Lady Wolves ease past East Central

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2007

CLINTON — Playmaker Nikki Williams provided the wining freethrows and the Co-Lin Lady Wolves eluded the East Central CommunityCollege Lady Warriors 66-64 Tuesday in the NJCAA Region 23Tournament. Williams finished with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 5steals as Co-Lin 26-3 advanced to tonight’s semifinals againstSouthern-Shreveport. Tipoff is 6 p.m. in Mississippi College’s A.E.Wood Coliseum.

In the other semifinals women’s game, Meridian plays JonesCounty. Meridian upset the defending state/regional championNortheast Lady Tigers 82-81 in overtime yesterday. Jones eliminatedMississippi Delta 89-77.

In the men’s semifinals today, Co-Lin plays Itawamba at noon andGulf Coast tackles Holmes at 2 p.m. Championship finals areThursday night, women at 6 and men at 8. The region championsadvance to the NJCAA National Tournaments in Kansas, women atSalina and men at Hutchinson.

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The Lady Wolves played tenacious defense in thefinal minute of action. With the scoreboard showing a 64-64deadlock, East Central walked with the basketball. After Williamshit the 2 clutch free throws with 7 seconds left to play, Co-Linhad some fouls to burn.

“We played really tough on defense because we had some fouls togive,” said Co-Lin women’s coach Gwyn Young. That strategy upsetECCC’s game plan.

After Williams scored, Co-Lin still had two fouls to burn. TheLady Wolves fouled East Central twice and then blocked a shot atthe end.

“We did some good things offensively in the first half,” saidYoung. “Then we got out of our offense and made some mentalmistakes.”

East Central sacked a series of treys to close the deficit.

Co-Lin sophomore post Erica Trahan followed Williams with 10points and 9 rebounds. Dominque Whitfield grabbed 10 rebounds

“We had a couple (players) come off the bench and play well,”said Young. Alisha Mason scored 8 points. Shalenia Wilcher andKristen Ellis netted 7 apiece. Mason also had 7 rebounds.

Rebounding was a key to victory. Co-Lin commanded a 44-32advantage on the backboards.

East Central got a game-high 24 points from Valerie Harris, a5-8 sophomore guard from Lake. Andrea Dubose, a 5-7 sophomore fromDecatur, chipped in 15 points.

Co-Lin played Southern-Shreveport in the Southwest Tournamentthis season in late November. “They have a pretty good team with alot of speed and quickness,” said Young.

Young’s team beat Southern-Shreveport 80-55 on Nov. 21, inSouthwest’s Horace C. Holmes Gymnasium.