SENATOBIA – The visiting Lions of East Mississippi Community College held on for a hard-fought 65-61 victory at Northwest Mississippi Monday night to run their winning streak to 12 consecutive games and remain unbeaten in MACJC North Division play. The Lady Rangers prevailed in the women’s contest, 70-66, over the EMCC Lady Lions at Howard Coliseum on the Northwest campus.
After bolting to a quick 10-0 lead four minutes into the contest, head coach Mark White’s EMCC Lions maintained their advantage throughout the opening 20 minutes. Following a 34-28 halftime lead, the visitors opened the second half with a 9-1 run to take their biggest lead of the game at 14 points (43-29) by the 16:40 mark.
The home-standing Rangers steadily chipped away at the deficit and managed to take their first lead of the night, 51-50, on a driving basket by Kenyatta Jones following a steal with 6:56 remaining. EMCC sophomore playmaker D.J. Evans stepped up to knock down a clutch 3-pointer coming out of a timeout to put the Lions back on top, 53-51, to stay.
The Lions’ 12th straight victory since November and 10th consecutive series win over Northwest Mississippi dating back to the 2007-08 campaign would not come without a fight, however. With the contest stalled at 57-54 in favor of the road team for more than three minutes down the stretch, EMCC sophomore Millaun Brown broke the late-game scoring drought with a bucket with 30 seconds left. After both teams traded a pair of free throws, Northwest’s Everick Morris scored on a drive to make it a one-possession game with 21 seconds remaining.
The contest got even more interesting after Evans lost the ball out of bounds coming out of a timeout. Northwest’s Domonique Harris misfired on a contested three-point attempt that would have been the potential game-tying basket. Evans redeemed himself by nailing four straight free throws over the final 11 seconds to seal the Lions’ four-point road triumph.
Evans and forward Colin Borchert tied for game scoring honors with 19 points apiece for the 15-2 EMCC Lions, who sit firmly atop the MACJC’s North Division standings at 8-0 in league play. Brown added 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field.
Falling to 8-9 overall and 4-4 within the division, the Northwest Rangers were led by Harris’ 15 points. Jones and Morris followed with 14 points apiece.
In the women’s contest, the visiting Lady Lions bounced back from an early 8-0 deficit to go on top by as many as 11 points (37-26) with 2:17 left in the opening half. EMCC went on to maintain a 39-32 halftime lead.
The Lady Rangers used a 10-2 run to open the second stanza and regain the lead. The story of the second half was EMCC’s inability to advance the basketball out of Northwest’s full-court press, as the Lady Lions were forced into 22 second-half turnovers. The visitors finished with 30 turnovers for the contest.
Despite their turnover woes, the Lady Lions still found themselves in the contest down the stretch. After EMCC trailed by nine points (67-58) with two minutes remaining in the game, sophomore guard Chadisty Hickman scored six unanswered points to cut the Lady Lions’ deficit to just three points (67-64) with 1:08 still left on the game clock. Northwest was able to ice the four-point home win by hitting 3-of-4 charity tosses over the final 22 seconds.
Dropping their fourth straight decision, head coach Sharon Thompson’s EMCC Lady Lions fell to 5-13 overall and 2-6 within the MACJC’s North Division. Hickman, a former Kemper County standout, was EMCC’s lone scorer in double digits with a game-high 14 points, though she struggled with 4-of-16 shooting from the field. Brianna May, Dajah McCarty and Rachel Adams all added eight points apiece for the visitors.
With three scorers in double figures on the night, the home-standing Lady Rangers improved to 8-9 overall and 2-6 within the division. Tiesha Tunstall and Erica Turner paced the winners with 13 points apiece, while Jearica McBride added a dozen points.
The East Mississippi basketball teams will continue road action this week by heading to Booneville to meet the Tigers of Northeast Mississippi CC Thursday evening with a 5 p.m. women’s game followed by a 7 p.m. men’s contest.
