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Warriors advance to second round of Region 23 Tournament

ECCC's Darien Newchurch dribbles the ball up the court in the Warriors Region 23 matchup...
ECCC's Darien Newchurch dribbles the ball up the court in the Warriors Region 23 matchup against Southern-Shreveport(ECCC Athletics)
Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 1:09 PM CDT
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DECATUR, Miss. (ECCC Athletics) - The East Central Community College Warriors basketball team picked up an 87-75 win over Southern-Shreveport in the first round of the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament last night in Decatur. The MACCC did not hold a tournament this season, and the NJCAA allowed all 19 teams in Region 23, which are all Mississippi schools, LSU Eunice, Baton Rouge, Delgado, and Southern-Shreveport, to participate in postseason play. The Warriors, the 14 seed, downed the No. 19 seeded Southern-Shreveport Jaguars on Tuesday to advance. ECCC will now take on the Hinds Bulldogs in Utica on Thursday, April 1 at 6 p.m.

The Jaguars had an early 5-2 lead in the contest, but back-to-back three-pointers from Demajion Topps (Winona) knotted the game and then gave ECCC a lead. The Warriors went on to turn those shots into a 15-2 run that grew the lead to 10, 17-7. After the explosive start that saw big buckets from the likes of JaMichael Wilson (Rayville, La.), Landyn Shows (Petal), and others, the Warriors never surrender the lead for the remainder of the contest.

Later in the first half, the ECCC lead grew to as much as 19, 41-22, as the Warriors had the hot hand from nearly all parts of the floor. The stellar shooting and tight defense on the other end of the floor allowed ECCC to take the 19-point, 55-38, lead into the half. ECCC entered the locker room shooting 48 percent from the floor and was hitting a blistering 50 percent from beyond the arc.

In the second half, the Jaguars went on a few scoring runs on a couple of occasions. The quick scoring bursts pulled the lead down to just 11 four different times, but each time, the Warriors responded with solid shooting to rebuild the advantage. In the end, the Warriors’ offensive presence was just too much as ECCC ran away with the win.

Four different Warriors finished the night with double-digits in the scoring column, led by 19 points from Topps who was 4-of-6 from three-point range. Devin Carter (Louisville) was perfect from the free throw line as he hit 9-of-9 attempts to help the sophomore post 17 points. Shows came off the bench to pour in 13 points after hitting three, three-pointers, while Tate Ryder (Hattiesburg) scored 10. Wilson led the Warriors on the glass with 10 rebounds, while Timothy McElroy (DeKalb) grabbed nine. William Thompson (Tupelo) came off the bench and hauled in eight boards.

Southern-Shreveport had six players score in double figures led by 16 from Quilin Dixon followed by a 14-point performance from Nathan Curtis.

ECCC finished the night shooting 43 percent from the floor and 34 percent from three-point range and outrebound Southern-Shreveport 51-43.

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