Lady Eagles on roll at 11-0
By By Fredie Carmichael/The Meridian Star
Dec. 6, 2001
Hilary Allen still remembers standing on the court at Mississippi College last February with his head in his hands wondering what went wrong.
Allen was in his first year as head coach of Meridian Community College's Lady Eagle basketball team. After being one of the favorites to win the Region 23 Tournament and make it back to the nationals for the third consecutive year, his team was ousted in the first round of the eight-team event by Pearl River Community College.
The Lady Eagles squandered a double-digit halftime lead and exited the tournament with a bad taste in their mouths.
Allen said the memories of that game are still fresh on the minds of himself and his returning players.
The Lady Eagles have been blistering the nets so far the season on the way to an 11-0 start and No. 6 national ranking in the NJCAA poll which was released on Dec. 1. There are 178 teams in NJCAA Division I women's basketball.
MCC is scoring 88.9 points a game Seventh highest in the nation and has five players averaging double figures scoring a game.
Freshman wing Cantea Brown, who prepped at Meridian High School, is leading the charge, averaging 16.7 points per game (sixth in NJCAA).
The Lady Eagles have also gotten a big boost from Mississippi's all-time leading high school scorer, Monique Horner, who played six years under Joe Miller's direction at Southeast Lauderdale. Horner and the Lady Tigers swept through postseason play last year and claimed the 3-A state championship.
Ironically it hasn't been her scoring that's been the biggest factor for MCC this season. She leads the nation in assists per game with 10.
Horner ranks fourth in the nation from the charity stripe, knocking down 90.8 percent of her free throws. She's hitting for 10 points a game and is averaging 3.3 steals per game (24th in NJCAA).
The Lady Eagles have also gotten solid play from its returning letterman. Tijwana Collins, who also played her high school ball at MHS, is averaging 12.2 points a game and opened her sophomore season with a 30-point outing against Coahoma Community College.
Sophomore post player Ericka Starks is averaging 10 points a game while Felicia Washington is pulling down 9 rebounds a game (17th in NJCAA).
The MCC women have entertained the home crowd at the Ivy Sports Center four times this year with double-digit victories. The Lady Eagles own a 23-game home winning streak on their home floor.
The Lady Eagles will return to the Ivy Sports Center Dec. 15 to face Bevill (Ala.) State at 7 p.m.
Fredie Carmichael is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3228, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.