|East Mississippi teams prepare for MACJC State Basketball Tournament|
The four-day event (Feb. 23-26) will be hosted by Jones County Junior College in Ellisville and held at JCJC’s Bobcat Gymnasium.
SCOOBA, Miss. – The East Mississippi basketball teams begin postseason competition by participating in this week’s MACJC State Tournament.
Coach Sharon Thompson’s 20-4 and top-seeded Lady Lions of the North Division tip off this week’s state tournament by taking on fourth-seeded Southwest Mississippi of the South Division Monday at noon. With women’s opening-round play set for Monday, the EMCC-SMCC winner will advance to meet the winner of the Jones County-Northwest Mississippi contest Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Poised just outside the NJCAA’s Top 25 with 13 voting points a week ago, the EMCC women enter postseason play on a 10-game winning streak while having won 16 of their last 18 decisions, including an 11-1 divisional mark. In making their second straight state tournament appearance, the Lady Lions are in the midst of putting together their best season since going 21-6 overall and a perfect 12-0 in North Division play under the guidance of former women’s coach Dale Peay in 1992-93.
This year’s EMCC women’s squad is led by the talented frontline tandem of sophomore Angelique Burtts of Conyers, Ga., and freshman Martika Hull of Southeast Lauderdale High School. A Georgia State signee, Burtts tops the Lady Lions in scoring (15.9 ppg; 42nd among NJCAA leaders) and rebounding (7.4 rpg). The 5-foot-11 standout also averages 2.5 steals and 2.1 assists per contest, along with shooting 51 percent from the field and 70 percent from the charity stripe.
A first-year player from Meridian, Hull averages 13.4 points per game and ranks fifth nationally shooting 64 percent from the field on the season. With a team-high seven double-doubles on the year, the 5-foot-11 rookie also averages 7.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals per outing.
Sophomore playmaker Kottia White of Jackson Murrah averages 9.7 points, 3.1 assists, 2.3 steals and 2.0 rebounds per contest from her point guard position, while fellow sophomore Jasmine Abrams of Columbus contributes 8.0 points and 7.4 boards a game primarily as a substitute.
In recording the school’s most wins since 1999-2000, coach Mark White’s 15-9 Lions enter this week’s state tournament as the North Division’s No. 3 seed after tying Holmes for second place behind Itawamba with identical 8-4 division marks. The Bulldogs swept EMCC during the regular season to claim the No. 2 seed. The EMCC men are making their first state tournament appearance since the 2004-05 campaign.
With men’s first-round action set for Tuesday, East Mississippi opens postseason play by taking on second-seeded Mississippi Gulf Coast at 2 p.m. The winner of the EMCC-MGCCC contest will advance to take on the winner of the game between Itawamba and Copiah-Lincoln Wednesday at 2 p.m.
Featuring four players scoring in double figures on the year, the Lions are paced by freshman guard Coco Ware of Starkville. In addition to ranking 41st nationally in scoring (19.1 ppg) and eighth in steals (3.1 spg), Ware averages 6.8 rebounds per game and shoots 72 percent from the free-throw line.
Sophomore forward Darian Donald of Columbus’ Caledonia High School ranks as the team’s No. 2 scorer (12.9 ppg) and third-leading rebounder (5.6 rpg) for the season. Starkville’s Woodie Howard follows at 11.1 points per contest, while ranking as the club’s top rebounder (7.3 rpg) and leading shot-blocker (22 blocks). Sophomore point guard Cataurius Taylor of Memphis contributes 10.0 points and a team-best 5.0 assists an outing.
Both EMCC teams will be meeting opponents for the first time this season during this week’s first-round state tournament action at Jones County.
Women’s semifinals for this week’s MACJC State Tournament are set for noon and 5 p.m., while the men’s semifinals are slated for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Thursday’s championship contests will be played at 6 p.m. (women) and 8 p.m. (men).
Admission for the MACJC State Basketball Tournament will be $5 per day or $15 for a tournament pass. Children 5 years of age and younger will be admitted free of charge.
In addition, all 14 games of the Jones County-hosted state tournament will be televised at www.jcjc.tv. Fans will also be able to access the site by visiting www.jcjc.edu and clicking on the link.
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 22 February 2009 )|
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