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NMCC size overwhelms Caruthersville, 76-57

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

NEW MADRID -- New Madrid County Central used its size and strength in the frontcourt to dominate the boards and beat Caruthersville Tuesday night, 76-57.

Derrell Minner (6-8) had 13 points with 19 rebounds, Ronland Ranson (6-4) scored 14 with 10 rebounds and Desmond Sims (6-4) contributed 12 points with seven boards.

The trio gave NMCC second, third and sometimes fourth opportunities after missed shots as the Eagles improved to 5-0 on the early season.

"I thought those three were really solid for us tonight," said NMCC coach Joby Holland. "I'm pleased to get the win. We were a little rough and ragged, our defense wasn't very strong. We've been off 11 days and it showed."

Still, the effort was good enough for a 19-point win over the Tigers, who fell to 7-3 on the year.

"We all struggled tonight," said Caruthersville coach Kevin Williams. "Those (NMCC) guys are huge. When you're asking a 5-11 forward to play against a 6-6 guy, you're asking a lot. Especially when he's not nearly as big or strong as the guy he's playing. We've been struggling defensively, and we didn't play very well on offense tonight either."

Dereke Tipler was in usual form, scoring a game-high 24 points with six assists. He beat the Tigers down the court for several easy transition layups, and Caruthersville had no answer for his dribble penetration.

"Dereke Tipler is so under control and penetrates so well," said Williams. "He always knows where his teammates are. They've got some really great athletes, but Tipler is what makes them go. He's so good with the basketball that he's hard to keep out of (the lane). We preach pull to the ball, help side and all that stuff, but none of it bothers him."

NMCC opened the game with a 5-0 advantage, only to see Caruthersville go on a 10-3 run with 3-pointers from Chris Springer and Terry Jones to take the lead at 10-8.

But from that point on, it was all Eagles.

NMCC outscored the Tigers 20-12 in the second quarter and 22-11 in the third to take a commanding 58-33 lead into the final period.

Bryant Rodgers led all Caruthersville scorers with 21 points. Standout Chris Springer finished with 16.

"Chris is streaky," explained Williams. "If he gets going he can really hurt you, but sometimes he's wild and out of control."

The road doesn't get much easier for Caruthersville, who will next play Southern Illinois power Cairo on Jan. 4, followed by Portageville, the Superman Classic, Kennett, Dexter, Charleston and Cairo again.

"Our schedule is just brutal, but I think it's going to help us down the road," said Williams. "I would rather play the best that's out there and take our chances. We have three games that matter this year, and those are the three games in the district tournament. As long as we get better every night and play good competition, hopefully we'll be ready come district time."

NMCC will face Herrin, Ill., in the Carbondale Holiday Tournament on Dec. 27 at 1 p.m.