SCOOBA, Miss. (WCBI/EMCC Athletics) –‘Sophomore Day’ activities on the East Mississippi Community College campus will take on added significance Monday evening, as both the Lady Lions and Lions have much riding on their respective home basketball contests against Northwest Mississippi Community College. A 5:30 p.m. women’s game will be preceded by a 7:30 p.m. men’s contest at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum on the Scooba campus.
Coach Sharon Thompson’s EMCC Lady Lions enter Monday’s home finale in a three-way tie for fourth place in the MACJC’s North Division standings with Holmes and Mississippi Delta. With all three teams tied at 4-6 in division play, only one of the three tied teams will earn the fourth and final spot in the upcoming MACJC State Basketball Tournament (Feb. 25-28). Itawamba, Northeast and Northwest have already clinched spots in the women’s state tournament.
Also on Monday, Holmes will play host to Northeast and Mississippi Delta will welcome division-leading Itawamba in women’s play. During Thursday’s action to conclude the regular season, the EMCC women will travel to Coahoma, while Holmes visits Northwest and Mississippi Delta ventures to Northeast.
Coach Mark White’s EMCC Lions, meanwhile, can clinch their fourth consecutive MACJC North Division regular-season title outright with a Monday victory over the visiting Northwest Rangers. Now 15-6 overall and 8-2 in division play, the EMCC men own a current four-game winning streak, including a 63-61 road win over Itawamba this past Thursday in Fulton. At 15-5 overall and 7-3 within the division, Northwest enters the final week of regular-season action one full game behind the front-running Lions.
With the EMCC and Northwest men having already clinched spots in next week’s (Feb. 25-28) MACJC State Basketball Tournament, the other five teams within the MACJC’s North Division are all fighting for the other two divisional playoff berths. Mississippi Delta and Coahoma enter the week at 5-5 and 5-6, respectively, in division play, while Holmes and Northeast are tied at 4-6. The Itawamba men are presently 3-8 within the division.
In addition to EMCC honoring its men’s and women’s sophomore basketball players on Monday, EMCC’s sophomore cheerleaders will also be recognized during halftime of the men’s contest. The men’s halftime will also feature a special performance by the Mississippi State University Pom Squad. During Monday’s regular-season home finale, the EMCC basketball teams will also pay tribute to the seventh annual Play 4Kay initiative, raising breast cancer awareness, by wearing pink on their basketball warm-up gear and uniforms.