POPLARVILLE Pearl River Community College swept arch-rival Mississippi Gulf Coast in MACJC South Division basketball action here Monday in Shivers Gymnasium. The Lady Wildcats iced the South No. 3 seed in the upcoming MACJC State Tournament at Copiah-Lincoln in Wesson with their 57-50 win over the Lady Bulldogs, while the eighth-ranked Wildcats bombarded the visiting Bulldogs with a lopsided 86-58 victory to take over first place in the division. PRCC women improved to 10-9 overall and 7-4 in division play, while its men, the reigning MACJC state champions, are now 19-3 and 9-2. MGCCC women fell to 15-8 and 6-6, while its men are 16-7 and 9-3. Mississippi Gulf Coast wrapped its regular season with the losses, but both squads eye state tournament action with the Lady Bulldogs entering the event as the South No. 4 seed. A Wildcat victory Thursday over East Central in Decatur PRCC regular-season finale would give The River the division crown and the tournament top seed with Gulf Coast at No. 2. Co-Lin Lady Wolves, the division champs, play state tournament host as the division top seed, while Jones County is No. 2. On the men side, JCJC is presently in third place at 7-4 with East Central fourth at 6-5 after Monday 61-60 win over CLCC (5-6). Copiah-Lincoln closes its regular season Thursday against Jones County in Ellisville. The top four women and men finishers in the North and South divisions earn berths in the state tournament. In the women game, Gulf Coast grabbed a 7-6 lead nine minutes into the contest and led Pearl River for the next six minutes until Kenyatta Epps of Yazoo City High sank a pair of four shots with 4:35 left to put the Lady Wildcats up 17-16. In the final minute, the Lady Bulldogs went up 22-21 off a Brianne Collins basket, but Epps answered with a bucket to give The River a 23-22 advantage at the intermission. PRCC quickly pumped its lead to nine 33-24 in the first five minutes of the second half before MGCCC went on a 13-5 scoring run to cut the Lady Wildcats lead to 38-37 with 10:30 left. Pearl River outscored Gulf Coast 19-13 the rest of the way to take the seven-point victory. Collins and Delainna Lyons (two treys) led the Lady Bulldogs with 10 points each, while Deonica McCormick added nine (six assists), Roxyali Munoz nine (three treys, three steals), Cara Beverin six, Ricille Davis four (five rebounds), and Brianna Blunt two. Epps paced the Lady Wildcats with 18 points (three treys), while Charlene Green out of South Pike High in Magnolia scored eight (two treys), Toy Johnson of Pascagoula High seven, Eugena Fry out of Wingfield High in Jackson and Branita Malone out of Choctaw High in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (game-high 11 rebounds), six each; Alayna Bridges of Oak Grove High five, Francheska Bowman, another Choctaw High (Fla.) recruit, four (10 rebounds, five blocked shots), and Quentessa Bullock of East Marion High three. Gulf Coast hit a 33.3 percent (18 of 54) from the field to Pearl River 34 percent (18 of 53), while the Lady Bulldogs were six of 18 (33.3 percent) from three-point range to the Lady Wildcats five-of-14 (35.7 percent) effort. MGCCC was eight of 12 (66.7 percent) at the foul line, while PRCC was 16 of 23 (69.6 percent). The Lady Wildcats also won the rebounding battle with 44 boards (13 offensive, 27 defensive) to the Lady Bulldogs 37 (12 offensive, 25 defensive). Monday contest marked the second meeting of the two teams this season with Pearl River women taking a 62-60 victory Jan. 20 in Perkinston. In the men game, MGCCC never led in the contest with The River rolling out to a 24-13 lead some nine minutes in. The Bulldogs answered with an impressive 12-4 run over the next six minutes to cut the Wildcats lead to 28-26, but PRCC retaliated with a 12-6 scoring surge capped by a buzzer-beating, half-court three pointer by Troy University signee Emil Jones of North Forrest High to take a 42-31 lead at the break. Pearl River dominated Gulf Coast 44-27 in the second half building its lead to as many as 29 points 86-57 in the final minute. Ice Asortse led the Bulldogs with 15 points (nine rebounds, three steals), while Marlon Williams added 12. Raymond Cintron who hammered the Wildcats for 29 points, including a whopping six three pointers, in Jan. 20''s meeting in Perkinston scored 11 (two treys), Justin Childs and Jeffrey Simmons (three steals), eight each; and Francis Obumneme and Guy Payne, two each. Daron Bell of Bay High (seven rebounds) paced the Wildcats with a game-high 24 points, including five treys; while Jones added 21, hitting three three pointers, hauling in seven boards, grabbing five steals, and dishing off four assists. Phillip Crawford out of Murphy High in Mobile, Ala., scored 18 (game-high 10 rebounds), LaKendrick Maye of Prentiss High seven (five rebounds, two blocked shots, three steals), Marshun McGee out of Baily Magnet High in Jackson and Kentari Nettles out of LeFlore High in Mobile, seven each; and LaBaron McMillian of Pascagoula High two. Pedro Maciel, a Centenary College (La.) transfer who prepped at St. Stanslaus in Bay St. Louis, had a game-high six assists for PRCC. Gulf Coast hit a dismal 36.1 percent (22 of 61) from the field to Pearl River 59.3 percent (32 of 54), while the Bulldogs were equally bad from three-point range, hitting three of 18 (16.7 percent) to the Wildcats nine-of-16 (56.3 percent) effort. MGCCC was 11 of 22 (50 percent) at the foul line, while PRCC was 13 of 17 (76.5 percent). The River had 37 rebounds (13 offensive, 24 defensive) to Gulf Coast 34 (22 offensive, 12 defensive). The Bulldogs Coast took an 82-77 victory in the first meeting between the two schools PRCC wraps its regular season Thursday with a road trip to East Central in Decatur. Game times are 6 p.m. (women) and 8 p.m. (men). The state tournament is set for Feb. 21-24 (Monday through Thursday).
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