Pearl River sweeps Hinds in South Division openers

            POPLARVILLE — Pearl River Community College kicked off its MACJC South Division schedule here Thursday with a pair of convincing victories over rival Hinds.
            The Lady Wildcats pulled out a 71-59 win to improve to 3-4 overall and 1-0 in league play, while the Wildcats saw freshman Jeremy Hollimon hit a career-high 30 points that spurred a 64-55 win to improve to 6-1 and 1-0.
            Hinds, on the other hand, saw its women drop to 1-7 and 0-1, while its men are now 6-2 and 0-1.
            In the women’s game, the lead exchanged hands four times in the opening five minutes before HCC point guard Quin’meka Shaw banged in a pair of baskets to put the Lady Bulldogs up 10-8. Hinds stayed in front for the next six minutes, but PRCC’s Valencia Dixon of East Marion High hit a bucket to tie it up at 18-18 with 7:42 left before the break. Daiquari Raine of Poplarville High then hit a basket to take the lead and kicked off a 19-10 scoring run to give Pearl River a 37-28 lead at the intermission.
            In the second half, the Lady Wildcats blistered the visitors, building their lead to as many as 21 points — 65-44 — with 5:58 left. From that point, the Lady Bulldogs put together a 15-6 run, but still came up 13 points shy of victory.
            Shaw paced Hinds with a game-high 14 points (seven rebounds, four steals, four assists), while Marshay Jones added 11, including three treys. Rajee McDonald scored seven, Shawntina Collier six, Laporsha Mitchell five, Mozetta Greenwood (six rebounds), Shelly Griffin, and Delania Wilson (seven rebounds), four a piece; and Sharnikqua Brown (eight rebounds) and Vandria Dampier, two each.
            Kalisha Washington out of Murrah High in Jackson led PRCC with 13 points (four steals), while Raine added 11 (six rebounds), Dixon (six rebounds) and Courtney Osler of Puckett High, 10 each; Rebekah Harwell out of M.C. Perry High in Iwakuni, Japan, eight; Lolecia Richardson out of Provine High in Jackson seven, Francheska Bowman out of Choctaw High in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., and Chaquita McGee of Yazoo City High, five each; and Joy Grimsley of Petal High two. Jeronda Beason of Poplarville High and Wisdom James of Durant High hauled in five boards each.
            Pearl River hit 70 percent (28 of 48) from the free throw line to Hinds’ 54.5 percent (12 of 22), while the Lady Wildcats were 21 of 49 (42.9 percent) from the field to the Lady Bulldogs’ 21-of-65 (32.3 percent) effort. From three-point range, both squads went 20 percent with PRCC one of five and HCC five of 25.
            The River was crushed on the boards with 30 rebounds (eight offensive, 29 defensive) to Hinds’ 48 (21 offensive, 27 defensive). The Lady Bulldogs committed 23 turnovers in the game to the Lady Wildcats’ 20.
            In the men’s game, the Wildcats dominated in the early going, jumping out to a commanding 16-0 lead in the first five minutes; but the Bulldogs answered with an impressive 18-7 run over the next 10 minutes to cut The River’s lead to 25-20 with 4:20 left before the half. From that point, Pearl River outscored Hinds 7-6 to lead 32-26 at the intermission.
            HCC opened the second half with an 8-3 scoring surge to pull to within one — 35-34 — with 17:20 left, but PRCC bounced back with an impressive 15-5 scoring run over the next eight minutes to rebuild its lead to 13 (50-37) with 9:24 remaining.
            After Pearl River led 57-47 with 4:50 left, Hinds ended the game with an 8-7 scoring edge.
            Matthew Hurn led the Bulldogs with 14 points (five rebounds), while Marcus Hurn added 11 (three treys), Dominique Brown (four steals) and Dela Mayers, seven each; Josh Gaskin six (three steals), Jonothan Gray and Carlo McDonald (five rebounds), four each; and Tremaine Cunningham two.
            Besides Hollimon, Frank Snow, a San Angelina CC (Tex.) transfer from Wellington, Fla., finished with seven points (two blocks); while DeMondre Harvey of Minden (La.) High added five (six rebounds), DeAngelo Coleman out of South Pike High in Magnolia (four assists), Rakeem Esco of Canton High, and Devontai Foye of Hattiesburg High, four each; Kaven Bernard out of Assumption High in Napoleonville, La., Daniel Grieves, a U.S. Air Force Academy transfer who prepped at St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis, and Xavian Rimmer, an Alcorn State transfer who prepped at Piney Woods School near Jackson, three a piece; and Nick’Laus Warren out of Murrah High in Jackson one.
            Hollimon, who prepped at Gulfport High, also hauled in six boards, hit three three-pointers, and was nine of 12 at the foul line.
            Pearl River hit 63.9 percent (23 of 36) from the free throw line to Hinds’ 64.3 percent (nine of 14), while the Wildcats were 19 of 31 (61.3 percent) from the field to the Bulldogs’ 20-of-58 (34.5 percent) effort. From three-point range, PRCC was three of 11 (27.3 percent) to HCC’s six-of-27 showing (22.2 percent).
            The River led on the boards with 32 rebounds (four offensive, 28 defensive) to Hinds’ 26 (13 offensive, 13 defensive). The Bulldogs committed 18 turnovers in the game to the Wildcats’ 23.
            Pearl River and Hinds eye South Division rematches Thursday, Jan. 21, in Utica.
            The River returns to action when it travels to South Division rival East Central in Decatur Monday for 6 p.m. (women) and 8 p.m. (men) contests before hosting Delgado (La.) Thursday, Dec. 6, at 5 p.m. (women) and 7 p.m. (men) in the last games played before the Christmas holiday break..

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