November 3, 2017

East Central sophomore guard Autumn Taylor dished out five assists in the Lady Warriors win over Coahoma. (EC Photo)

The East Central Community College men’s and women’s basketball teams opened their 2017-18 seasons Thursday, Nov. 2, splitting with the teams from Coahoma Community College in games played in Brackeen-Wood Gym in Decatur.

In the women’s game, East Central used a strong second period to defeat the Lady Tigers 79-69. The Lady Warriors opened the game with only one returning player from last year’s team, and a roster that included 12 freshmen.

The two teams battled back and forth in the opening period, with the Lady Tigers grabbing their biggest lead of the game, 11-7, early in the game before East Central went on a 15-9 run to grab a 22-20 lead as the buzzer sounded to end the first 10 minutes of play.

East Central broke open a tight contest by outscoring Coahoma 23-5 in the second period to grab a 45-25 halftime lead.

East Central led by as many as 25 points in the second half, before Coahoma made a run in the last two minutes of the game to pull the final score to 79-69 as the Lady Warriors were able to play 14 players down the stretch.

The East Central Lady Warriors improved to 1-0 on the season, while the Coahoma Lady Tigers fell to 0-1.

Freshman guard Tamirra Haskin out of Laurel led East Central with 16 points, all coming in the first half. She was 3 of 6 from beyond the three-point arc. Freshman forward Sharan Turner out of East Ascension High School (Gonzales, La.) added 12 points. Freshman guard Diamond Wraggs out of Louisville and Turner both pulled down nine rebounds.

Coahoma’s Nikkeria Harris led all scorers with 18 points.

The Lady Warriors controlled the boards in the game, pulling down 70 rebounds to 50 for the Lady Tigers. A tenacious East Central defense held Coahoma to just 26 percent shooting from the floor.

In the nightcap, Coahoma withstood a late East Central charge to grab an 81-75 win. The game was close in the early going, tied at 13-13 with about eight minutes gone in the first half. Coahoma then went on a 12-2 run to push its lead to 25-15. East Central could get no closer than seven points as the Tigers took a 41-32 lead to the locker room at the half.

Turnovers and cold shooting plagued the Warriors through the first 20 minutes. East Central turned the ball over 14 times, while shooting just 32 percent from the floor. Coahoma meanwhile shot 53 percent from the floor in the first half.

Coahoma stretched its lead to 13, 58-45, with 11 minutes to play in the game, before the Warriors began to chip away. A three pointer by sophomore forward Antonio Clark out of Leake Central would eventually tie the game at 62-62 with 6:43 to play capping a 17-4 East Central run.

Coahoma again pushed out to a five-point lead. East Central had a chance to tie the game three times down court in the final 1:18, but could not find a bucket.

The Warriors fell to 0-1 on the season. The Tigers open 1-0.

In his first collegiate game, freshman guard Roti Ware out of Morton High School scored 16 points to lead East Central. Clark added 15 and sophomore guard Tavonta Jones from Meridian had 10. Sophomore forward Dalton Hanna from Jumpertown led the Warriors with nine rebounds.

Coahoma’s Mailk Bailey was the high scorer in the game with 23 points, while Daquon Morris had 21.

East Central outrebounded Coahoma 51-39, but shot only 36 percent from the floor for the game, including just 4 of 17 on three-point attempts.

East Central will be in action again on Monday, Nov. 6, in Brackeen-Wood Gym in Decatur. The Lady Warriors will face MACJC non-division foe Northwest Mississippi Community College at 5:30 p.m., and the men will play Taylor Made Academy at 7:30 p.m. Both teams will play their first games on the road when they face East Mississippi Community College in Scooba on Thursday, Nov. 9. Game times are 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

All home basketball games can be heard on WKOZ Cruisin 98.3 or via audio stream and live stream video at

Women's Score by Periods:

Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
CCC 20 5 18 26 69
ECCC 22 23 22 12 79

Men's Score by Half:

Team 1st 2nd Final
CCC 41 40 81
ECCC 32 43 75

Freshman Roti Ware goes up for two of his team-high 16 points for the Warriors. (EC Photo)