CENTRAL SWEEPS LAFAYETTE
By D.E. Wheeler
GLEN Alcorn Central and Lafayette County had the pleasant task of reopening their 1995-96 basketball seasons Thursday with key Division 1-4A games against each other.
The Alcorn Central Lady Bears and Bears must know how to survive the winter weather, as evidenced by their sweep of the Sailorettes and the Commodores.
The game between the Nos. 3- and 4-ranked girls teams in the Daily Journal circulation area saw the Lady Bears grab control in the second quarter, then hold on for a 68-54 win. In the boys contest, the Bears ran their winning streak to 16 games with a decisive fourth-quarter run for a 66-56 victory.
The Alcorn Central wins ensure them of finishing no worse than second in Division 1-4A. The Commodores could have won the division with a victory Thursday.
"This win just puts us in the same bracket as Lafayette," Bears coach Larry Jobe said. "In the fourth quarter, we tried to pick up the defensive pressure, and we hit a couple of shots and got a couple of rebounds that helped us."
The Bears (24-4, 6-1) and the Commodores (12-11, 5-2) were tied at the end of the first three periods, with the score at 43-43 after the third quarter. The Bears opened the final frame with with 3-pointers by Bart Doran and Brian Johnson, and that seemed to give the edge to Alcorn Central.
The Commodores could get no closer than six points to the Bears lead, and an 8-0 run by Central in the last two minutes iced the win.
Jason Harris had the hot offensive hand for the Bears, ranked No. 2 by the Journal, with 28 points, including six 3-pointers. Ellis added 16 points while Nick Coln was held to eight points, but still contributed 13 assists.
"Central went to a 1-2-2 half-court press in the fourth quarter and we went stagnant, and I thought we got tired," Lafayette coach Mike Foster said. "We played well, but had a little letdown in the fourth quarter."
Lunda Wilburn scored 21 and Rodney Driver 17 for the Commodores. Neither team led by more than six points in the first three quarters.
(G) Alcorn Central 68, Lafayette Co. 54: The Lady Bears (23-4, 5-2) grabbed a slim early lead, then put some distance between themselves and the Sailorettes in the second quarter. Tiffany Sitton had eight points in a 10-0 Central run that pushed the margin to 30-16.
The Sailorettes (19-6, 5-2) cut the margin to 45-38 in the third quarter, but by the end of the period, the Lady Bears held a 57-41 lead.
"Everybody got in and contributed," Lady Bears coach Louie Riddick said. "We got a 17-point lead, they get it down to 10, then we work it back up.
"That's good for us to do that."
Sitton led the No. 3 Lady Bears with 17 points, Lesley Lewis and Elizabeth Wamsley hit 12 each and Michelle Trimble added 10. Bridget Sealy scored 12, Latonia McGlown 11 and Debra Herod 10 for the No. 4 Sailorettes.
"We were definitely cold starting the game," Lafayette coach Chester Drewrey said. "We hadn't practiced in seven days, and it showed in every phase of the game."
Central led 16-9 after the first quarter and 39-29 at the half.