Last Updated ( Monday, 06 February 2012 )
| SCOOBA – Coming off the most successful season of fast-pitch softball competition in the program’s history, the East Mississippi Community College Lady Lions are set to open their 2012 softball campaign by playing host to Marion Military Institute Tuesday afternoon on the Scooba campus. First pitch for the season-opening doubleheader is set for 1 p.m. at the EMCC Softball Field.
Head coach Kate Neely’s defending MACJC North Division Champion EMCC Lady Lions are set to open the 2012 softball season with a Tuesday afternoon home doubleheader against Marion Military Institute. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at the EMCC Softball Field on the Scooba campus.
A year ago under the guidance of 2011 MACJC North Division Softball Coach of the Year Kate Neely, the Lady Lions claimed the program’s first-ever MACJC North Division fast-pitch softball championship with a 19-5 division mark. A 23-23 overall campaign, which included a highly competitive pre-conference slate last season, was capped by EMCC advancing to NJCAA Region 23 Tournament play for the first time since 2002.
Coach Neely and assistant coach Casey Finch have had to replace virtually the entire starting lineup and pitching staff from last year’s division-winning EMCC ballclub. In fact, only six members on the team’s current 19-player roster saw action for the Lady Lions last season.
Veteran infielders Cory Roberson (Clarkdale HS) and Paige Sheppard (Southeast Lauderdale HS) return with the most experience for the Lady Lions, having batted .324 and .293, respectively, in part-time starting roles a year ago. Also back from last season’s championship squad are Shelby Whitt (Houston HS), Robresha Thomas (Sumrall HS), Jessica Richardson (Columbus HS) and Alyssa Farr (Pontotoc HS).
Of the 13 newcomers on this year’s new-look EMCC softball edition, six players hail from the Meridian area in Charly Boswell (Northeast Lauderdale HS), Misty Richard (West Lauderdale HS) and Stormy Lewis (Quitman HS) as well as former Clarkdale teammates Amber Spann, Logan Bozeman and Alex Smith. Local Kemper Academy products Shelby Sheppard and Sarah Dudley join the Lady Lions along with fellow in-state newcomers Allison Hauer (Franklin County HS) and Haley Tutor (New Hope HS).
Having to completely reload their pitching staff from a year ago, the Lady Lions have added out-of-state hurlers Stevie Wilson (Bessemer [Ala.] Academy), Cortnee Meyers (Greenville [Ala.] HS) and Amelia LaVergne (Notre Dame HS in Rayne, La.) to compete for action in the circle this season.
Following Tuesday’s season-opening home contests against Marion Military Institute, the EMCC Lady Lions will next travel to Perkinston for a Friday afternoon doubleheader against perennial MACJC South Division powerhouse Mississippi Gulf Coast. On Monday (Feb. 13), the Lady Lions will take on Hinds Community College in a 1 p.m. doubleheader to be played at Clarkdale High School’s home softball field. EMCC then returns to Scooba to entertain defending MACJC State Champion East Central next Wednesday (Feb. 15) in a 1 p.m. twinbill at the EMCC Softball Field.
Last Updated ( Monday, 06 February 2012 )
| SCOOBA – Looking to ride last year’s late-season success on the diamond, the resurgent East Mississippi Community College Lions are set to open their 2012 baseball slate by playing a road doubleheader against Bishop State Community College Sunday afternoon in Mobile, Ala. The season’s first pitch is slated to be thrown out at noon at Hank Aaron Stadium.
On the heels of last year’s MACJC State Playoff appearance, head baseball coach Chris Rose’s resurgent EMCC Lions are set to open their 2012 baseball season with a Sunday doubleheader at Bishop State CC in Mobile, Ala.
A year ago, EMCC head baseball coach Chris Rose’s first Lions squad went 16-11 down the stretch of the 2011 campaign to claim the program’s best division mark - 14-10 in the MACJC’s North Division - since the 1998 season. The team’s misleading 17-29 overall record was capped by taking eventual NJCAA Division II national runner-up Jones County Junior College to a deciding third game in last season’s best-of-3 MACJC State Playoff series held in Ellisville. Last year’s strong postseason showing marked the Lions’ first baseball playoff appearance since 2004.
