Jones County gets revenge, sweeps Co-Lin

Published 9:00 pm Friday, February 24, 2012

WESSON – Jones County Junior College was hunting revenge Thursday night in the cozy but hostile confines of Mullen Gymnasium as Co-Lin played its last games of the regular season. Both JCJC teams mounted spirited, second-half comebacks. The Lady Bobcats won 70-66 and the Bobcats prevailed 86-75, avenging Co-Lin’s Jan. 30, South Division sweep at Ellisville.

      Co-Lin’s women (19-4, 11-1) saw their bid for a perfect South Division ledger spoiled. For the men, it was a disappointing conclusion to a roller-coaster season as the Wolves (9-14, 4-8) fell short of a state tournament berth.

     The Lady Wolves, seeded No. 1 out of the South, advance to the MACJC State Tournament at Itawamba Community College in Fulton next week. Their first game is Tuesday at 1 p.m., against North No. 4 seed Northeast.

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     Coach Gwyn Young’s Lady Wolves played an exceptional first half and led Jones 44-27. In a complete change of character, the hosts shot just 18 percent from the field in the second half and finished with 32 turnovers.

     “The second half we did nothing,” said Young, disappointment showing in his face. “We didn’t play with any energy and we probably turned it over 20-22 times.”

     By contrast, Coach Sandra Sumrall’s Lady Bobcats (14-8, 8-4) raised their intensity level as they battled for a berth in the state tournament. They are expected to be seeded third out of the South.

     JCJC went on a 31-13 run in the first 13 minutes of the second half and took the lead at 58-57 on a putback by Lauren Douglas. Alecia Autman, a 5-foot-10 sophomore post from Brandon, led the victory with 22 points. Hollis Terrenisha, a 5-11 sophomore post from Birmingham, Ala., chipped in 18 points and 14 rebounds.

     Autman sat out the final 3 minutes of the game after falling on her left shoulder but Co-Lin couldn’t capitalize on her absence.

     Directing the Lady Wolves was Jasmine James with 14 points. Center Jasmine Belton chipped in 10 points and 13 rebounds. Chanta Poole netted 10 points.

     Guard Keosha Bradley, Co-Lin’s leading scorer, was limited to 6 points. She was in early foul trouble and went scoreless from 3-point range.

     The Bobcats (12-11, 6-6) qualified for the state tournament by defeating Co-Lin and will be seeded No. 4. They’ll face North No. 1 seed East Mississippi in the opening round.

     JCJC overwhelmed Co-Lin on the backboards, pulling down 47 rebounds compared to 28 for the Wolves. The Bobcats’ overall size and strength were too much for Co-Lin to handle.

     ” (Bobcats) killed us on the offensive boards,” said Co-Lin coach Dennis Sims. “We are not athletic enough and not strong enough to match up with the best teams in our league.”

     Sims also expressed his disgust with the defensive effort. “I think this is the first team I’ve ever had that gave up 60 points in  a 20-minute half. We didn’t play defense.”

     Sims saw his team leading 31-26 at halftime.

     Powering the Bobcats was Donta Pittman, a 5-11 freshman guard from Wayne County, who finished with 18 points. Kelvin Nixon, a 6-2 guard from Heidelberg, added 16 points and J.J. Bolton netted 13.

     Detrick Davis, a 6-4 freshman from Buckatunna (Wayne County) directed the rebounding effort with 12 boards.

     JCJC coach Don Skelton often substituted five players at a time. “We don’t have a superstar player so we can substitute a lot. We got 18 offensive rebounds tonight.”

     Co-Lin got 22 points and 5 rebounds from freshman center Fred Fairman. Freshman guard Anthony Davis scored 14 points.

     The Bobcats boasted a 15-point, 74-59 lead with 5:38 left in the game. Co-Lin authored a brief rally and cut the lead to 76-70 on a NBA-range 3-pointer by Joseph Cunningham with 3:31 left but could come no closer.