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ECCC takes pair of thrillers over ICC

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Nov. 21, 2001
DECATUR They didn't come easy, but the East Central Community College basketball teams claimed a pair of wins over Itawamba in the ECCC Classic on Tuesday.
In fact, in both games the ECCC teams had to watch last-second shots by Itawamba fail to connect to preserve one-point victories.
ECCC returns to action on Nov. 29 at home against Mississippi Gulf Coast.
ECCC Women 59
Itawamba 58
After spotting Itawamba the game's first nine points, the Lady Warriors spent the rest of the night playing chase.
It was a game ECCC coach Brad Hodge didn't mind playing after his team finally caught the Lady Indians in the closing seconds to improve to 5-1.
ECCC briefly caught the Lady Indians at 12-12 only to go into halftime with a 29-24 deficit.
Itawamba pulled out to a 46-33 advantage with 14:04 left on a 3-pointer from Shana Woodruff.
Slowly, the Lady Warriors began cutting into the ICC lead and closed to within 58-57 with 36 seconds remaining when Nikki LaCour drove the lane for a basket.
Seven seconds later, ICC's Melody Pippins lost the ball out of bounds.
Christina Ford was fouled with 18.2 seconds left and made both free throws to put ECCC up 59-58.
LaCour, who went 7-for-9 at the free-throw line, missed two charity shots with 9.8 seconds showing, but Pippins' 3-point try from the top of the key as time ran out was an airball.
ECCC was led by LaCour's 17 points, all of which came in the second half. Ford finished with 15, Belinda Potter added 13, and Sheneka Cistrunk tossed in seven.
Itawamba, 2-3, was paced by Chassidy Hadley's 19 points which included an 11-of-13 showing at the free-throw line. Woodruff hit four 3-pointers in totaling 14 points. ICC was 15-of-23 at the free-throw line.
ECCC Men 68
Itawamba 67
Itawamba held a 67-62 advantage with 2:44 remaining only to have Winfred Craig hit a 3-pointer from the right wing with 2:27 left and Corey Hornsby bury a 3 with 1:37 to go to put the Warriors up 68-67. Neither team would score again.
In winning their third straight game, the Warriors evened their record at 3-3.
Two baskets from Hornsby gave the Warriors a 28-25 lead which they stretched to 38-29 when Markeith Brown buried a 3-pointer with 4:03 left in the first half.
The Indians went on a 9-0 run and drew even at 38-38 on a 3-pointer from Jason Pannell 20 seconds before intermission.
Brown sent the Warriors into halftime with a 40-38 edge when he connected from the top of key three seconds before the half ended.
The second half saw four ties and three lead changes before Hornsby's 3 gave the Warriors the lead for good with 1:37 showing.
Pannell's shot as time ran out failed to go down as ICC fell to 2-2.
Hornsby led ECCC with 16 points with Brown scoring 15, James Denson 14, Craig nine, and Maurice English six.
Trent Vaughn led the Indians with 18 points. Shun Jenkins scored 15, Pannell and Charles Slaughter both had 11 with Prince Thompson tossing in 10 for former ECCC men's coach Marty Cooper.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at or call him at 693-1551, ext. 3235.