April 12 Mississippi Juco Sports News

Are you wondering what's going on around the state of Mississippi as far as junior/community college sports are concerned? We'll keep you updated throughout the year with reports from the sports media relations departments at the junior and community colleges....


BOONEVILLE, Miss. - Curt Butler (Corinth) shot a 74 at the Pearl River Invitational on Monday, April 8, and one day later Chase Williams (Alcorn Central) shot a 71 at the Jones County Invitational as Northeast Mississippi Community College's golf team finished the 2007 regular season undefeated in Division III play.

Next up for Coach Craig Lauderdale's team is the MACJC (Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges) State/Region XXIII tournament to be hosted by Co-Lin Community College at Wolf Hollow Golf Course in Wesson, Miss. on April 15-17.

"Golf is about finishing strong," Lauderdale said, "and that's what our kids did. Curt (Butler) improved with every tournament and finished strong. Chase (Williams) finished the year with his best round of the year in possibly the worst conditions of the year at the Jones Tournament. If we take care of business at the State (Region XXIII) tournament we'll punch our ticket to the National Tournament, and we'll start thinking about winning a national title."

Williams, a sophomore from Alcorn Central High School, won medalist honors at the Jones County Invitational on April 9. His round of 71 was the lowest among all competitors.

Lauderdale's Tigers will play a practice round at Wolf Hollow on Sunday, April 15. The State/Region XXIII tournament is a two day event that will begin on Monday, April 16, and will end on Tuesday, April 17.


RIPLEY, Miss.-- John Stephens, a senior outfielder for coach Chris Langley at Ripley High School, signed a national baseball letter of intent with Northeast Mississippi Community College on Wednesday, April 11. Stephens is the second signee of the 2007 recruiting class for NEMCC head baseball coach Kent Farris.

"I can describe John in one word: toughness," said Kent Farris. "He's one of those kids that has the desire to win every time he steps on the field, and will fight to make it happen. He was a really good football player at Ripley also, and has been in the weight room. We're excited about getting him on the field next season."

Stephens is batting .420 so far this baseball season at Ripley, with a .580 slugging percentage, five doubles, a triple, and two homeruns. The four-year Ripley starter sports a .938 fielding percentage in 2007. John was named to the All-Division team following his freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons.


MEMPHIS, Tenn.-- Jerry Hampton, a 6'9", 215 lb. forward from Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tenn. signed a letter of intent today with Northeast Mississippi Community College.

Hampton averaged 16.2 points per game, and shot 52% from the field during his senior season at Booker T. Washington for Coach Fred Horton.

"We've been after him all year," said NEMCC head men's basketball coach David Robbins. "He is our top recruit, and has been from the beginning. To land him on the second day of the signing period is a huge bonus for us."

Hampton's high school coach Fred Horton played at the University of Memphis from 1968-72 for Coach Gene Bartow and says Hampton has the ability to take his basketball career to the highest levels. "Jerry is a diamond in the rough," said Horton, "He is an excellent rebounder as well as a great scorer. He's a 6'9" guy who can run the floor and shoot the three. Great things are in store if Jerry stays focused."

After leading his Booker T. Washington team to a 23-7 record his junior season, he followed that by leading them to a 27-3 mark in 2006-07. Hampton's efforts were rewarded with All-Division, All-Region, and All-Metro honors. "It feels good to sign with Northeast," Hampton said. "I'm just glad to get to go to college and play basketball. I'll have to get used to Booneville. The biggest thing will be to study hard and work hard so that I'll be ready next season."

Hampton's mother, Lawana, is proud that her son will be playing relatively close to home for the next two years. "I'll be there," Lawana Hampton said, "at every game. It's close to home. It's only a couple hours away, which is much better than a five, six hour drive."

Hampton is the first signee for Coach David Robbins class of 2007 at NEMCC.


RIPLEY, Miss.-- Ripley High School senior Arlando 'Doc' Johnson signed a national basketball letter of intent with Northeast Mississippi Community College on Wednesday, April 11. Johnson is the second signee of NEMCC head men's basketball coach David Robbins' 2007 class.

"Doc will help us," Robbins said. "He'll be a guy who can handle the point for us, but more importantly defend the quick guards in this league. He played for coach (Harvey) Childers at Ripley so he's certainly been well coached. We're extremely excited that Doc chose Northeast."

During the 2006-07 season Johnson, a 5'7" senior, averaged 11.2 points per game in 33 games. He also pitched in with five assists, three steals, and four rebounds per game. For his efforts Johnson was named a class 3A All-State selection, 3A Division I player of the year, and All-County MVP.


BOONEVILLE, Miss.-- Northeast Mississippi Community College head women's basketball coach Ricky Ford has added three more to his 2007 signing class, bringing the total number of Lady Tigers signees to six. On Tuesday, April 10, guards Erika Wright and Ebony Crayton from McNairy Central High School in Tennessee, joined Brittany Vuncannon from Pine Grove in signing letters of intent to play for the defending State Champion Northeast Lady Tigers.

"We've really made a name for ourselves with guards who could run over the last few years," said Ricky Ford, "and these girls really fit that mold. Erika is a tall guard who is a really good defensive player. Ebony, like Erika, is 5'9" and can really score. Brittany played on a great team for Pine Grove this past season, and the thing I like most about her is her attitude, her toughness, and her knack for hitting big shots."

Erika Wright averaged 17 and seven rebounds per game her senior season, earning All Region 6 AAAll honors, as well as West Tennessee First Team All District 12 AA.

