Former East Central women's basketball guard Alexia McDonald, a product of Petal High School signed with Dillard University in New Orleans, LA to continue her academic and basketball career. McDonald averaged team-highs of 16.2 points and 2.7 steals per game. She also had 7.8 rebounds per game for the 2015-16 season.
Seven East Central Community College varsity sports teams earned National Junior College Athletic Association Academic Team of the Year honorable mention awards for having met the grade-point average requirement of 3.00 or better for the 2015-16 season.
The ECCC Diamond Warrior baseball team finished with a 3.43 GPA and ranked sixth overall.
The women’s basketball team also earned an honorable mention award, finishing with a 3.0 GPA.
Men’s soccer ranked 15th overall and finished with a 3.0 GPA as well. Women’s soccer tied for fourth overall, finishing with a 3.45 GPA.
The Lady Diamond Warrior softball team finished with a 3.56 GPA, the second highest GPA of East Central’s teams, and tied for ninth among all NJCAA Division II softball teams.
The ECCC men’s tennis team tied for 12th overall and finished with a 3.20 GPA, while the women’s tennis team led all ECCC teams with a 3.67 GPA and ranked fourth overall among women’s tennis teams.
There were 714 NJCAA teams that finished with a GPA of 3.0 or better out of a total of 3,394 teams in all sports across all divisions.
Several East Central Community College student-athletes received state and national recognition for academic performance during the 2015-16 academic year on the Decatur campus.
In all, 65 ECCC student-athletes were recognized by the National Junior College Athletic Association, the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges, or both organizations.
The NJCAA presents awards in three categories: NJCAA Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence (for those achieving a perfect 4.0 grade-point average); NJCAA Award for Superior Academic Achievement (3.79 to 3.99 GPA); and NJCAA Award for Exemplary Academic Achievement (3.6 to 3.78 GPA).
Receiving the NJCAA Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence were Blake Morton (baseball) of Madison, Carrissa Stevenson (women’s soccer) of Gulfport, Durham Norman (men’s soccer) of Florence, Gage Leifried (men’s soccer) of Meridian, Kellen Clark (men’s soccer) of Chunky, Kaitlyn Knuth (women’s soccer) of Collinsville, Pashien Kelley-Johnson (women’s soccer) of Diamondhead, Samantha McCrimon (women’s tennis) of Louisville, Samuel Thompson (men’s soccer) of Decatur, and Nathan Roseberry (baseball) of Purvis.
Receiving the NJCAA Award for Superior Academic Achievement were Baylee Green (softball) of Sebastopol, Brandon Clark (baseball) of Union, Brantlie Sheets (softball) of Louisville, Brittany Rasco (women’s soccer) of Pascagoula, Brooke Payne (women’s tennis) of Union, Chaney Mills (women’s tennis) of Hickory, Cole Prestegard (baseball) of Hampton Grove, Ala., Maggie Luke (women’s soccer) of Decatur, Elizabeth Frey (softball) of Purvis, Kaley Bufkin (women’s tennis) of Decatur, Katlyn Duke (softball) of Philadelphia, Lucas Orchard (football) of Vancleave, Maegen Ellis (softball) of West Point, Megan Parrish (women’s soccer) of Pascagoula, and Tyler Ladner (baseball) of Pass Christian.
Receiving the NJCAA Award for Exemplary Academic Achievement were Allie Turner (women’s soccer) of Horn Lake, Andi McCrimon (women’s tennis) of Louisville, Cole Duty (men’s tennis) of Louisville, Blake Paben (baseball) of Madison, Brandon Rodgers (men’s tennis) of Louisville, Caitlyn Aldous (softball) of Petal, Chloe Thaggard (softball) of Philadelphia, Emily Dykeman (women’s tennis) of Forest, Gabrielle Gross (women’s soccer) of Nesbit, Gabrielle Stapp (women’s soccer) of Saucier, Jacob Huff (baseball) of Brandon, Kayla Young (women’s soccer) of Olive Branch, Kenzie Jenkins (women’s soccer) of Florence, Lacey Field (women’s soccer) of Olive Branch, Lacey Hill (softball) of Kilbourne, La., Matt Mitchell (baseball) of Lake, Devin Skinner (men’s tennis) of Philadelphia, Nicholas Thomas (men’s soccer) of Southaven, Peyton Cain (baseball) of Hickory, Taylor Creighton (baseball) of Quitman, Richard Jacobson (men’s soccer) of Pascagoula, and Zachary Claycomb (football) of Flowood.
