Mason, Wilcher plan futures at senior colleges

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2008

WESSON — Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Alisha Mason andShalenia Wilcher will continue their basketball careers next seasonat senior colleges. On Tuesday, Mason signed with William CareyUniversity and Wilcher signed with Tougaloo College.

Mason and Wilcher were instrumental in helping the Co-Lin LadyWolves to appearances in the MACJC State Tournament and the NJCAARegion 23 Tournament. Co-Lin, coached by Gwyn Young, finished 18-9in a major rebuilding campaign.

“I’m excited about signing with Tougaloo,” said Wilcher, a 5-foot-7guard from McCall Creek in Franklin County. “It’s a good schoolwith a lot of new players.”

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As a sophomore, Wilcher averaged 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds pergame. She said she is undecided on her major.

Wilcher said she had improved her game at Co-Lin. “I feel like Ican help Tougaloo be successful.”

Tougaloo coach Lee Payton said he was looking forward to havingWilcher on his team. Standing 6-foot-8, he is a former Tougaloostar, playing for the Bulldogs in 1974-76.

“Shalenia is what I am looking for in a true point guard,” saidPayton. “She handles the pressure and passes the ball verywell.”

Payton is starting his second season at the NAIA Division I schoolwhich is located in north Jackson. “I want to pick my own playersand make some progress.”

Two junior college players from Coahoma and one from Meridianrecently signed with Tougaloo. Payton said he also planned to signsome players from Georgia.

Mason, a 5-10 forward from Enterprise (Ruth), averaged 10.3 pointsand 6.1 rebounds per game as a Co-Lin sophomore. As freshmen, sheand Wilcher both saw action on the Co-Lin team which finished 30-6and placed fourth in the NJCAA National Tournament in Salina,Kan.

“I’m pretty excited about William Carey,” said Mason. “I can playball and get an education.”

Mason, a former Miss Basketball MVP on The DAILY LEADER’sAll-Lincoln County Basketball Team as an Enterprise senior, plansto pursue a career in the medical field. She might major inbiology.

WCU coach Tracy English is in his 18th year at the Baptist schoollocated in Hattiesburg. His Lady Crusaders finished 15-10 lastseason and placed fourth in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conferencewhich is affiliated with the NAIA.

“We are happy to have Alisha on our team,” said English. “She is aversatile player who can play the perimeter or post up inside forus.”

English said Mason was coming from a strong basketball program.”Co-Lin has a great basketball tradition. I know she has beenwell-coached.”

Mason said she has improved her skills in two years at Co-Lin.”Coach Young has taught me a lot. You learn to do the little thingsright.

“I’ve gotten a lot stronger and I’ve been able to spend a lot moretime in the gym,” she noted.

Young said. “I’m glad we had those two girls playing for us. Theyhad a big part in our success. We look for good things from them inthe future.

“Shalenia can help them at guard,” he added. “I know Alisha canhelp them in scoring and rebounding.”