River splits with East Central in regular-season finales

February 21, 2011 - 8:47pm -- braswell

DECATUR Pearl River Community College split with East Central in MACJC South Division basketball action here Thursday, with the Lady Wildcats taking a 52-38 victory and the ninth-ranked Wildcats falling 75-70. With the regular-season finale win, PRCC women, who enter next week MACJC State Tournament at Copiah-Lincoln in Wesson as the division No. 3 seed, secured a berth in the Region 23 Tournament set for Feb. 28 through March 3 at Mississippi College in Clinton. PRCC men, on the other hand, will enter the state tournament as the division No. 2 seed after Thursday loss handed the division crown and top seed to Mississippi Gulf Coast via a tie-breaker. MGCCC and PRCC finished with identical 9-3 division marks, but Gulf Coast swept ECCC in its two regular-season meetings and Pearl River split with the Warriors. The Lady Wildcats improved to 11 overall and 8-4 in division play, while the Wildcats are now 19-4 overall. ECCC women fell to 8-15 and 3-9, while its men, who nabbed the South fourth seed with the victory, are now 13-10 and 7-5. The top four women and men finishers in the North and South divisions earn berths in the state tournament. In the women game, Pearl River led 26-21 at the intermission before outscoring the Lady Warriors 26-17 in the second half to take the 14-point victory. Alayna Bridges of Oak Grove High (four rebounds) and Quentess Bullock of East Marion High led the Lady Wildcats with nine points each, while Francheska Bowman out of Choctaw High in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., added eight (five rebounds), Kenyatta Epps of Yazoo City High and Branita Malone (nine rebounds), another Choctaw High (Fla.) recruit, six each; Charlene Green out of South Pike High in Magnolia and Kristian Lyons of Bay High, four each; Eugena Fry out of Wingfield High in Jackson three, Toy Johnson of Pascagoula High two, and Samantha Gunn out of Velma Jackson in Canton, one. Quentinette Odom paced East Central with 10 points, while Shanequa Bufkin added nine (eight rebounds), Inessa Adams (four rebounds) and Annie Brewer, six each; JaMonica Orton four (10 rebounds), Bianca Thomas two, and Elizabeth Young-Sherrod one. Pearl River hit 37.5 percent (18 of 48) from the field to East Central 21.6 percent (11 of 51), while the Lady Wildcats were two of 10 (20 percent) from three-point range to the Lady Warriors five-of-18 (27.8 percent) effort. PRCC was 14 of 24 (58.3 percent) at the foul line, while ECCC was 11 of 23 (47.8 percent). The Lady Warriors won the rebounding battle with 44 boards to the Lady Wildcats 38. Thursday contest marked the second meeting of the two teams this season with Pearl River women taking a 66-58 victory Jan. 24 in Poplarville. In the men game, the Wildcats led 38-28 at the half, but the Warriors dominated the second half, outscoring Pearl River 47-32 to take the five-point victory. Phillip Crawford out of Murphy High in Mobile, Ala., led PRCC with 20 points (nine rebounds), while Troy University signee Emil Jones of North Forrest High added 16 (nine rebounds, four assists), Daron Bell of Bay High 15, LaKendrick Maye of Prentiss High six (four rebounds), Calvin Johnson of Ridgeland High five, Kentari Nettles out of LeFlore High in Mobile four (five rebounds), and Vincent Gable of Picayune High and Michael Peters of East Marion High, two each. Jimmie Bloomfield led East Central with 17 points, while Keondre Hodges scored 15, Kegan Houston 12, Sharavarus Wilson nine, Kenneth Barlow eight, Bilal Kelley six, Curtis Loving four, and Shelton Banks and Glenn Thomas Jr., two each. Pearl River hit 38.8 percent (26 of 67) from the field to East Central 46.6 percent (27 of 58), while the Wildcats and Warriors were both three of 12 (25 percent) from three-point range. PRCC was 15 of 20 (75 percent) at the foul line, while ECCC was 18 of 25 (72 percent). The River had 35 rebounds to East Central 44. The Wildcats took an 77-66 victory in the first meeting between the two schools play Jan. 24 in Poplarville. The women and men state tournament line up has yet to be decided as some North Division schools have regular-season finale games set for Saturday.

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