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Cooper Pours In 44 Points To lead East Clarendon To Region Title With 80-66 Win Over Mullins

Cooper Pours In 44 Points To lead East Clarendon To Region Title With 80-66 Win Over Mullins

By Billy G. Baker

Publisher

Tuberville-The number two HSSR AA ranked East Clarendon girl’s  basketball team broke open a 37-31 lead at the half with a 13-2 run early in the third period and the Lady Wolverines went on to clinch a region title over Mullins win a dominating 80-66-win Wednesday night.

Freshman point guard Talaysia Cooper poured in 44 points with 12 rebounds and six assists to lead EC to the region title as the Wolverines enter the Class AA playoffs on Tuesday with an 18-2 record. They are expected to host four seed Woodland at home next week.

EC’s two Big’s were effective in the game as 6-1 senior post player Britni Anderson added 11 points and 17 rebounds and junior 6-1 post player Rhamey Floyd had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Alicia Wilson had a great game as well hauling down 14 rebounds and adding four points.

Mullin finished second in the region with their only region losses coming to East Clarendon. The Lady Auc’s were led in the game by a pair of sophomores Jen’Lea Nichols with 21 points and Kellie Friday added 13 points along with veteran senior leader and captain Janell Sindab who ran the point and contributed 15 points.

Head coach Mike Lowder told his team after the game he was amazed they had found a way to be 18-2 at this point of the season and moving up from Class A to AA he certainly didn’t expect to run through the region undefeated.  “We are grateful to be 18-2 right now and really I am as surprised as anyone that we were able to rebound from those two early season losses against Manning to emerge as undefeated region champions,” he said after the big win in front of a packed gym on homecoming night.  

Coach Lowder said he was pleased to have a six- point lead at the half and agreed that the difference in the game was his team’s third quarter run. “We had 22 turnovers in the first half and we still led by six at the half and that will not always happen,” he said. “Our quick start on offense was huge for us in the third period. This was only the second time this year we went with a 1-1- 3 defense and we normally play a 1-3-1.  We were trying to cut off their driving lanes and their big girl still managed to score some.”

Coach Lowder said he was proud of the entire team but cited Wilson’s 14 rebounds as huge for the team. “She is coming along really well, and she has been working hard and she is the player that has filled in for Valenicia Garris who we lost with an ACL injury before the season began. She has stepped up for us. Tonight, it was a complete team effort and Talaysia continues to do amazing things on the court also.”  

“We had to come here tonight and win by three or more points to win the region and we knew it was going to be tough in this atmosphere,” said Mullins head coach Myron Gerald. “Cooper was certainly the difference for them and she is a tough hard-nosed type player and even though she makes freshman mistakes she keeps coming at you and she is hard to stop with her full speed attitude.

“I was proud of the Nichols girl tonight and she is a quiet player on the court, but she makes plays and finds a way to score and she has a great future in our program being a sophomore,” said Coach Gerald. “We are a number two seed starting the playoffs and we will have at least one home game, maybe two, in the playoffs. We hope that we are not one and done.”

Coach Gerald said EC’s zone was hard to attack. “With Cooper up top and their two Big girls down low you have to know how to attack their zone defense” said Coach Gerald.  “We play much better at home and we have a group of girls who hate to lose so we are hoping for a run in the playoffs. A game like this on the road gets us ready for the playoffs.”     


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