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Lady Wolves tackle Jefferson

SALINA – Sophomore center Erica Trahan and the Copiah-LincolnCommunity College Lady Wolves play Jefferson (Mo.) tonight at 8:15in the Bicentennial Center. It will be the sixth and final game inTuesday’s opening round of the NJCAA National BasketballTournament. Two first round games will be played Wednesday.

Trahan said the Lady Wolves (28-3) must play their best of gameof the season against Jefferson (30-3). “We have to block out onthe boards and put a bite on somebody.”

What Trahan and her teammates face is the best 3-point shootingguard in the nation in 5-foot-5 sophomore Kandy Beemer. They alsoface a towering front line, featuring a pair of 6-foot-2 postplayers and a 6-1.

“We need to play our best game ever,” said Trahan. A strong 5-10post from Baton Rouge, La., she is Co-Lin’s leading rebounder (9.1rpg) and second leading scorer (11.7 ppg).

Trahan will get help on the backboards from Dominique Whitfield(6.1 rpg), a 5-11 sophomore from Crystal Springs; and guard NikkiWilliams (4.4 rpg). Another major rebounder is Whitney Scott, a 5-9sophomore from Hahnville, La.

Williams, a 5-7 sophomore from White Castle, La., is Co-Lin’sleading scorer (14.6 ppg) and assist leader (5.6 apg). She scored acareer-high 29 points in Co-Lin’s regional championship gameagainst Meridian.

“We must be ready to play,” said Williams. “We need good defenseand we have to play our game.”

Co-Lin is averaging 69.6 points per game. The Lady Wolves make42 percent of their field goal attempts. As a team they make 37percent of their 3-point goals and 61 percent of their freethrows.

“We must defend well and keep them (Jefferson) off the boards,”said Co-Lin head coach Gwyn Young. “We have our work cut out forus. We can’t afford to have the jitters. We must play hard.”

This is the fifth time for Young to bring a Co-Lin team to thenational tournament. The last appearance in Salina was 2002.

The Jefferson Lady Vikings are coached by Kevin Emcrick. Theyare averaging 73 points per game. They make 41 percent of their3-point shots.

The Vikings finished sixth in the 2001 national tournament,their last appearance. Currently, they’re riding a 21-game victorystreak since losing to No. 1-ranked Southeastern Illinois73-54.

Beemer, a sharpshooter from Bedford, Iowa, is averaging 16.8ppg. She nets 51 percent of her field goal attempts.

Guard Chy Tearea Kinchen, a 5-7 sophomore from Ft. Lauderdale,Fla., is Jefferson’s leading scorer (17.6 ppg). Also averaging indouble digits are Aija Veiksane, a 6-2 sophomore from Riga, Latvia;and Ashley Cornett, a 5-8 sophomore from Omaha, Neb., both at 10ppg.