Ebony Crayton averaged 18 points, five rebounds, and three steals a game this past season. She is McNairy Central's all-time leading scorer and was named District 12 AA MVP, Region 6 AA MVP, and selected to the All West Tennessee First Team.

Brittany Vuncannon averaged 11 points, five rebounds, four assists, and there steals this past season. She was voted All Division 1-1A, Tippah County MVP, Hill Country Conference MVP for the past two seasons.


The softball game, Thursday April 12, between ECCC and PRCC has been cancelled and has not been rescheduled yet.


Threatening skies made for a gloomy day at the ball park in Scooba but the Lady Lions did not let that dampen their winning ways as sophomore right hander Nichole Lanthier got the start in game one for the Lions Tuesday. Freshmen Kristie Owens, Ashlyn Grossie, and Lauren Pinnix scored the first three runs early for the Lady Lions as EMCC hosted the ICC Indians in a ground soaked double header. Lanthier gave up a 3-run home run with two outs in the second inning tying the score 3-3. East MS came roaring back to take the lead when Kristin Owens from Byhalia MS hit a hard hit ground ball up the middle to score Ashley Helms and Daniel Bore adding two runs to take the lead for the Lions in the bottom of the fourth. Ashlyn Grossie popped a one-run homer in a 10-5 winning effort for the Lady Lions in the first game of a double header. Freshman Jorga Edmonds started game two for the Lions and went four innings before Lanthier relieved her at the end of the fourth. The Lady Lions finished victorious 10-7 sweeping the ICC Indians. Ashley Clark led the Lions in hits for the day.


The EMCC Lions defeated Northeast Community College 10-7 in the first game of a double header at Scooba. Righthander Joshua Dunn got the start for the Lions with lefthanders Kevin Lienard and Tyler Maness in relief. In game two for the Lions freshman righthander Cam Bain from Northeast MS started with lefthander Adam Lollar and Kevin Van Veen in relief. Northeast compiled 9 hits and 6 runs to defeat the Lions 9-4 in game two. Lions hitters A. J. Freeman and Ben Fleming had multiple hits for EMCC and Walt Love added one single to give East 5 hits in the second game.


The Meridian Community College golf team set a new school record for most wins in a season by capturing their seventh tournament victory at the Jones County Invitational in Hattiesburg, MS on Tuesday.

The Eagles battled cold temperatures and heavy rains on their way to shooting a tournament low 300 team score. Hinds claimed second with a 302 and MS Gulf Coast was in third with a 314.

"Obviously I am excited to win tournaments," said MCC head coach Sean Covich. "But more importantly, this team has conducted themselves like champions on and off the golf course. Plus they have set a high standard in the classroom. That is what makes me proud."

Leading the way for MCC was sophomore Justin Eaves. Eaves shot even-par 72 and was named to the All Tournament team. The round was Eaves' ninth tournament score of even-par or better this season. Eaves currently leads all Mississippi Juco golfers in the Player of the Year standings.

Fellow sophomore Dustin Petit continued his steady play with a 3-over par 75. Petit has now carded 14 rounds at 75 or better this season. Freshman Joshua Ivy shot a 4-over par 76 while freshman Jarrod Lemaster closed out the MCC team scorecard with a 5-over par 77.

Freshman Bryant Self shot 83 while Zach Rushing, competing as an individual, shot 84.

The tournament was held at the 6,862 yard, par 72 Pine Belt National Golf Club.

MCC will be back in action at the 2007 MACJC State/NJCAA Region XXIII golf championship on April 16-17 at Wolf Hollow Golf Club. The Eagles will try to claim their third consecutive State/Region title. Winner of the championship will advance to the 2007 NJCAA Div II men's golf national championship in late May.


East Central Community College's baseball team improved to 17-18 following a doubleheader sweep of Northeast Mississippi Community College Friday afternoon on the Booneville campus.

Jordan Robinson of Union led EC sluggers with a double and single in posting a 6-4 victory in the opener, and Terrell Hendrix, a product of East Oktibbeha High School in Starkville doubled and added two singles in a 5-2 decision to complete the sweep.

Other hitters in the first contest were Hendrix and Adam Griffin of Neshoba Central, doubles each; and George Washington of Demopolis, Warren Bowling of Florence, Brian Jones of Adolphus (KY) High School, Jacob Thames of Magee, Josh Lafferty of Quitman and Colby Hawthorne of McNeil, singles each.

Washington also collected three RBIs and Jones knocked in two runs. Hawthorne was also credited with an RBI.

Runs were scored by Hendrix (2), Robinson, Bowling, Griffin and Thames.

EC scored one run in the first inning, one in the second, two in the fifth and two in the sixth.

Northeast tallied one run in the first inning, two in the fifth and one in the seventh.

Jesus Aleman of Belle Glade, Fla., was the winning pitcher for EC. He allowed three runs on six hits through four and one-third innings. He also fanned two batters and walked a pair.

Additional hitters besides Hendrix in the nightcap were Robinson, two singles; and Washington, Griffin, Jones and Chris Parkman of Pulaski, singles each.

Parkman was also credited with two RBIs, and Casey, Robinson and Hendrix knocked in a run apiece.

Runs were scored by Hendrix (2), Griffin, Jones and Hawthorne.

EC scored two runs in the second inning, two in the fourth and one in the third.

The Tigers scored their runs in the second and fifth innings.

Daniel Carela of New York, New York was the winning pitcher, allowing two runs on six hits through five and one-third innings. He also walked a batter.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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