The academic honors presented to student-athletes on the state level include MACJC Distinguished Academic All-State (those earning a 3.8 to 4.0 GPA) and MACJC Academic All-State (3.25 to 3.79 GPA).
ECCC student-athletes receiving MACJC Distinguished Academic All-State were Kaley Bufkin, Kellen Clark, Katlyn Duke, Maegen Ellis, Pashien Kelly-Johnson, Durham Norman, Megan Parrish, Brooke Payne, Brittany Rasco, and Carrissa Stevenson.
Those receiving MACJC Academic All-State were Caitlyn Aldous, Kayla Anderson (women’s soccer) of Florence, Christian Bellew (baseball) of Gulfport, Peyton Cain, Taylor Creighton, Michael Davis (baseball) of Clinton, Cole Duty, Lacey Field, Mahalia Gibson (softball) of Hattiesburg, Erin Golden (women’s soccer) of Petal, Zack Hammons (golf) of Raleigh, Andi Hannaford (softball) of Senatobia, Lacey Hill, Jesse Hosket (football) of French Camp, Eddie Houston (football) of Newton, Johnta’ Hughes (women’s basketball) of Hattiesburg, Jacob Huff, Will Kennedy (baseball) of Union, Summer Lavender (softball) of Canton, Matt Mitchell, Cayla Myers (softball) of Magee, Nathan Nance (golf) of Decatur, Jelisa Pearson (women’s basketball) of Quitman, Devin Skinner, Dylan Snypes (baseball) of State Line, Gabrielle Stapp, Chloe Thaggard, Allie Turner, Channing Wall (baseball) of Louisville, and Megan Yarbrough (women’s soccer) of Olive Branch.
Three East Central Community College head coaches were selected as Mississippi Association of Coaches Community College Coach of the Year out of 11 coaches selected for the 2015-16 Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges sports season.
Tenth year ECCC Head Baseball Coach Neal Holliman was the association’s Baseball Coach of the Year for guiding his team to the MACJC State Championship.
The East Central baseball team compiled a record of 38-17 and was National Junior College Athletic Association Region 23 runner up.
Head Football Coach Ken Karcher was named Football Coach of the Year after leading the Warrior football team to its first state playoff appearance since 2001 and a C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl victory.
The East Central football team was ranked No. 10 in the final NJCAA Top 20 Football Poll for the 2015 season.
Karcher helped lead the Warriors to its best season in 16 years with an overall record of 8-3.
The HOT Bowl was East Central’s first bowl game since 1996, and fourth bowl game since the Warriors began playing football in 1928.
Head Women’s Basketball Coach Crandal Porter was named Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year after leading the Lady Warriors to the MACJC State Championship.
In his fourth year at ECCC, Porter helped lead his Lady Warriors to a 19-game winning streak.
Porter’s Lady Warriors completed the season with both the MACJC South Division title and MACJC State Championship, finishing 24-3 overall and 15-1 in the conference.
Both Holliman and Porter were also named MACJC Coaches of the Year for their 2015-16 season success.
The coaches will be honored at the MAC Coaches of the Year banquet June 24 at the Hilton in Jackson.
East Central's women's basketball standout, Samantha Duncan, a product of Oak Grove High School signed to play for Southern University located in Baton Rouge, La. Duncan averaged 15.9 points per game. She also had 3.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. The Hattiesburg native was named to the First Team All-State, All-Region 23 Tournament, and NJCAA All-Region 23 teams.
Three East Central Community College women's basketball players pictured with head women's basketball coach, Crandal Porter, signed National Letters of Intent on May 6 to continue their careers at universities and colleges next fall.
Miracle Rushing, a sophomore guard/forward from Meriiand High School, signed to play for the Alcorn State University Lady Braves in Lorman.
Courtney Harper, a sophomore center from Laurel High School, signed to play for the Belhaven University Lady Blazers in Jackson.
Sophomore point guard, Johnta' Hughes a product of Hattiesburg High School, signed to play for the Spring Hill College Lady Badgers.
All three Lady Warriors contributed to the ECCC women's basketball successful season, completing the season with both the MACJC South Division title and MACJC State Championship, finishing 24-3 overall and 15-1 in the conference with a 19-game winning streak.
The North women and the North men captured the annual Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) All-Star Basketball contests held Friday, April 15, at East Central Community College’s Brackeen-Wood Physical Education Building on the Decatur campus.
The North women, coached by Sharon Thompson of East Mississippi Community College, used a strong second half to overcome a halftime deficit in a 67-62 win.
