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Co-Lin hunts success in state tournament

WESSON — Throw out the record books, forget the rankings andget ready for a whole new season. Co-Lin coaches Gwyn Young andDennis Sims believe there is no favorite in this week’s MACJC StateBasketball Tournament. Action tips off Monday in Co-Lin’s MullenGymnasium and runs through Thursday night.

The Co-Lin Lady Wolves (23-2, 13-1) finished first in the SouthDivision race. They are ranked No. 10 in the nation and playHolmes, the No. 4 team out of the North, Monday at 6 p.m.

Other first round women’s action sends Jones County againstItawamba at 1:30, defending state champion Northeast against EastCentral at 3:15 and Mississippi Delta against Southwest at 7:45.Semifinals are Wednesday.

The Wolves (17-7, 10-4) finished second in the South Divisionand play North No. 3 Mississippi Delta Tuesday at 6 p.m. OtherTuesday men’s games feature South No. 1 Gulf Coast vs. Northwest at1:30, Holmes versus Pearl River at 3:15 and Hinds vs. Itawamba at7:15.

According to Coach Young, state title hopefuls must play well onboth ends of the floor. “Offensively you have to play a good gameand play well on defense, too. Anybody there has a chance to winit.”

Holmes, Monday’s opponent lost 79-62 to Co-Lin last Nov. 9, atWesson.

“The second time we played Holmes, it was close,” said Young.”We split with Northeast. We had a close game with Delta. Whoeverplays well offensively, can win it all.”

Northeast won the state title and the regional last year,advancing to the nationals.

Co-Lin’s attack is led by sophomore playmaker Nikki Williams whoaverages 13.9 points per game. Sophomore center Erica Trahan (11.1ppg, 9.3 rpg) is the team’s second leading scorer and toprebounder. Dominique Whitfield (5.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Whitney Scott(6.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and Hanna Porter (10.1 ppg) are in the startinglineup. Freshmen Alisha Mason (8.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg) and Kristin Ellis(4.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg) are No. 6 and No. 7.

Sims said the state tournament has no clear-cut favorite. “Onceyou get to the state tournament, it just starts all over again.Overall, Itawamba and Gulf Coast have been the most consistent overthe season.”

Sims said the Delta Trojans are a strong opponent. “We areplaying Delta and they are playing well. They beat Northwest andHolmes.”

On Nov. 30, the Wolves beat Delta 50-45 at Moorehead.

“Whoever plays well for three straight nights will win it,” Simspredicted. “Seldom are theses games blowouts.”

Holmes won the state title last year and Northwest captured theregional.

Sims said the Wolves were in good shape, with the exception ofleading scorer/rebounder Greg Truvillion (17.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg) whosprained an ankle in the Jones County game Thursday night. Heshould be ready to go Tuesday against Delta.

Co-Lin’s Christian Marshall, a 6-10 sophomore from JacksonWingfield, averages 13.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. CoreyLondon (9.7 ppg), Charles Lewis (11.0 ppg), Julius Blanks (2.8ppg), Darrell Johnson (4.5 ppg), Wesley Brown (3.7 ppg), and ZachThomas (3.1) also have started for Co-Lin.