Pearl River Defeats Coahoma in MACJC Playoffs
POPLARVILLE – Although the Pearl River Wildcats beat Coahoma’s Tigers 81-61 in the first round of the MACJC Basketball tournament here Tuesday night, it was not a blowout but a tough, hard-fought contest.
“Our guys were slow getting into the game,” commented CCC Coach Ira Peterson. “Pearl River shot very well, and they forced us to play their game.”
“The score did not reflect the game,” said Carol Brooks, CCC athletic secretary.
Playing in Shivers Gymnasium – similar in size to Coahoma Aggie High School’s Reid Gym since Hurricane Katrina demolished PRCC’s White Coliseum and before the completion of the new Marvin White Coliseum, the Wildcats stormed the hardwood wearing white with gold and black hash marks and CCC took the court in maroon.
Beneath the sign, ‘River Rowdiers,, a special hometown cheering section reserved for super enthusiastic students stood up on the floor throughout the game and a brass band crowned by three bass horns anchored the other end of the bleachers.
Coahoma’s Alan Morris won the tipoff, but Pearl River’s Deangelo Coleman opened the scoring with a three-point play followed by a pair of free throws, a Frank Snow basket and a triple by Xavier Rimmer.
Suddenly with less than three minutes into the game, the home court team was up by 10 to zip before Coahoma’s Jonathan Ankston swished a two pointer, and Alex Thompson went to the line for two points.
CCC’s Xavier Graves broke the drought with a basket after PRCC’s run of nine unanswered points; Patrick Brown, Thompson, and Stacy Regular collaborated to reduce Coahoma’s deficit 21-11, and Tiger Stanley Haywood’s added two points for a 23-15 score with eight minutes remaining in the half.
However, a Wildcat barrage stacked eight more points against CCC’s 15 before Pat Brown scored and Alex Thompson hit a trey and free throw (35-21)
Both teams exchanged baskets with Wildcat Rakeem Esco’s three-pointer mirrored by a triple by Coahoma’s Rigueson Desorvil . At halftime PRCC led 44-32.
In the second half, Pearl River’s lead gradually increased although Coahoma’s defense accelerated aggressively with man coverage.
Scoring by Coahoma’s Ankston and Brown combined to reduce PRCC’s lead 68-56 with seven minutes remaining.
With CCC shooting from the outside to catch up fast, Pearl River gradually moved ahead to their final win.
Coahoma scored 11 of 13 free throws in the first half for a 84.6 average; 7 of 14 in the second half for a 50 percent average and 66.7 percent average overall.
Pearl River made 10 of 16 free throws in the first half for 62.5 average; 7 of 13 in the second half for 53.8 percent average and 58.6 percent overall.
In total field goals, CCC made 19 of 64 for a 29.7 percent average. PRCC made 31 of 57 for a 54.4 percent overall.
Scoring for CCC were Brown with 17 points; Ankston with 16; Thompson, 11; Regular, 6; Morris, 4; Askew, 3; and LaTravis Thompson, 1.
Scoring for PRCC were Rimmer with 18 points; Snow, 15; Kayven Bernard and Coleman, 11 each; Jeremy Holland, 8; Daniel Grieves, 6; Devontai Foye, 5; DeMondre Harvey and Jimmy Henderson, 4 each; Josh Carpenter, 3.
Pearl River who entered the tournament as No. 1 in the South Division with a record of 19-4 will play Northwest at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Northwest entered the tournament as No. 2 in the North Division with a record of 16-6. Northwest beat Southwest 90-85 Tuesday night.
Coahoma was No. 4 in the North Division with a 10-12 record.