Bridgejae Patterson, a 6-1 center from Northeast Mississippi Community College, earned MVP honors with 10 points for the North women.
Other All-Stars scoring for the North were Tiffany Jones of Holmes Community College and Iyesha Mays of Itawamba Community College, 8 each; Tianna Germain of East Mississippi, Cortice Golden of Holmes, and Racquel Harper of Mississippi Delta Community College, 6 each; Ki-Ki Patterson of East Mississippi and Kelsey Brown of Northwest Mississippi Community College, 5 each; Eugenia Gilliam of Coahoma Community College and DaShiyah Agnew of Northeast, 4 each; Aja Williams of Holmes, 3; and Brianna Williams of Northwest, 2.
Wendion Bibbins of Jones County Junior College led the South women with 13 points. Other All-Stars scoring for the South team were Shaniqua Magee of Pearl River Community College, 11; Alexia McDonald of East Central Community College, 9; Annessia Durham of Hinds Community College, 7; Markeisha Watson of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, 6; Alexis Collins of Copiah-Lincoln Community College, 5; Aliyah Bell of Jones County, 4; Teshia Jones of Southwest Mississippi Community College, 3; and Kalybriah Haskin of East Central and Gabriella Cortez of Southwest, 2 each.
Tomekia Reed of Hinds coached the South women.
In the men’s game, the North jumped out to a 17-point halftime lead and ran away from the South 115-101. Dantaveous Crawford, a 6-5 forward from Mississippi Delta, scored 24 points to lead all scorers and earn MVP honors. The North men were coached by Billy Begley of East Mississippi.
Others scoring for the North All-Stars were Mark Partee of Northwest, Tyrin Jones of Northwest, and Travon Harper of Mississippi Delta, 15 each; Desmin Harris of Northeast, 9; D’Angelo Richardson of Holmes and Juan Davis Jr. of East Mississippi, 7 each; Lacurtis Allen of Holmes and LaBarrius Hill of Itawamba, 6 each; Jack Nichols of Northeast, 5; and Da’Quan Forrest of Coahoma and Howard Thomas of Itawamba, 3 each.
Deshawn Jones, a 6-3 point guard from Mississippi Gulf Coast, and Ken’Darrius Hamilton, a 6-9 center from Meridian Community College, led the South men with 13 points apiece. Other’s scoring for the South All-Stars were Darius Kennedy of Copiah-Lincoln, 12; Ravion Henry of East Central, 11; Christian Robertson of Jones County, 10; Corey McLaurin of Hinds, 9; Prince McDaniel of East Central and Anfernee Hampton of Mississippi Gulf Coast, 8 each; Lafayette Rutledge of Southwest, 6; Andrew Riley of Jones County and Donte Watson of Copiah-Lincoln, 4 each; and LeDerrius Simmons of Southwest, 3.
Ralph Moore of Hinds coached the South men.
A replay of both games is available at holmesccmedia.com.
Members of the 2016 MACJC North Women’s All-Star Team include (front row, from left) DaShiyah Agnew, Northeast; Alontra Tucker, Itawamba; Kelsey Brown, Northwest; Brianna Williams, Northwest; Tianna Germain, East Mississippi; and Ki-Ki Patterson, East Mississippi; and (back row, from left) East Mississippi Community College Women’s Head Coach Sharon Thompson; Bridgejae Patterson, Northeast; Iyesha Mays, Itawamba; Cortice Golden, Holmes; Aja Williams, Holmes; Tiffany Jones, Holmes; Eugenia Gilliam, Coahoma; Racquel Harper, Northwest; and East Mississippi Community College Assistant Coach Michael Morgan.
Members of the 2016 MACJC South Women’s All-Star Team include (front row, from left) Shaniqua Magee, Pearl River; Teshia Jones, Southwest; Alexis Collins, Copiah-Lincoln; Kalybriah Haskin, East Central; Maia McCullum, Meridian; and Aliyah Bell, Jones County; and (back row, from left) Hinds Community College Graduate Assistant Amber Clay; Hinds Assistant Coach Mary Bolton; Markeisha Watson, Mississippi Gulf Coast; Gabriella Cortez, Southwest; Kelley Allen, Copiah-Lincoln; Alexia McDonald, East Central; Wendion Bibbins, Jones County; Annessia Durham, Hinds; and Hinds Community College Women’s Head Coach Tomekia Reed.
