East Central sweeps Jones
By By Marty Stamper/staff writer
Feb. 15, 2002
DECATUR Going into Thursday's MACJC South Division basketball game with Jones Junior College, the East Central Community College Warriors knew their mission if they are to make the state basketball tournament … win each of their last three games.
The Warriors accomplished the first step with an 81-74 win over the Bobcats.
The Lady Warriors wrapped up the fourth and final berth from the South Division with a 71-57 victory over the Jones women in the opener.
ECCC men 81
The Warriors jumped out to 25-10 lead in the first 10 minutes that saw two highlight dunks and a 3-pointer from 6-foot-5 freshman Corey Hornsby.
ECCC led 40-31 at halftime as the Bobcats heated up from 3-point range, making five baskets from long range over a span of just under four minutes to close to within 37-31.
Jones battled to within a point with 16:38 remaining, but the Warriors stayed ahead until Lee J. Kirkpatrick's second straight basket tied the contest at 53-53 with 11:11 showing.
Nick Paige then buried one of his four 3-pointers to give Jones its only second-half lead at 56-53 with 10:55 to go. The Bobcats hit 11 treys in the contest.
However, Jones was unable to make another basket until the 3:25 mark when Rashaune Walters connected. The Bobcats were 5-of-9 at the free-throw line over that span as ECCC pulled out to a 71-61 lead with Hornsby and James Denson scoring five points apiece and Kevin Bobbitt hitting a 3-pointer for the Warriors.
Three-pointers by Chris Keyes and Paige pulled the Bobcats back to within 73-69 with 2:26 left, but ECCC made 6-of-10 free throws down the stretch for the win.
ECCC (9-11 overall, 4-6 South Division) got 24 points from Denson and 23 from Hornsby. Winfred Craig scored 15 with Donzel Crenshaw and Demario Qualls adding six each.
Jones (12-9, 6-5) got 13 points from Paige, 11 each from Kirkpatrick, McKinley Bethea, and M.J. Johnson, and eight each from Keyes and Jermaine Sherman.
ECCC women 71
The Lady Warriors jumped out to a 24-4 lead before having to hold off the Lady Bobcats in the second half for the postseason-clinching win.
ECCC took a 30-18 lead into halftime and was up 40-26 with just under 15 minutes remaining. Jones got a pair of 3-pointers from Andrea Austin to get to within 48-42 with 10:43 still to be played.
Nikki LaCour scored 10 of ECCC's 15 points midway through the second half to keep the Lady Warriors with a 50-42 advantage.
Five points from Lori Cumberland kept ECCC with a six-point (55-49) advantage with just over six minutes showing.
An 8-0 Lady Warrior run extended the lead to 14 with only 5:29 to go. Tamekia Foley hit a 3-pointer during the run with Christina Ford making 3-of-4 free throws.
Jones got back to within 63-55 on a basket by Aletha Ingram, but another 8-0 ECCC run sealed the win and a berth in the MACJC state tournament.
ECCC (12-8, 6-4) got 24 points from LaCour, 10 each from Cumberland and Ashley Brown, and six each from Foley and Trelisa Eichelberger. Brown had a team-high eight rebounds.
Jones (8-13, 3-8) got 13 points from Austin, nine each from Colette Bartee and Thelma Cooper, eight from Kimberly White, and six each from Ingram and Demesha Chambers. Chambers had a team-high eight rebounds.