Lady Bobcats whip Northwest to reach Region 23 semifinalsBy SHAWN WANSLEY,
CLINTON – Fifth-rated Jones County Junior College placed five players in double figures as they eased past Northwest 77-55 in the first round of the Region 23 Tournament here Wednesday afternoon at the A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College.
Maya Jones (Northwest Rankin) and Camryn London (Birmingham, Alabama) both came off the bench to lead Jones in scoring with 13 points each. Kira Bonner (Quitman) scored 12 points – all in the first half. Nique Cherry (Heidelberg) had 11 points and 13 rebounds – her 21st ‘’double-double’ of the season and Zakyia Weathersby (Collins) came off the bench to score 10 points and grab 9 rebounds. Jones also had 9 rebounds, as the Lady Bobcats outrebounded the Lady Rangers, 57-37.
Alexis Tolefree (Conway, Arkansas) and Mackenzie Thompson (East Rankin Academy) each had 4 assists with Jones and Tolefree each getting 3 steals.
Jones led 23-13 after the first quarter, 44-17 at halftime and 62-34 after three quarters. JCJC’s longest lead was 70-34 with 8:01 remaining when Weathersby scored off an assist by Thompson.
Jones won its eighth straight game to improve to 24-3 on the year. They will now meet Northeast in a semifinal game at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The game will air on www.nemcctv.com. Northeast eliminated Southwest 64-60 on Wednesday.
In the other half of the bracket, Copiah-Lincoln defeated Hinds 69-64 and Holmes downed LSU-Eunice, 87-68. Co-Lin and Holmes will play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the other semifinal matchup.
In Wednesday’s game, JCJC was 31-of-79 from the field, including 6-of-24 from 3-point range, for 39 percent. The Lady Bobcats were 9-of-21 from the free throw line.
Shelbi Buford led Northwest with 12 points and Chrissah Shaw added 11.
The Lady Rangers were 18-of-56 from the field, including 8-of-25 from 3-point range, for 32 percent. Northwest was 11-of-17 from the free throw line.
Jones had 14 turnovers, compared to 21 for Northwest.
The Lady Rangers ends the season at 13-11.
The tournament championship game will be at 5:30 p.m. Friday with the winner securing an automatic berth in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament March 19-24 in Lubbock, Texas.
Region 23 Tournament
A.E. Wood Coliseum
March 7 results
Northeast 64, Southwest 60
Jones County 77, Northwest 55
Copiah-Lincoln 69, Hinds 64
Holmes 87, LSU-Eunice 68
March 8 games
5:30 p.m., Jones County vs. Northeast
7:30 p.m., Copiah-Lincoln vs. Holmes
March 9 game
5:30 p.m., Championship