Members of the 2016 MACJC North Men’s All-Star Team include (front row, from left) Mark Partee, Northwest; D’Angelo Richardson, Holmes; Da’Quan Forrest, Coahoma; Jack Nichols, Northeast; and Desmin Harris, Northeast; and (back row, from left) Tyrin Jones, Northwest; Howard Thomas, Itawamba; Lacurtis Allen, Holmes; LaBarrius Hill, Itawamba; Travon Harper, Mississippi Delta; Dantaveous Crawford, Mississippi Delta; Juan Davis Jr., East Mississippi; and East Mississippi Community College Men’s Head Coach Billy Begley.
Members of the 2016 MACJC South Men’s All-Star Team include (front row, from left) Ravion Henry, East Central; Darius Kennedy, Copiah-Lincoln; Andrew Riley, Jones County; LeDerrius Simmons, Southwest; Corey McLaurin, Hinds; and Lafayette Rutledge, Southwest; and (back row, from left) Christian Robertson, Jones County; Anfernee Hampton, Mississippi Gulf Coast; Donte Watson, Copiah-Lincoln; Ken’Darrius Hamilton, Meridian; Prince McDaniel, East Central; and Deshawn Jones, Mississippi Gulf Coast.
East Central Community College head women’s basketball coach Crandal Porter, in his fourth season with the Lady Warriors, was named the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges Women’s Coach of the Year for the 2015-16 season.
Porter’s Lady Warriors completed the season with both the MACJC South Division title and MACJC State Championship, finishing 24-3 overall and 15-1 in the conference.
Porter helped lead his Lady Warriors to a 19-game winning streak.
His overall record at East Central is now 60-38.
Porter previously served as girls’ and boys’ head basketball coach at Newton High School from 2001-2012. He led the girls’ squad to state Class 2A state titles in 2005 and 2010. His Tiger squad captured the state Class 2A championship in 2008.
He began his successful career at his alma mater Louisville High School, where he served as boys’ head basketball coach in 2000-01.
Porter compiled an overall 494-216 high school coaching record, which also included seven division championships, three South State titles and eight tournament appearances.
Other honors he has received during his coaching career include The Meridian Star’s Boys Coach of the Year in 2000, MAC Class 2A Girls’ Coach of the Year in 2005, Mississippi All-Star Girls’ Coach in 2005, Mississippi All-Star Boys’ Coach in 2009 and MAC Girls’ Coach of the Year in 2010. He was also selected Newton’s Citizen of the Year in 2005.
Porter received a Bachelor of Science degree in health, physical education, recreation, and dance from Mississippi Valley State University in 1998 and earned a Master of Educational Leadership from Mississippi State University in 2010.
East Central Community College sophomore guard Samantha Duncan out of Oak Grove High School was recently named to the National Junior College Athletic Association All-Region 23 team.
This is the Hattiesburg native’s third post-season award after having also been named First Team All-State and to the All-Region 23 Tournament team.
Duncan averaged 15.9 points per game. She also had 3.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game.
The Lady Warriors finished their season with an overall record of 24-3 and 15-1 in the conference.
East Central won both the MACJC South Division title and MACJC State Championship.
CLINTON, Miss.—The East Central Community College Lady Warrior basketball team fell 77-75 to the Holmes Community College Lady Bulldogs in the first round of the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 23 Tournament Wednesday, March 2.
The tournament is being played in the A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton.
East Central entered this year’s Region 23 Tournament as the No. 1 seed. Holmes was the No. 7 seed. It was the first meeting of the year between the two teams.
The Lady Warriors earned the top seed by virtue of winning its first Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges State Championship in a dozen years on Feb. 25 with a 75-63 win over the Itawamba Community College Lady Indians.
Four Lady Warriors put up double-digit scoring. Samantha Duncan, a product of Oak Grove High School led all scorers with 28 points. Kalybriah Haskin (Olympian High School, Chula Vista, Calif.) had 12 points. East Central’s Alexia Mcdonald and Miracle Rushing both chipped in double-doubles, with Mcdonald adding 20 points and 10 rebounds. Rushing put up 11 and brought down 10.
The Lady Warriors came back from a 36-29 deficit going into the locker room. ECCC tied the game up to 73 with 2:30 in the ballgame.
Duncan attempted a three-pointer with two seconds left in the game, but was not able to sink it.
East Central still has a chance at an at-large bid to the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championships to be played March 14-19 in Lubbock, Texas.
Following a 95-84 loss at Jones County Junior College back on Dec. 7, 2015, the Lady Warriors have reeled off 19 straight wins.
East Central finished its season with a 24-3 overall record. Holmes improved to 18-7.
Score by quarters:
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
ECCC 15 14 19 27 75
HCC 13 23 29 12 77