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JUCO Notebook: ECCC opens Region 23 play Mondayv

By Staff
from combined reports
Feb. 28, 2004
Fresh off an MACJC Women's State Championship, the East Central Community College Lady Warriors have their sites on earning a trip to the NJCAA National Tournament in Salina, Kan.
To earn that ticket, ECCC will have to win three games at the Region 23 Tournament, which begins at Mississippi College's A.E. Wood Coliseum on Monday.
East Central faces Mississippi Delta at 6 p.m. If the Lady Warriors win, they will take on the winner of Monday's 12:30 p.m. Northeast-Gulf Coast winner at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday. The finals are set for 6 p.m. on Thursday.
Other first-round games have Jones taking on Northwest at 2:15 p.m. on Monday, while Delgado (La.) plays Copiah-Lincoln at 7:45 p.m. The winners of those two games meet Wednesday in the semifinals at 12:30 p.m.
The men take center stage at Mississippi College on Tuesday, with four first-round games. Jones Junior College faces Northwest at 12:30 p.m., while Pearl River takes on Gulf coast at 2:15 p.m.
Bossier Parrish plays Holmes at 6 p.m., while Hinds tackles Itawamba at 8 p.m. The semifinals are set for 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. The finals will tip off at 8 p.m. on Thursday.
Austin Bishop
Bad weather slows down
Bobcats on football field
Rain has hampered spring football training at Jones County Junior College.
Dykes said he has 37 players involved in spring training. He signed 25 freshmen-to-be players earlier this month, who will join the team in August. The Bobcats are expecting 10 of their 11 starters on offense back for the 2004 season, but will be rebuilding the defense.
Former Wayne County standout Akeem Lofton is expected to compete for the starting quarterback duties in the fall, but is not participating in spring training. Lofton is the starting center fielder for the JCJC baseball team.
The JCJC football team, which finished 7-2 last season, opens its 2004 season Sept. 4 at home against Coahoma.
Steve Swogetinsky
Pearl River Community College
men take MACJC crown
The Pearl River Wildcats repeated as state men's basketball champions with a come-from-behind 71-60 victory over Hinds in final-round action of the MACJC State Tournament Thursday night at Northeast Mississippi Community College.
The title marked the sixth in PRCC head coach Richard Mathis' career and his fourth in 13 seasons with the Wildcats.
"All of them (championships) are sweet, but this one is particularly sweet," Mathis said. "We struggled through the season and Hinds wound up sweeping us in our two regular-season division games. I really didn't know what to expect coming into this thing, but our guys worked hard and responded and we repeated as champions."
school reports
East Central Warriors wrap up football spring training early
The East Central Community College Warriors have wrapped up their spring training and are now looking forward to their 2004 season opener on Sept. 2 at Northwest Community College.
"We started the week before the signing date and wrapped up last week," said ECCC coach Terry Underwood. "We go early for several reasons. "One of our assistant coaches is the golf coach and we want to free him up. And, if somebody gets hurt, it gives them longer to heal. But also it gives us a week to look at our players who transfer in at mid-semester to see what we have."
Underwood said the Warriors were young last year, starting nine freshmen on defense. With seven starters returning on defense and four on offense this year, Underwood said they feel they have paid their dues.
"I feel better about this group coming in," Underwood said. "We feel good about the players we have signed and we have a good group coming back. We should be very competitive this season."
Steve Swogetinsky
Northeast men's coach retires
BOONEVILLE Mike Lewis will retire March 31 after 12 seasons as head basketball coach at Northeast Community College.
The travel has become pretty tiresome,'' he said. All those recruiting trips start to wear on you.''
For 31 years, Lewis has been in the business of winning basketball games at the high school and junior college levels.
Lewis, who played baseball at Northeast and Delta State, ending up getting his first head coaching job at Water Valley, staying just one season. He spent the next 12 years coaching in Alcorn County, seven season's at Biggersville and five at Alcorn Central.
During his 12 seasons at Northeast he posted a 205-136 record, including four North Division championships, two state titles, two Region 23 titles and a pair of appearances in the NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. His 2000 state and Region 23 championship team finished No. 8 in the country.
wire reports