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Co-Lin women reach 23-0; Pearl River swamps Wolves

WESSON – Achieving an undefeated regular season Thursday night,the No. 4 nationally-ranked Co-Lin Lady Wolves smashed Pearl RiverCommunity College 75-58 in Mullen Gymnasium. Co-Lin (23-0) wasdirected by sophomore guard Latoria Holder’s 16 points andsupported by Brandi Simmons with 15 and Rachel Vigers with13.

The Mullen Gymnasium crowd also witnessed the other South Divisionchampion flex its muscles in the men’s game as the Wildcatsoverwhelmed Co-Lin 84-51 in a final tune-up for next week’s MACJCState Tournament at East Mississippi in Scooba.

Co-Lin women’s coach Gwyn Young, chalking up another South crown inhis highly successful 33 years at the helm, was disappointed withhis team’s second-half performance after leading Pearl River 46-27at halftime. His team had 24 turnovers and shot 44 percent from thefield.

“We turned the ball over and didn’t play good defense,” said Young.”We stopped playing hard when we got up by 27 (points). We must doa lot better next week if we want to win state.”

His Lady Wolves were runners-up to Jones County in last year’sstate tournament.

Holder, who accounted for 16 points, nine steals and six assists,agreed with her coach. “We have to get serious and keep workinghard. Our defense got a little down tonight when we got so farahead.”

The Lady Wildcats (7-16, 1-11) dressed only seven players lastnight. Coach Toby Bush’s team pulled within nine points, 65-56,with 3:42 left on a trey by Brittany Weathers.

Young called another timeout to lecture his team and they respondedwith a quick run. Vigers hit a baseline jumper and Holder cashed ina steal with a layup.

Weathers, a 6-foot sophomore from Hattiesburg (Oak Grove), finishedwith 17 points and 9 rebounds. Kenyatta Epps, a 5-6 freshman guardfrom Yazoo City, added 14 points.

Pearl River 84, Co-Lin 51

The Wildcats (20-4, 10-2), coached by Richard Mathis, overpoweredCo-Lin with their superior shooting, rebounding and quickness. Theygot 14 points from Phillip Crawford, a 6-7 freshman from Mobile,Ala. Kenderick Washington, a 6-4 sophomore from Utica (Hinds AHS),added 13 points as the Wildcats sacked 59 percent of their fieldgoal attempts.

“We played a bunch of men tonight,” said Co-Lin assistant coachCliff Furr. “They were bigger and stronger than us. We didn’t playwell either.”

Furr figures the Wildcats can win it all next week at Scooba andthe Region 23 Tournament the following week. “They are thebest-coached team in the league.”

The Wolves (6-17, 4-8) shot a cold 29 percent from the field andwere outrebounded 35-26 in their season finale. Freshman guardAnthony Evans scored 12 points and sophomore forward MichaelCampbell netted 10.

Furr has been serving as interim head coach while Dennis Simsrecovers from extensive stomach surgery. Sims sat in the bleachersfor a portion of the game and left midway through the secondhalf.