No. 14 Jones College survives Co-Lin men in OT

Published 7:00 am Saturday, January 15, 2022

There were approximately three possessions Thursday night in Mullen Gymnasium where the shot clocks that sit atop each goal reached single digits. 

The pace of the action between No. 14 Jones College and the homestanding Co-Lin Wolves was set on turbo as both teams looked to play at a quickened clip while attacking the defense.

That pace continued until the final possession, a contested 3-pointer by Co-Lin’s Jermario Hersey that was partially blocked as the buzzer sounded. The play helped Jones escape with a 90-87 win in overtime that broke a two-game losing skid for the Bobcats (11-2).

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Jones led 43-34 at halftime and built that advantage to 16-points in the second half before Co-Lin began to cut into the deficit.

The Jones lead was 79-74 with one-minute remaining in regulation, but the Wolves closed the second half on a 5-0 run to force the extra period.

A corner 3-pointer by 6-foot-7 forward AJ Warnsley (Terry HS) cut the lead to 79-77 with 42 seconds remaining for CLCC.

Jones guard Ashton Campbell missed a layup with 10-seconds left in the game and an offensive put back by his teammate Cowandric Samuel was off too as Co-Lin secured the rebound.

The Bobcats then fouled Co-Lin sophomore guard Trey Fort with five seconds left on the clock. With both teams in the double bonus, Fort calmly walked down to the free-throw line and sunk both shots to force overtime.

Fort is a transfer from the University of Tennessee-Martin. He prepped at Madison Ridgeland Academy and won a MAIS state title there as a junior before transferring to play his senior season at Florence High.

Florence and Fort made it to the 2019 MHSAA 4A state title game and he was selected for the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star game following the season. After highs school, Fort played a season at DME Sports Academy in Daytona Beach, Florida as a post-graduate.

Last season at UTM, Fort averaged 2.6 points per game in 11 appearances for the Skyhawks.

For the Wolves, Fort usually tops 2.6 points in the first two minutes of a game. Thursday, he scored a game high 30 points. Fort went 11-of-22 from the field, 4-of-12 from the 3-point line and 4-of-6 from the free throw line.

Co-Lin went ahead 80-79 to start overtime after a made free throw by sophomore forward Kareeme Davis. Davis is one of the three out of state players on the roster for Co-Lin and hails from Trenton, New Jersey.

Davis played last season at North Dakota State College of Science, as did one of the other out-of-staters, 6-foot-10 sophomore Cole Chapman.

Chapman hails from White Bear Lake, Minnesota and the third out-of-stater, Grevaughn Goodman, is from Florida — by way of the Bahamas.

A basket by Hersey, a Brookhaven High product, tied the game at 83-83 with just over two minutes remaining in overtime.

The Wolves had the ball with one-minute remaining in overtime and the score tied at 85 but turned over that possession and the ensuing layup by Campbell of Jones proved to be the final go-ahead basket that the Bobcats needed.

Campbell finished with 26 points to lead Jones. Jones also got 21 points from point guard Calvin Temple. Temple played in two games last season at Jackson State and before that he played in 24 games as a true freshman at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. 

As a senior, Temple led Center Hill High in Desoto County to the 2018-2019 MHSAA 5A state championship. Temple played at CHHS for first year Jones coach Newton Mealer. Mealer was hired last spring to replace former Jones head coach Randy Bolden, who left to be head basketball coach at Mississippi College.

Co-Lin also has a first-year head coach in David Sanders, who came to Wesson after a state-championship winning-run (three in eight seasons) at Callaway High in Jackson. Sanders replaced Kenny Bizot, who departed Co-Lin to become athletic director at Mississippi College. 

Sanders wasn’t on the bench leading his team Thursday though, as COVID-19 prevented him from coaching.

Dealing with COVID-19 cancellations, quarantines and postponements is something that all of the teams in the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference (MACCC) will have to work through over the next few months.

Monday, Co-Lin got its first conference win of the season with a 73-68 victory at Holmes. The Wolves only had seven players available that night, but never trailed in getting the win.

Fort scored 22 against Holmes and Warnsley added nine points while grabbing 18 rebounds.

Co-Lin also got 13 points from Jordan Marshall (Raymond HS) and 11 points from Cameron Butler (Vicksburg HS) at Holmes. Marshall, Butler, Warnsley and Hersey are the four sophomore holdovers from Bizot’s last Co-Lin team.

With Sanders out of action, Co-Lin was led by first-year assistant coach Reggie Chambers against Jones. Chambers will also most likely lead the team on Saturday when they host no. 15 East Mississippi at 2 p.m. in Mullen. 

That game is one that was rescheduled from earlier in the month.

The MACCC has done away with the north/south divisions in basketball — everyone plays everyone and the top eight teams out of the 15-team field make the postseason. 

Also, MACCC schools play a split schedule now for the women’s and men’s teams. While Jones was playing the Co-Lin men in Wesson on Thursday, the same schools were scheduled to play a women’s game in Ellisville at the same time.

However, that game had to be bumped back to Friday and was won by Jones 72-57.

The Co-Lin men now sit at 4-7 overall and 1-2 in MACCC play. They’ll host nationally ranked Northeast Mississippi CC on Jan. 20 and Coahoma CC on Jan. 27.

The Co-Lin women’s team is 7-6 on the season and 1-3 in division play. Coach Gwyn Young’s team got its first MACCC win of the season on Monday by blasting Holmes 80-48.

The Lady Wolves were led by sophomore Aniya Sanders (Warren Central HS) with 23 points in the win over Holmes.

Young’s team is set to host Mississippi Delta on Jan. 18, Pearl River on Jan. 24 and East Central on Jan. 31.