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Itawamba shocks Co-Lin in Region Semifinal action

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Co-Lin's Alexis Collins (15) is fouled by Itawamba's Ricki Hooker (5) and Alontra Tucker (3) while driving in for an layup Friday night.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Co-Lin’s Alexis Collins (15) is fouled by Itawamba’s Ricki Hooker (5) and Alontra Tucker (3) while driving in for an layup Friday night.

CLINTON – The Co-Lin Lady Wolves saw their undefeated season come to a surprised end Friday night with a 82-75 loss to the Itawamba Lady Indians in the semifinals of the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 23 Tournament in the A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College.

“We just did not play well enough to win the game,” Co-Lin women’s coach Gwyn Young said. “We missed too many open shots and made crucial turnovers toward the end of the game that ended up costing us.

“Overall, the girls played a good game,” added Young. “We had a great year, but we just did not get the job down tonight.”

The Lady Wolves (27-1) finished the season as the South Division Champions and the MACJC State Champions.

Itawamba 82, Co-Lin 75 

The Lady Wolves and Lady Indians kickoff the women’s semifinal action with a slow pace contest as each team worked hard to keep the game close in the first half as Lady Wolves and the Lady Indians exchanged the lead on several occasions. Toward to end of the first half, Co-Lin managed to gain the upper hand at the end with a small run to carry a 36-34 lead into halftime.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Co-Lin's Tenazhia Hinkson (13) takes a tough shot while being double-teamed by Itawamba's Lanikki McMillian (13) and Jayla Chillis (21).

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Co-Lin’s Tenazhia Hinkson (13) takes a tough shot while being double-teamed by Itawamba’s Lanikki McMillian (13) and Jayla Chillis (21).

In the second half, Co-Lin and Itawamba continued to struggle to find their offensive rhythm as each team’s defense continued to heat up.

With 10 minutes left in the contest, Co-Lin led by as many as seven points, but Itawamba’s Jayla Chills managed to catch fire at the right time and took over the scoring duties for the Lady Indians scoring 20 of her game-high 33 points in the second half. She was 3-of-4 from behind the arc and 4-of-6 from the free throw line.

With under two minutes left, the Lady Indians battled back to tie the game at 71-all, before going on a 11-4 run to end the game.

Kaelin Kneeland and Alontra Tucker help powered the Lady Indians to the victory with 18 and 17 points respectively. Jeronia Allen led off the backboards with seven rebounds. Kneeland had four steals.

Tyra Gibson directed the Lady Wolves with 14 points. Alexis Collins chipped in with 13 points five assists and three steals. Freshman Kristal Flowers came off the bench to contribute 11 points. Kelley Allen led on the backboards with 10 rebounds. Jamilah Sanders made five steals.

Co-Lin held a slight lead over Itawamba on the boards (41-36). The Lady Indians shot 50 percent from the field (28-of-56) and shot 69 percent from the free throw line (22-of-32). They were 4-or-12 from behind the arc (33 percent) while the Lady Wolves were a dismal 2-of-15 (13 percent).