A melting pot of woes befell the Enterprise State Community College basketball teams during the holidays, leaving veteran coach Jeremaine Williams with a shortage of players to chase after state tournament berths from the South Division.
Academic woes, injuries, COVID-19 exposure and players dropping out of school have wreaked havoc on Williams’ plans for the season, but enough talent remains on both teams for them to be competitive, especially when a handful of players come off quarantine after exposure to COVID on the men’s team.
To open 2022 play, Tuesday’s first game against the visiting Coastal Alabama Community College-South Sun Chiefs saw ESCC’s Weevil Women grab their first division win of the season, 66-63, to improve to 1-4 in the division, 2-7, overall
All eight Enterprise players scored, with Jesslyn Culverhouse leading the way with 22 points; Zaykeria Johnson added 13 and was the only other ESCC player scoring in double figures.
Erin Johnson, Michelle Neal, Brandi Watson, Nada Matthews, Madison Grimsley and Joe Smith contributed to the win.
The Weevils who led 21-10 at the end of the first quarter, saw their lead fall to a single point 29-28 at halftime due primarily to unforced turnovers.
Enterprise regained its composure in the third period and led 51-40 with 10 minutes left in the game, but had to battle to the end to claim the win.
Culverhouse and Zaykeria Johnson scored ESCC’s final points at the free throw line in the final 30.8 seconds.
Although 15-7 wasn’t the final score of Tuesday’s men’s game, those numbers decided the 80-65 CACC-South win; Coastal had 15 players while ESCC had seven.
Jalen Gaston led Enterprise in scoring with 22 points; Celoui Louissaint added 14 points and Brydon Whitaker netted 11 in the loss.
Emmanuel Ige, Tiquale Taylor, Hayes Floyd and James Pouncy Jr. all contributed to the ESCC effort.