The East Central Community College basketball teams opened MACJC South Division play Dec. 3 with a couple of tough road losses to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in the Weathers-Wentzell Center on the MGCCC campus in Perkinston.
Gulf Coast's LaRaymond Spivery hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of regulation to force overtime where the Bulldogs eventually picked up an 83-80 win over the East Central Warriors in the men's game. It was East Central's first loss of the season as the Warriors fell to 6-1 overall and 0-1 in South Division play. Gulf Coast improved to 7-1 and 1-0.
The Gulf Coast Lady Bulldogs won the opener over the East Central Lady Warriors 78-69. It was also the Lady Warriors first loss of the season as they fell to 6-1 overall and 0-1 division play. It was the first MACJC South Division win for the Lady Bulldogs since the 2016-17 season as they improved to 3-3 and 1-0.
In the men's action, East Central led 67-60 with less than a minute to play in regulation before a furious comeback by Gulf Coast gave Spivery a chance to tie the game 71-71 at the buzzer.
East Central twice held three-point leads in the extra period before Gulf Coast put the game away in the final seconds hitting four straight free throws, including two courtesy of a technical foul.
Sophomore guard Roti Ware out of Morton once again came up big for the East Central Warriors with 26 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Freshman guard Nick Preyer (Mobile, Ala., Leflore) added 15 points, six assists, and four steals. Freshman forward JaQuarius Smith out of Noxubee County had 13 points and seven rebounds.
In the women's action that kicked off the basketball doubleheader, the Gulf Coast Lady Bulldogs used a 13-2 first period run to erase a six-point deficit and grab a lead it would never relinquish in the nine-point win. The Lady Warriors managed to close the gap to four points in the final period before Gulf Coast pulled away.
The East Central Lady Warriors shot just 37 percent from the floor and 24 percent from beyond the three-point line in the loss.
The Lady Warriors were led by 15 points from sophomore guard Feria Mays of Kosciusko. Sophomore forward Diamond Wraggs of Louisville had 13 pints and a team-leading seven rebounds, while freshman forward Jamaica Almons (Jackson, Murrah) chipped in 12 points.
The ECCC Warriors and Lady Warriors will play Coahoma in Clarksdale on Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., and Delgado in New Orleans on Dec. 13 at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. before taking a break for the Christmas holidays.