Expected to lead a nine-man group of returning position players is versatile sophomore Zane Migues of Lafayette, La. Looking to move behind the plate this season after splitting time in the infield and on the mound as a freshman, Migues hails as the Lions’ leading returning hitter and run producer with a .333 batting average along with 16 runs batted in, nine doubles and 22 runs scored last season.
Also back as a major everyday contributor for East Mississippi is steady outfielder Alex Chick, of Hernando, who batted .291 as a collegiate rookie with six doubles, 11 RBIs, 19 runs scored and nine stolen bases. Other returnees figuring to lend experience and leadership to this year’s EMCC club include infielders Ismael Reyes (Northeast Lauderdale HS) and Brett Tortorich (Pearl River Central HS), converted pitcher Caleb Melton (West Lauderdale HS), along with outfielders Spencer Wilson (Stone HS), Aaron Brady (South Jones HS), Randy Hornesbuger (Louisville HS) and Tyler Bonaventure (Brusly, La.).
The Lions’ pitching staff, under the tutelage of assistant coach Michael Wallace, looks to again be headlined by sophomore left-hander Blake Hutcheson. The former Saltillo standout paced last year’s improved EMCC hurlers with a 5-5 mark along with a 4.37 ERA. Sophomore right-hander Tyler Thomas, of Corinth, also returns this season.
With 19 first-year players on hand in Scooba this year, EMCC’s talented group of newcomers figures to be powered at the corners by freshmen Austin Braddock (Heritage Academy) and Trent Waddell (Tuscaloosa, Ala.). Along with handling fielding duties at third and first base, respectively, both collegiate rookies are also capable of seeing action on the hill for the 2012 Lions.
The East Mississippi baseball team is slated to open its 2012 home slate on Saturday, Feb. 11, by playing host to Copiah-Lincoln CC in a 1 p.m. doubleheader at EMCC’s Gerald Poole Field on the Scooba campus. The Lions are also scheduled to entertain Hinds CC at home on Valentine’s Day (Tuesday, Feb. 14) in a 1 p.m. twinbill.
Last Updated ( Saturday, 04 February 2012 )
SCOOBA – Outscoring the visitors 48-26 in the second half, the Lions of East Mississippi Community College extended their winning streak to 11 consecutive games with an 81-63 victory over Holmes CC Thursday night in MACJC North Division basketball action at EMCC’s Keyes T. Currie Coliseum. In the opener, the visiting Holmes women earned a 52-42 win over EMCC’s Lady Lions.
The nightcap began with the home-standing Lions hitting their first eight shots from the field and bolting to a 20-3 advantage six minutes into the contest. The Bulldogs proceeded to chip away at EMCC’s double-digit lead, as freshman guard Torrance Rowe tallied his 18 first-half points over the final 8:19 of the opening period to stake the visitors to a 37-33 halftime lead.
Despite three EMCC starters being saddled with four fouls early in the second stanza, head coach Mark White received valuable contributions from his bench following intermission to steadily reclaim the lead and eventually roll to the twin-digit outcome. Collectively after the break, the Lions shot 58 percent (14-of-24) from the field, including 4-of-5 accuracy from beyond the arc, while limiting Holmes to just 9-of-30 (30%) field-goal shooting in the second half. EMCC also benefitted from 83-percent (24-of-29) shooting from the charity stripe on the night.
Moving to 14-2 overall with their 11th straight victory, the EMCC Lions have now picked up 13 of their 14 wins on the year by double figures. Their only two losses of the current campaign were during the month of November on the home courts of nationally ranked Northwest Florida State and Shelton State. The Lions’ 7-0 mark in league play this season makes the two-time defending NJCAA Region 23 champions now 29-2 in regular-season action against MACJC North Division competition dating back to the 2009-10 season.
