Co-Lin hoops wins 2 on the road as conference play draws close

Published 8:09 am Saturday, January 13, 2024

If you are going to make the long trip up Highway 55 to the doorstep of Memphis to play the Northwest Mississippi Rangers like the Copiah-Lincoln CC Wolves did on Thursday, you’d preferably like for the four-hour drive home from Senatobia to be sweetened by a win.

And that was the case as CLCC won the opening women’s game 69-63 and the men’s contest 87-60. Even though both schools are members of the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference (MACCC), the game was a non-conference matchup. That will change on Jan. 22 when Northwest Mississippi visits Wesson for a pair of games beginning at 5:30 p.m. in a game that will count in the conference standings.

Co-Lin returns to the court on Saturday with a much shorter trip, this one to Utica, to face the Hinds Bulldogs in the final non-conference game of the season.

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Conference play officially begins for Co-Lin with a road trip to play at Mississippi Gulf Coast on Thursday, Jan. 18.

The game at Northwest was the first since the Christmas holiday break for the men’s team, while the Co-Lin women got back on the court Tuesday in Wesson with a 60-55 victory over Baton Rouge CC.

That game against BRCC was the season debut of Angel “Cookie” Wilkinson. Wilkinson was a decorated player while prepping at Brookhaven High and had initially signed with Tallahassee Community College in the spring.

Now eligible at the start of the second semester, Wilkinson scored eight points in 20 minutes on Tuesday. Co-Lin was led against BRCC by Ceara Myers, herself a native of Baton Rouge, with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Wilkinson came off the bench again on Thursday and finished with a team best 16 points in 31 minutes. Sophomore guard Kayla Howard added 14 points and Myers chipped in 12 points against NW.

The win moves the CLCC women and first year head coach Britta Stephens to 8-3. Northwest is also 8-3 after the loss. The teams combined to commit 56 fouls in the game.

Coach David Sanders and his defending MACCC state champions on the CLCC men’s team are 7-4 after the win on Thursday. CLCC did not return a single player off that state title team, but Co-Lin has rebounded with a strong group of transfers and first year players.

Devin Carter, who played high school ball at Florence and then was on the team at Alcorn State, led CLCC with 19 points in 32 minutes. The 6-foot-1 Carter is averaging 21.2 points per game to lead the Wolves.

Freshman guard Courterius Scott, who prepped at Murrah High in Jackson, is averaging 13.6 points, 5.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. Scott scored 16 points and handed out five assists on Thursday. Avaughn Johnson, another Murrah product who also played previously at Jackson State, scored 13 points in 27 minutes against Northwest. The 6-foot-6 Johnson also pulled down 13 rebounds.

Co-Lin also got double digit scoring from the bench, as freshman Emmanuel James scored 17 points. James, a native of Nigeria, went 5-of-5 from the free throw line, 6-of-8 from the floor and just missed out on a double-double with nine rebounds in 24 minutes.

On the season, Johnson is averaging 14.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game while Vaughn is chipping in 10.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per contest.

Co-Lin led Northwest Mississippi 47-34 at halftime. The win moves the Wolves to 7-4, while the Rangers are now 4-8 on the year.

Sander and his team have played a tough schedule, with all four of their losses coming to teams that play in the Florida Panhandle Conference, one of the best leagues in the nation.

Before the holiday break, the Co-Lin men went to Northwest Florida (17-1) where they lost a pair of games to the home team (70-54) and Tallahassee Community College (78-73).

After matchups with Hinds, Gulf Coast and Northwest, Co-Lin will play at Southwest Mississippi CC on Jan. 25.