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By: Lucas Calvert
WESSON, Miss. – The Copiah-Lincoln Community College Lady Wolves are back on the court in 2019-20 after yet another strong season, finishing 21-7, the sixth straight year with 20 or more wins. The team is packed with experience as the top two leading scorers, the top rebounder, top three-point shooter, and assists leader all return to the roster for their sophomore campaigns. Led by legendary junior college head coach Gwyn Young, entering his 44th season, the Lady Wolves are eager to make another potential championship push this year.
“The experience of this team is really good for us,” said Young. “This much experience allows us to cover a lot of things in practice because everyone knows what is going on and knows our goals. We still have to work on our chemistry, and have some players step-up and become leaders on this team, but overall it is a huge benefit.”
Several Lady Wolves that saw a lot of minutes will be returning to the lineup this season including TaMara Riley, Sha’Quandra Carter, Dashell Davis, Dellesheonia Dixon, Darien Tubby, Camryn Davis, Chardonay Williams, Azaria Magee, and Orieon James.
Sha’Quandra Carter, a 5’9 forward from Monroe, LA, is back after leading the Lady Wolves in points per game with 13.3 during her freshman campaign. The athletic player also hauled in 193 rebounds and shot 46.9 percent from the floor. She looks to be even better this year after starting in 27-of-28 games a year ago. Her play landed her Second Team MACJC All-State honors.
Camryn Davis, a 5’9 forward and Lawrence County High School graduate, is also back to provide solid play under the rim. Davis averaged 11.9 points per game but led the team in points per game in divisional contests with 13.5. As a freshman, she also brought the most rebounds with 202 and led the team in blocks with 27 throughout the season. Davis’ impressive numbers earned her First Team MACJC All-State and NJCAA AllRegion XXIII honors. She started in every contest last season and looks to be a leader for the Lady Wolves both on and off the floor in 2019-20.
TaMara Riley, a 5’7 guard from Durant, is another returning sophomore that started in all 28 games as a freshman. Riley averaged 9.8 points per game and shot 42.2 percent from the floor. She returns to the lineup this year ready to provide the Lady Wolves with a spark from her outside shooting ability, and her ability to put the ball on the floor and drive to the rim.
Darien Tubby, a 5’6 point guard from Choctaw, is a multi-sport Co-Lin athlete as she will also suit up for the softball team this year. Tubby, like Riley and Davis, started in all 28 games as a freshman and ran the Lady Wolves’ offense. She led the team in shooting percentage with a staggering 50.4 percentage from the floor. She also shot a team-best 80 percent from the free-throw line and piled up a team-high 153 assists, 91 more than her nearest teammate. Tubby looks to continue to find the open player and keep opposing defenses on their heels this year.
Azaria Magee, a 5’9 guard from Jefferson Davis High School, saw action in every game last season and is the Lady Wolves’ returning three-point leader. Magee was 12-for-30 for 40 percent from long range in division games last season. She hopes to continue to be a leader this season by swinging momentum and securing wins with the help of her shots from beyond the arc.
Dashell Davis is yet another player that saw the floor in all 28 games last season. Davis, a 6’1 forward from New Orleans, LA, provides a dominating presence under the rim as she brought down 121 boards in just 321 minutes on the floor. Davis hopes to continue to provide the Lady Wolves with strong play down low and help maximize possessions by crashing the boards.
Chardonay Williams, a 5’6 guard from McComb, played in 17 games as a freshman and provided a spark on several occasions with some big shots.
Dellesheonia Dixon, a 5’6 guard from McComb, saw action in 13 games as a freshman and netted 23 points. Dixon looks to continue to get minutes this season and provide a solid offensive presence while being a leader on the defensive side of the ball.
Orieon James, a 5’8 forward from Houma, LA, played in just eight games last year as she battled an injury for most of the year. In her limited minutes, she was 40 percent from the floor and was 4-for-4 on free throws.
Joining the pile of returning sophomore talent are five freshmen that hope to make a big impact by providing solid shooting and defense.
Cianna Jones, a 5’5 guard from Jackson, is coming off of a summer injury but expects to take the floor at some point this season to provide quickness and energy to the team.
Morgan McCray, a 5’11 forward from Ridgeland, is a player with good size that looks to join Davis under the basket and provide some strong play. McCray averaged 13 points per game as a senior and earned All-District honors.
Jana Case is 5’9 local player from Brookhaven and a graduate of Brookhaven Academy. Case lit up the scoreboard as a senior when she averaged 22 points per game and brought down eight rebounds a game. Her shooting ability landed her many accolades in high school including All-Star, All-MAIS 2A Player of the Year, and District Player of the Year. Case also helped lead her team to a state title as a junior.
Orlandrea McGee is a 5’7 guard from Forest that also has the ability to score in bunches. McGee averaged 19.5 points per game and five rebounds. Her efforts on the floor earned her several honors including All-Tournament team in the state tournament in 2017.
Myja McNichols is a 5’9 forward and graduate of Newton High School where she averaged 16 points and seven rebounds per game. She helped lead her team to a state championship before earning All-District, AllRegion, and All-State honors.
“These girls should be able to mix right in with our team, with two really good shooters, while the others are good all-around players,” said Young.
The incoming freshmen have several spots to fill as four players were lost to graduation. T’Kyra Hicks joined former Lady Wolf Alexus Holt as players at the next level after inking with Delta State during the offseason. Holt will suit up for Grambling State for her redshirt junior season.
The playoffs are always the expectation for the Lady Wolves’ basketball program, and this season is no exception.
“Hopefully these sophomores have the desire to lead this team to do what it takes to win, every team wants to win, but few do what it takes,” said Young. “We hope our girls communicate, have good chemistry, are aggressive on defense, and have the right mental attitude…if we can do that well and consistently I think this is going to be a really good basketball team.”
With an unprecedented amount of experience returning to the roster, a group of freshmen that have skills in all facets of the game, and a coaching staff that desires toughness, high energy, and strong chemistry between players, the Lady Wolves are set for another year of competitive basketball in the MACJC South Division.