|MACJC state hoops tourney tips off Monday with men's play in Scooba|
SCOOBA – As they prepare to host this week’s MACJC State Basketball Tournament in Scooba, the East Mississippi Community College basketball teams are hoping that recent state tournament history can repeat itself.
During each of the previous two state junior college basketball tournaments, the host teams have swept the men’s and women’s tournament titles on their respective home floors. A year ago, Jones County claimed the pair of gold ball trophies in Ellisville, while Itawamba began the recent trend two seasons ago by sweeping the state’s hoops championships in Fulton.
With men’s action tipping off Monday at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum on the Scooba campus, head coach Mark White’s eighth-ranked and North Division champion EMCC Lions (21-4, 10-2) will cap the first day’s activity by playing host to fourth-seeded Mississippi Gulf Coast (17-8, 7-5) from the South Division in a rematch of an opening-round state tourney contest from a year ago. Last season in Ellisville, EMCC knocked off the eventual NJCAA Region 23 champion MGCCC Bulldogs, 91-85, in the first round of the Jones County-hosted 2009 state tournament.
Having most recently had their seven-game winning streak snapped with last Thursday’s 71-67 setback at Northeast Mississippi, the EMCC men have prevailed in 13 of their last 15 decisions dating back to the beginning of December. Entering postseason play with records of 21-4 overall and 10-2 in regular-season division play, the 2009-10 Lions have captured the school’s first MACJC North Division men’s basketball title along with earning the program’s first-ever Top 10 national ranking. In addition, the Lions are 11-1 at home this season, losing only to Hinds, 79-74, in overtime back on Nov. 9.
Monday’s first-round tournament play tips off at noon on the Scooba campus with No. 2 North seed Itawamba (17-8, 8-4) against No. 3 South seed Hinds (18-6, 8-4), followed at 2 p.m. by South champions Pearl River (20-4, 10-2) versus No. 4 North seed Holmes (10-13, 6-6). The evening session begins with a 5:30 p.m. contest pitting No. 2 South seed Jones County (16-8, 9-3) against No. 3 North seed Northeast Mississippi (12-10, 7-5).
With the men’s participants taking a break from competition the following day, women’s opening-round tournament action takes place Tuesday at EMCC’s Currie Coliseum. Head coach Sharon Thompson’s host EMCC Lady Lions (14-11, 8-4), the North’s No. 4 seed and owners of a three-game win streak entering postseason play, will welcome nationally third-ranked and undefeated Copiah-Lincoln (23-0, 12-0) in Tuesday’s nightcap at 7:30 p.m. The EMCC-Co-Lin encounter will feature a rematch of last year’s NJCAA Region 23 championship contest played at Mississippi College in Clinton, in which the Lady Lions claimed a 52-43 victory over the Lady Wolves to advance to the NJCAA Tournament in Kansas.
Tuesday’s first-round women’s action will commence at noon with No. 2 South seed Jones County (19-5, 9-3) taking on No. 3 North seed Mississippi Delta (11-10, 8-4), followed by North champions Northwest Mississippi (13-6, 10-2) meeting No. 4 South seed East Central (13-10, 5-7) at 2 p.m. The night session tips off at 5:30 p.m. with No. 2 North seed Itawamba (17-8, 9-3) meeting No. 3 South seed Southwest Mississippi (14-5, 9-3).
Wednesday will feature rotating semifinal-round games with women’s action set for noon and 5:30 p.m., and men’s play capping off the sessions at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday’s championship contests are slated for 5:30 p.m. (women’s) and 7:30 p.m. (men’s) at Currie Coliseum on the Scooba campus.
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 21 February 2010 )|
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