WESSON, Miss. – The Copiah-Lincoln Community College Lady Wolves finished last season 24-5 overall and were runners-up in both the MACJC State Championship and the NJCAA Region XXIII Tournament. Head Coach Gwyn Young and his staff have built a program that has expectations of deep playoff runs year in and year out and 2018 looks to be no different. The Lady Wolves have three sophomores returning in T'Kyra Hicks, a Greenville, Miss. native, Alexandria Patton from Brandon, Miss., and Ciara Norwood from Magee, Miss.
T'Kyra Hicks, or TK as her teammates and coaches call her, started in 24 of Co-Lin's 28 games last season and shot 36 percent from the field and averaged 10.7 points per game, third-most on the team. The shifty guard also rattled home nearly 30 percent of three-pointers and was fourth on the team in rebounds with 107.
Alexandria Patton, a physical post player, saw action in all 28 games with 10 starts last season and shot 36.7 percent from the floor. She brought down 100 rebounds on the season and averaged five points per game.
Ciara Norwood, a guard that isn't afraid to shoot the jumper, played in 25 games a year ago and shot nearly 30 percent from the floor. She hauled in 39 rebounds and committed just 12 fouls all season.
"These player's experience should help, we'd like to have five or six with experience, but with our injuries last year these girls got some great minutes," said Young. "It's always good to have leadership, but we need some of our freshmen to step up. They've shown it some, but with 10 new players on the team we need everyone to be leaders."
Joining the Lady Wolves is a host of talent from across Mississippi and Louisiana.
Jordan McCoy, a 5'9 forward from Magee High School, averaged a double-double in high school with 12 points and 12 rebounds per game. Her efforts landed her First Team All-Region and MVP her senior season.
Sha'Quandra carter, also a 5'9 forward, comes to Co-Lin via Neville High School in Monroe, La. Carter posted staggering numbers in high school with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and nine steals per game. Her breakout play earned her numerous accolades including First Team All-State, All-North Eastern Player of the Year, and All-District MVP.
Dashell Davis, a 6'1 forward from New Orleans, La., was a rebounding machine in high school at Lake Area Tech with an averaged of 19 rebounds. Her sophomore season she earned most improved on her high school team.
TaMara Riley, a 5'7 guard from Durant, Miss., averaged 20 points, five rebounds, and seven assists per game as a senior and hopes to continue to find the basket in volume as a freshman.
Camryn Davis, another 5'9 forward, joins the Lady Wolves via Lawrence County High School. Davis, a Monticello, Miss., native, averaged 15.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in high school and racked up several awards as she helped lead Lawrence to an MHSAA 4A State Championship last season. She earned MHSAA All-District team as a sophomore, All-State, as a junior, and All-State Tournament Team as a senior.
Azaria Magee, a 5'9 guard from Bassfield, Miss., scored 639 points in high school at Jefferson Davis on her way to earning All-District and All-State honors.
Darien Tubby, a 5'6 guard from Choctaw, Miss., comes to Co-Lin from Choctaw Central High School. Tubby averaged 8.2 points, 3.5 rebound, and 4.2 assists per game in high school and earned All-District recognition all four years of high school. She also landed Fourth Team All-State honors as she helped lead Choctaw Central to an MHSAA 3A State Championship as a senior.
Dellesheonia Dixon, a 5'6 guard from McComb, Miss., averaged 14.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in high school as she led her team in scoring both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. Her ability to score earned Dixon All-District honors her sophomore, junior, and senior seasons.
Chardonay Williams, also a 5'6 guard from McComb, Miss., averaged 10 points, six rebounds, and seven assists at McComb high school. She joined her former teammate, Dixon, with All-District honors.
Orieon James joins the Lady Wolves from Houma, La. The 5'8 forward played at A.J. Ellender High School where she scored 10.5 points and five rebounds a game. Her abilities on the court landed her several accolades including Class 4A State Champion MVP, First Team All-District twice, First Team All-Region, and Second Team All-State.
The Lady Wolves have always been a team that can beat opponents from both the inside and out, and coach Young hopes for the same this season.
"We are going to be getting under the goal and playing from the outside," said Young. "Our post players aren't very big, but they are closer to those three-four players, that are very athletic. So we should be talented under the goal."
One key to success the Lady Wolves are looking for this season is controlling the games late. Co-Lin won many games in the final minutes and had to hold off many team's comeback attempts in last seasons 24-5 run.
"We have to have an offense that we can run and be consistent without letting the pressure get you, take time off the clock, and still being able to attack the basket," said Young.
Several Co-Lin players signed with four-year programs after last year's success. Alexus Holt inked with the University of Central Arkansas, Kyeonia Harris is playing at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Destiny Hemphill and Karry Callahan will be teaming up at Tougaloo College, and Brittany Rose is playing at Southern College. The juniors join Jamilah Sanders at Mississippi College as Lady Wolves playing at the next level.
Though young, the Lady Wolves roster is filled with talent on both the offensive and defensive side of the court and has a group of scorers that can find the basket from under the goal and the perimeter. Combine this skill with a coaching staff that has an unprecedented amount of experience and the Lady Wolves prone for yet another deep MACJC playoff run, and potentially another shot at the MACJC State Championship.