WESSON Pearl River Community College were bombarded by Itawamba in first-round action of the MACJC State Tournament underway here at Copiah-Lincoln, marking a quick exit from the event by the Lady Wildcats. PRCC, the South No. 3 seed, dropped to 11-10 overall with the loss; while the North No. 2 Lady Indians improved to 17-6. ICC moves on to Wednesday semi-final round against South No. 1 Co-Lin, which eliminated North No. 4 Northeast Mississippi 78-66 in Monday earlier action. Pearl River kept it close in the early going, but Itawamba held the Lady Cats scoreless for over five minutes and built its lead to 10 14-4 with 14:17 left before the break. After ICC built its lead to as much as 15 points, Kenyatta Epps of Yazoo City High banged in a three pointer to cap a 6-2 PRCC run with 1:31 left in the half and cut the Lady Indians lead to 31-21, but Itawamba answered with an 8-0 scoring surge to grab a 39-21 lead at the intermission. In the second half, The River was outscored 40-27 to take the 31-point victory. Eugena Fry out of Wingfield High in Jackson led PRCC with nine points, while Francheska Bowman out of Choctaw High in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., added eight and hauled in a game-high 14 rebounds. Toy Johnson of Pascagoula High scored seven, Epps (six rebounds) and Branita Malone (six rebounds, three steals), another Choctaw High (Fla.) recruit, six each; Samantha Gunn out of Velma Jackson High in Canton five, Alayna Bridge of Oak Grove High four, Quentessa Bullock of East Marion nHigh two, and Kristian Lyons of Bay High one. Jameika Hoskins (six rebounds) and LaPrecious Naylon (eight rebounds) paced the Lady Indians with 19 points each, while Vechatita Bonner (nine rebounds) and Ebony Williams (11 rebounds, three steals) scored 10 each. Anna Dill added seven (11 rebounds, three steals), Shay Bonner four (six rebounds), Mandy Collins and Jamesha Watkins, three each; and Amber Jackson and Janiqua Malone, two each. Pearl River hit a dismal 25 percent (16 of 64) from the field to Itawamba 41.3 percent (26 of 63), while the Lady Wildcats were three of 13 (23.1 percent) from three-point range to the Lady Indian three-of-15 (20 percent) effort. PRCC was 13 of 22 (59.1 percent) at the foul line, while ICC was 24 of 35 (47.8 percent). Rebounding told a huge tale, as the Lady Indians dominated with 54 boards (20 offensive, 34 defensive) to the Lady Wildcats 42 (19 offensive, 23 defensive). The reigning MACJC state men champion Wildcat squad, the South No. 2 seed, cast their wares in the tournament Tuesday when they take on North No. 3 Northeast Mississippi at 7:45 p.m. In other women action Monday, South No. 4 Mississippi Gulf Coast defeated North No. 1 East Mississippi 67-60 and South No. 2 Jones County pounded North No. 3 Holmes 90-60. JCJC will take on MGCCC at 1 p.m. in Wednesday semi-final round. In the men opening round on Tuesday, North No. 2 Mississippi Delta takes on South No. 3 Jones County at 1 p.m., then South No. 1 Mississippi Gulf Coast faces North No. 4 Itawamba at 2:45 p.m. North No. 1 East Mississippi plays South No. 4 East Central at 6 p.m., followed by the PRCC-NEMCC match up. The women championship game is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, followed by the men at 7:45 p.m.
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