CLINTON --- The Holmes Community College Bulldogs jumped out to as much as a 17-point lead in the second half and hung on for a 78-68 here Wednesday in the first round of the Region XXIII Tournament at Mississippi College in Clinton.
The Bulldogs, now 21-6, will play the East Central Warriors at noon on Friday. The Warriors defeated the Jones County Junior College Bobcats, 67-64, in the first round game Wednesday in Clinton. Holmes defeated East Central, 62-59, in overtime in the MACJC State Tournament's first round game last week in Wesson. The Northeast Tigers ended their season at 17-9 overall. The game can be watched live at www.holmesccmedia.com or listened to live at 101.1 FM, breezynews.com or by adding the Breezy app to your smartphone.
In the first half, the Bulldogs jumped out to an early 6-0 lead after Torlorf Thomas hit two three-pointers in the first two minutes of the game, and Holmes held a 6-3 lead with 18:13 left in the first half. The Bulldogs increased the lead to 12-3 after Cedric Harper added two field goals, and Marcus Washington added another field goal with 16:58 left in the first half.
Holmes increased the lead to 13 points with 13:15 left in the first when Harper made another field goal for the Bulldogs. A Dimario Jackson free throw with 11:25 left in the first half cut the lead to eight, and a Dexter Stafford free throw cut the lead to four at 29-25 with 4:11 to play in the half. Holmes then went on a 10-0 run to close out the first half as Daryl Macon hit two field goals, D'Angelo Richardson had a three-pointer and Dietrich Taylor hit a field goal and a free throw in the last four minutes of the half.
With 16:39 to play, the Bulldogs increased the lead to 17 points as Macon hit a field goal for the Bulldogs. The Tigers got the score to within five points at 56-51 with 9:19, which is as close as they could get in the second half.
Harper finished the game with 19 points while Macon had 13, Richardson 12 and Taylor had 11. Washington finished with eight rebounds while Jarvis Williams and Harper each had five rebounds.
The Bulldogs shot 50 percent from the floor (24-of-48), 33.3 percent from three-point land (5-of-15) and 78.1 from the free throw line (25-of-32). Holmes outrebounded the Tigers, 40-33.
Raheem Sorrell had 18 points for the Tigers while Jackson had 17 and Chase Carroll had 15. Desmin Harris and Jackson each had five rebounds.
The Tigers shot 32.3 percent from the floor, 28 percent from the free throw line and 65.5 percent from the free throw line.