.1 points per game, plus 5.2rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.2 steals per game.

Sophomore post Erica Trahan of Baton Rouge joins Williams indouble figures, averaging 11.1 ppg. She is the team’s leadingrebounder (9.0 rpg).

Other scoring leaders for Co-Lin are sophomore guard HannaPorter of Brandon (8.6 ppg), freshman forward Alisha Mason of Ruth(6.4 ppg), sophomore guard Whitney Scott of Hahnville, La. (6.1ppg), sophomore forward Dominique Whitfield of Crystal Springs (6.3ppg), and sophomore guard Corissa Tillman of Crystal Springs (5.2ppg).

On the backboards, Young says there is a vast need forimprovement. “Rebounding, we need to do a better job. We haven’tdone a good job rebounding the offside.”

Following Trahan on the backboards are Williams and Whitfield(6.3 rpg).

“I thought we would do pretty well at the start of the seasonbecause we had a lot of sophomores coming back,” said Young. Histeam was runner-up in last season’s MJCAA State and NJCAA Region 23Tournaments. They won the South Division title.

Young said, “I haven’t seen as much improvement as I would haveliked to have seen,” before holidays. “We need to keepimproving.”

Naturally, defense is key to every team’s level of success.Young said his team must step it up a notch as the South Divisionportion of their schedule begins.

“Defensively, in the perimeter, we must contain the ballhandlers better and keep them from driving,” said Young. “Our postdefense must improve, too.”

Wolves Start 6-3

According to Co-Lin men’s coach Dennis Sims, the second half ofthe season will see some changes in his team. Sims said Co-Linsophomore point guard Dexter Brunson of Jackson has been declaredacademically ineligible. Brunson was averaging 38 minutes agame.

Sims said Charles Lewis, a 6-foot guard from Wingfield, has beenadded to the roster. He transferred from Hinds after one season andsat out the first semester.

“It’s like two different seasons,” said Sims. “We’ve got inthree practices since coming back. You work on timing andconditioning. Our players came back in OK shape.”

On defense, the Wolves have made their mark on a national scale.Co-Lin ranks ninth in the nation in points allowed per game.

“We are better than most teams defensively but we must get muchbetter offensively,” Sims noted. “We are missing too many easyshots and making mistakes.”

Brunson’s experience and ball-handling skills will be missed butSims said there are other talented guards on the roster. “Ourguards are playing well despite inexperience. We have more heightat the four and five spots.”

Sophomore post players Greg Truvillion of Lansing, Mich., andChristian Marshall of Jackson lead Co-Lin’s inside game.

Asked about the South Division race, Sims said Pearl River andGulf Coast are the teams to beat.

Next Monday the Pearl River women’s game starts at 5 p.m. on theroad at Poplarville. Southwest has announced intentions to beginits women’s games at 5 p.m., followed by the men at 7.