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Southwest defeats Lady Warriors, men falls in OT

SUMMIT – The Southwest Lady Bears’ continued their quest for a berth in the upcoming MACJC state tournament Monday as they closed out their home schedule and celebrated Sophomore Night with an easy 77-47 victory over visiting East Central.

With the win, Southwest moved to 17-5 on the season and remained in second place in the South Division with a 9-4 mark (the Lady Bears hold the tiebreaker over Jones County and currently hold the tiebreaker over Meridian, both also 9-4 in the South). East Central dropped to 8-13 and 3-10.

In the men’s contest, the Bears suffered a tough 100-95 overtime loss at home to East Central. The loss dropped the Bears to 12-10 overall. At 6-7, they hold the fourth spot in the South Division, one game ahead of Co-Lin (the top four teams from each division advance to the post-season). East Central moved to 9-13 and 4-9.

Southwest closes out the regular season Thursday night at Meridian in a scheduled 5:30 p.m. South Division contest. The men’s game starts at 7:30 p.m.

Southwest 77, East Central 47 

East Central took an early 3-0 lead Monday night on Bryanna McClendon’s three-pointer. A Katrina Littlepage jumper and Tee Myers’ lay up then served as bookends to a 16-2 run that put the Lady Bears up 16-5 with 12:12 to play in the first half.

A Madison Mault three-pointer with 2:01 on the clock extended the Southwest lead to 43-22. A late pair of Talisa Sherman free throws then gave the home team a 46-22 cushion at the break.

Southwest was never threatened in the second half. A 9-0 to open the final frame game the Lady Bears a 57-22 lead with 15:40 to play and cruised on to the victory. Two free throws by Janeesha Sherman provided the final margin of victory.

Sherman led the Lady Bears with 18 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Courtney Epting and Myers were also in double figures with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Elayne Robinson topped the Lady Bears on the boards with 11 rebounds.

Anna Nowell led the East Central offense with eight points.

East Central 100, Southwest 95 

The Bears fell behind early, 7-0, Monday night, but quickly rebounded to take an 8-7 lead on Twymond Howard’s jumper with 15:25 on the clock. The teams then traded baskets and the lead over the next several minutes.

A Jacques Johnson bucket with 10:55 to play put the Warriors up 20-15. But, a Xavion Dillon three-pointer and two Chris Jones free throws jump started a 19-7 Southwest run that put the Bears on top 34-27 with 6:02 on the clock.

East Central closed out the half by outscoring the Bears 14-8. A layup by Quinton Campbell with 0:32 left ended the first-half scoring and sent the teams in the locker room at the break with the Bears on top 42-41.

After five lead changes and a tie in the first 6:17 of the second half, the Bears found themselves on top 58-52 with 13:43 left in the game. They went on to hold a six-point advantage four more times in the half, but East Central found a way to stay close each time.

Down 84-80, East Central pulled back to within one point, 84-83, on Kristian Clark’s three-pointer with 1:00 to play. Jones then nailed a pair of free throws to put the Bears up 86-83 with 0:32 to go. But, with time running down, Clark launched another three pointer that found the mark with 0:01 on the clock to tie the game at 86-86 and force the extra period.

East Central quickly went up 92-87 in overtime and held a 97-91 lead with 1:10 to play. Trailing 98-95 with 0:10 remaining, the Bears had a shot to tie the game, but Jaylen Moore’s three-point attempt was unsuccessful and the Warriors were able to escape with the win.

Howard scored a double-double, with 22 points and 15 rebounds, to pace the Southwest offense. Deione Weeks scored 21 points while Jones had 20. Moore was also in double figures, with 13 points, as was Dillon, with 12.

Campbell scored 25 points for East Central to lead all scorers. The Warriors hit 21 of 40 free throws.