Off the bench against Holmes, sophomore Deon Bedford matched his career high with a team-best 19 points, including 3-of-5 from three-point range and 6-of-6 from the line. The former West Oktibbeha High School product also led the Lions with eight rebounds, with five of those coming on the offensive boards. Fellow sophomores D.J. Evans and Colin Borchert followed with 13 and 12 points, respectively, for the winners.
Falling to 12-6 overall and 4-3 within the division, Holmes received a game-high 22 points from Rowe, though only four came after halftime, while DeAndre Scott added 17 points.
In the opening game, head coach Sharon Thompson’s EMCC Lady Lions battled defensively once again but couldn’t manage enough offense down the stretch against the division’s current second-place team. Down by just a bucket (25-23) at the break, the EMCC women still found themselves solidly in the contest midway through the second half. However, after Chadisty Hickman’s 3-pointer trimmed the deficit to four points (44-40) at the 5:38 mark, the Lady Lions could not convert another basket for the remainder of the contest.
Hickman, a former Kemper County High School standout, led all scorers with 19 points, but she was the only Lady Lion to reach double figures. The EMCC women fell to 5-12 overall and 2-5 in division play with their third straight setback.
Improving to 13-3 overall and 6-1 within the division, the Holmes Lady Bulldogs were led by Kierra Gilmore and Dierra Gilmore with 18 and 11 points, respectively.
The East Mississippi basketball teams will play on the road twice next week, traveling to Northwest Mississippi CC on Monday and then Northeast Mississippi on Thursday. EMCC’s next home hoops action will be Monday, Feb. 13, against rival Meridian Community College in Scooba.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 February 2012 )
SCOOBA – A total of 31 football signees were announced Thursday by head football coach Buddy Stephens of the 2011 NJCAA National Champion Lions of East Mississippi Community College.
2012 EAST MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOOTBALL SIGNEES
Averhart, Kenny... DL...6-3...305...Columbus HS
Barron, Terrence...WR...5-9...160...Noxubee County HS
Bates, C.J...WR...6-3...205...Louisville HS
Bell, Brandon...ATH...6-2...220...Heritage Academy
Bester, Defond...LB...5-11...215...Laurel HS
Breland, Ken...DB...6-0...175...Picayune HS
Brown, Elijah...DE/LB...6-4...225...Vicksburg HS
Cockrell, Byerson...DB/LB...6-2...185...Columbus HS
Cole, Shelton...WR...6-3...205...Meridian HS
Coleman, Jonathan...LB...6-2...235...Louisville HS
Cooksey, Cameron...QB...6-3...215...Vicksburg HS
Davis, Tyrone...OL ...6-1...315...Durant HS
Edwards, Brandon...LB...6-3...225...West Point HS
Gennesy, Avery...OL...6-5...305...Southaven HS
Gipson, Jimmy...DE...6-1...255...Olive Branch HS
Halat, Austin... DS...6-2...225...Biloxi HS
Heard, Charles...LB...6-1...220...West Point HS
Jones, Deontae...WR...6-3...210...Columbus HS
Lavender, Zacari ...WR...5-11...175...Gulfport HS
Lewis, Hayden...P...6-3...215...Washington School
Mack, Justin...WR...6-2 ...185...Laurel HS
Maddox, Wiley...OL...6-2...285...Bruce HS
McHone, Kaleb ...DL...6-2...235...Biloxi HS
Mitchell, Ryald...OL...6-1...300 ...Noxubee County HS
Pruitt, Dontreal...QB...5-11...180...Laurel HS
Rhodes, Morgan ...K...6-2...185...Northwest Rankin HS
Roberts, Laderrick ...LB...6-0...210...Meridian HS
Sentimore, Allen...DB ...6-0...180...Laurel HS
Sharp, Blake ...OL/DL ...6-4...260...Heritage Academy
Shepherd, Corderius...DE/LB...6-3...210...Shaw HS
Stamps, A.J...DB/WR...6-0...185...Vicksburg HS
Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 February 2012 )