Lady Lions advance to semifinals of Region 23 tournament


The drive is alive for the East Mississippi Community Lions as they knocked off Itawamba 63-40 Monday night and advanced to the semifinals of the Region 23 basketball tournament.

East Mississippi has now won eight-of-its-last-nine-games. The Lady Lions were to play Coahoma in the semifinals at Mississippi College. The winner takes on the winner of the Jones-LSU Eunice game for the championship.

Coach Sharon Thompson’s Lady Lions now stand at 12-4.

East Mississippi made it to the final four of the tournament last week with their 69-49 home victory over Co-Lin.

Ja’Mia Hollings scored a game-high 24 points to help lead the sixth-seeded East Mississippi over the Lady Wolves.

The EMCC women owned the advantage from the opening tip against Co-Lin, jumping out to a 19-9 lead after the first quarter of play.  The Lady Lions stretched the margin to 19 points (28-9) during the opening minutes of the second quarter on consecutive three-pointers by Jenessa Souza, Hollings and Amiyah Staples.  With six made treys in the opening half, EMCC owned a 32-18 halftime advantage.

The reigning conference champions maintained their comfortable double-digit cushion throughout the second stanza, including a margin of 19 points or more during the entire fourth quarter. The differential increased to a game-high 27 points (60-33) after the Lady Lions opened the final period with eight unanswered points, including three-pointers by Shakira Wilson and Tamara Alexander.

Hollings’ fifth career 20-point outing was highlighted by 10-of-16 shooting from the field.  She also pulled down eight rebounds.  Wilson followed with 11 points, while Staples approached a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.

Derrica Gilbert and Aniya Sanders led the visiting Co-Lin Lady Wolves with 17 and 12 points, respectively. 

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