The East Central Community College Lady Warriors and Warriors opened 2019 in style with a basketball sweep of home-standing East Mississippi in games played Tuesday, Jan. 8, in Keyes T. Currie Gymnasium in Scooba.
Both games came down to the wire, as the ECCC Lady Warriors overcame a five-point deficit to start the fourth period to pull out a 55-52 win over the EMCC Lady Lions. In the men's game, a last-second shot by EMCC was off the mark as the Warriors pulled out a 58-57 win.
With the win, the ECCC Lady Warriors improved to 9-1 on the season, while the EMCC Lady Lions fell to 4-8. The East Central Warriors snapped a three-game losing streak with the one-point win to improve to 7-3. The EMCC Lions fell to 7-5.
The women's game was close throughout with the scored tied 10 times. The two teams were tied 22-22 at the half before the Lady Lions pulled away by five in the third period. East Central came up with a big fourth quarter to grab the 55-52 win.
Freshman guard Jariyah Covington of Starkville came up big for the Lady Warriors with 16 points, three rebounds, and two steals. Sophomore forward Diamond Wraggs of Louisville was the only other Lady Warrior in double digits in scoring with 12 points. She also led East Central in rebounding with six. Sophomore guard Feria Mays of Kosciusko had four of East Central's nine steals in the game.
In the nightcap, East Central led by seven points with five minutes to play before EMCC closed the gap to one and missed that final shot. The East Central Warriors were in command most of the game before the final run by the Lions. East Central led 28-22 at the half.
Sophomore guard Roti Ware was again the leader for East Central with 18 points and 10 rebounds, both game highs. He also had three assists and two steals. Freshman guard Nick Preyer (Mobile, Ala., Leflore) chipped in 11 points, while freshman forward Marcus Bates (Tuscaloosa, Ala., Paul Bryant) had 10. Preyer had a game-high in both assists (5) and steals (4).
The ECCC Warriors and Lady Warriors return to action Thursday, Jan. 10, when they host Pearl River in Brackeen-Wood Gym. The women tipoff at 5:30 p.m. and the men at 7:30 p.m. The Pearl River men's team is currently ranked No. 17 in the nation. It will be Be Our Guest night for high school students in Leake County.
Following that action, the East Central teams will host Copiah-Lincoln on Monday, Jan. 14, at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. All Scott County high school students will be admitted free for a special Be Our Guest night.