The East Central Community College men's basketball team finally put an end to a five-game losing streak, while the ECCC women extended their winning streak to three games as the Warriors and Lady Warriors swept the visitors from Southwest Mississippi Community College in action Monday, Jan. 28, in Brackeen-Wood Gym in Decatur.
The ECCC Warriors overcame a late Southwest Bear rally to grab an 84-81 MACJC South Division win in the men's game. The Lady Warriors would score eight of the final 11 points of the contest to defeat the Southwest Lady Bears 76-69.
The Warriors broke open a close game to lead by as many as 14 points midway through the second half before a Southwest rally got the Bears to within three points at the final buzzer. Sophomore guard Roti Ware of Morton came up big for the Warriors with a game-high 31 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists. Freshman guard Devin Carter of Pearl had 15 points, freshman forward Marcus Bates (Tuscaloosa, Ala., Paul Bryant) had 12, and freshman guard Nick Preyer (Mobile, Ala., Leflore) added 10 points and four steals.
The win improved East Central to 8-8 overall and 1-6 in division play. It was the Warriors first win since back on Jan. 8. Southwest fell to 10-6 and 2-5.
In the women's action, East Central led the entire first half and took a 38-33 lead into the locker room at the half. An 11-1 run by Southwest in the third period briefly gave the Lady Bears the lead, but a 10-0 run by the Lady Warriors helped East Central regain the lead for good.
Freshman guard Jariyah Covington of Starkville had the hot hand for East Central, scoring 22 points while hitting seven of nine shots from the floor and seven of eight free throws. Sophomore forward Whitney Waters of Heidelberg added 15 for the Lady Warriors while freshman forward/guard KeiMoya Walker (Jackson, Murrah) had 10. Freshman forward/center Kimberly Green (Greenwood, Amanda Elzy) led East Central with six rebounds.
With their third straight win, the ECCC Lady Warriors improved to 13-3 overall and 4-3 in MACJC South Division play to move into a tie for third place in the standings. The Southwest Lady Bears fell to 6-10 and 1-6.
East Central will stay at home to host Gulf Coast on Thursday, Jan. 31, on Be Our Guest night for high school students in Neshoba County. Game times both nights are 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Next week, East Central will travel to Poplarville to face Pearl River on Monday, Feb. 4, and then to Wesson to face Copiah-Lincoln on Thursday, Feb. 7. Game times are 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. both nights.