River women hit Yuletide break 62-55 win over Miss. Hot Shots

            POPLARVILLE --- Pearl River’s Lady Wildcats wrapped the pre-Christmas holiday portion of its schedule with a hard-fought 62-55 victory over the Mississippi Hot Shots here Friday in Shivers Gym.
            The River’s undefeated men’s squad (9-0 overall, 2-0 division) headed into the holiday break after its 70-53 MACJC South Division victory over East Central Monday in Poplarville. PRCC’s women are now 5-1 and 2-0, while the Hot Shots are 5-3.
            MHS is a club team based out of Hattiesburg and boasted three former Lady Wildcats on its roster in forward Monique Barnes (2008-2009, 2009-2010), guard Shanell Peters (2009-2010, 2010-2011), and forward Brittany Weathers (2009-2010), who led the squad with 18 points, including four three pointers. She also hauled in five rebounds, dished off three assists, grabbed three steals, and blocked two shots.
            After Pearl River’s Essence Pulliam out of Forest Hill High in Jackson sank a pair of foul shots to open the scoring, the Hot Shots built their lead to 12-2 at the 13:15 mark of the first half, while holding the Lady Wildcats scoreless until Iesha Dixon of Hinds AHS hit two free throws at the 12:00 mark.
            From that point, PRCC outscored MHS 17-13, but trailed 25-21 at the intermission.
            The Lady ’Cats opened the second half with a 19-15 scoring run to tie it up at 40-40. Shanta’ Echols of Sumrall High hit two foul shots to cap the comeback surge with 10:37 left, while Kalisha Washington out of Murrah High in Jackson scored off a steal seconds later to give The River the lead for good.
            Pearl River never looked back, outscoring the Hot Shots 20-15 the rest of the way to take the seven-point victory.
            Besides Weathers, McKinley scored nine (nine rebounds, five steals), while Latoy Brown (nine rebounds, four assists) and Peters (five rebounds) added eight each, Monte Wilson six (five rebounds, three assists, four steals), Barnes four (five rebounds), and Jeronda Beason two.
            Echols paced the Lady Wildcats with a game -high 23 points (two blocks) and hauled in a game and season-high 14 boards, while Vamikka Smith out of Murphy High in Mobile, Ala. (eight rebounds, two blocks) and Washington (six rebounds, four assists) scored eight each. Tiana Dampeer of Lawrence County High added six, Kaci Sisson of Quitman High five, Deandra Darjean, a Prairie View A&M transfer who prepped at Yates High in Houston, Tex., four (eight assists, five rebounds, three steals), Dixon four, and Skyiesha Moss of Quitman High and Pulliam, two each.
            Pearl River hit 40.7 percent (24 of 59) from the field to the Mississippi Hot Shots’ 30.4 percent (21 of 69), while PRCC was two of 17 (11.8 percent) from three-point range to MHS’s five-of-17 (29.4 percent) effort. From the foul line, the Lady Wildcats were 12 of 26 (46.2 percent), while the Hot Shots were eight of 17 (47.1 percent).
The River led on the boards with 50 rebounds (18 offensive, 32 defensive) to the Hot Shots’ 45 (21 offensive, 24 defensive), while PRCC committed 23 turnovers to MHS’s 19.
The Pearl River women’s home game against Keesler Air Force Base set for Saturday at 2 p.m. has been cancelled.
Both River teams return to action Saturday, Jan. 4, against Delgado (La.) in New Orleans with 2 p.m. (women) and 4 p.m. (men) contests.
Women's Basketball Game
Played Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 @ Poplarville, MS
Pearl River 62, Miss. Hot Shots 55
First Half: 25-21 (MHS)
Second Half: 41-30 (PRCC)
Miss. Hot Shots (5-3): Brittney Weathers 18 (4 treys, 5 RB, 3 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks), Kristie McKinley 9 (9 RB, 5 steals), Latoy Brown 8 (9 RB, 4 assists), Shandell Peters 8 (5 RB), Monte Wilson 6 (5 RB, 3 assists, 4 steals), Monique Barnes 4 (5 RB), Jeronda Beason 2.
Pearl River (5-1): Shanta’ Echols 23 (14 RB, 2 blocks), Vamikka Smith 8 (8 RB, 2 blocks), Kalisha Washington 8 (6 RB, 4 assists), Tiana Dampeer 6, Kaci Sisson 5, Deandra Darjean 4 (8 assists, 5 RB, 3 steals), Iesha Dixon 4, Skyiesha Moss 2, Essence Pulliam 2.
FIELD GOALS: Pearl River – 24 of 59 (40.7%), Miss. Hot Shots – 21 of 69 (30.4%).
THREE POINTERS: Pearl River – 2 of 17 (11.8%), Miss. Hot Shots – 5 of 17 (29.4 %).
FREE THROWS: Pearl River – 12 of 26 (46.2%), Miss. Hot Shots – 8 of 17 (47.1%).
REBOUNDS: Pearl River – 50 (18 offensive, 32 defensive), Miss. Hot Shots – 45 (21 offensive, 24 defensive).
TURNOVERS: Pearl River – 23, Miss. Hot Shots – 19.
UP NEXT: PRCC's women wrap their pre-Christmas holiday portion of their schedule with the victory. The Lady Wildcats’ Saturday contest versus Keesler Air Force Base in Shivers Gym in Poplarville has been cancelled. PRCC’s women and men return to action when they open their post-Christmas holiday schedule Saturday, Jan. 4, against Delgado (La.) in New Orleans with 2 p.m. (women) and 4 p.m. (men) games.

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