Coach Crandal Porter’s squad picked up a 67-59 road win over the Hinds Community College Lady Bulldogs in Utica on Thursday, Feb. 11, to complete the season sweep. East Central won the first meeting back in January 76-69 in Decatur.
The Lady Warriors last loss was back on Dec. 7, 2015. East Central was ranked No. 24 in the most recent National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Basketball Poll released this week.
With Copiah-Lincoln’s win over Southwest Mississippi Thursday night, the East Central Lady Warriors opened a two-game lead in the MACJC South Division over both Co-Lin and Southwest. East Central can clinch the South Division title with a win at Pearl River next Monday night. The Lady Warriors are already assured of a spot in the MACJC State Tournament.
The East Central men picked up their second straight win, and seventh in last nine games, with a 73-67 win over the Hinds Bulldogs Feb. 11. The Warriors also swept the season series, winning the first contest 74-59.
With the win, the Warriors moved into a three-way tie for second place in the MACJC South Division. The top four teams make state tournament play.
In the women’s action, the East Central Lady Warriors rode a big 27-point second quarter to overcome a six-point Hinds lead and take control of the game. East Central outscored Hinds by 15 in that pivotal second quarter.
Sophomore guard Samantha Duncan out of Oak Grove High School led all scorers with 21 points for the Lady Warriors. She also pulled down 10 rebounds, as did Alexia McDonald out of Petal High School. Sophomore guard Miracle Rushing out of Meridian High School continued her strong play on the boards with 16 rebounds to go with her 11 points. East Central outrebounded Hinds by 13.
The East Central Lady Warriors improved to 19-2 overall and 11-1 in the MACJC South Division. The Hinds Lady Bulldogs dropped to 9-11 overall and 3-8 the South Division.
In the men’s game, East Central led from start to finish behind a 19-point night from guard Keion Peoples out of Memphis Ridgeway. The Warriors led by as many as 19 in the second half. Sophomore center Randy Phillips out of Jackson Lanier added 12 points to go with a game-high 14 rebounds. Freshman forward Tonzell Handy, also out of Jackson Lanier, added 11 points.
The Warriors blocked 10 Hinds shots and outrebounded the Bulldogs 33-21
The East Central Warriors improved to 13-8 overall on the season and 8-4 in MACJC South Division play. The Hinds Bulldogs fell to 7-14 and 4-8 in the South Division.
The Warriors and Lady Warriors will close out their regular seasons with two games next week. The teams travel to Poplarville to face Pearl River Community College at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 15, before finishing regular season play on Thursday, Feb. 18, in Decatur by hosting Southwest Mississippi Community College at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. in Brackeen-Wood Gymnasium.
Listen to all East Central Community College basketball games at: http://850amwqst.com.
Women’s score by quarters:
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
ECCC 17 27 14 9 67
HCC 23 12 10 14 59
Men’s score by half:
1st 2nd Final
ECCC 38 35 73
HCC 26 41 67