River sweeps Hinds

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POPLARVILLE Pearl River Community College swept Hinds in MACJC women and men South Division basketball action here Monday with the Lady Wildcats taking a 67-52 come-from-behind victory and the Wildcat squad taking a lopsided 93-56 decision. The River also split Hinds in previous meetings played Jan. 19 in Utica with the PRCC women pulling off a 66-53 win, while PRCC men fell 62-59. The Lady Wildcats improved to 13-6 overall and 6-3 in division play, while the Wildcats are now 11-8 and 8-2. Hinds women fell to 3-17 and 1-10, while its men dropped to 7-13 and 5-5. The women game saw four stalemates, as well as four lead exchanges in the first half. Hinds Shelley Griffith hit a three at the 5:05 mark before the intermission to snap a 19-19 tie and the Lady Bulldogs held onto the lead for the next four minutes until Shana Ward, an East Central CC transfer from Carthage, sank a pair of foul shots to knot things at 24-24 before scoring off a turnover to give PRCC a two-point lead with a minute left. Kalandra Willis nailed a trey with 28 seconds left to give HCC a 27-26 edge at the intermission. Daiquari Raine of Poplarville hit the opening basket of the second half to put The River up 28-27, but Willis answered with another three to regain the lead for Hinds and Lady Bulldogs stayed in front for the next eight minutes until Branita Malone out of Choctaw High in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., pulled off a three-point play to tie it up at 43-43 before Toy Johnson of Pascagoula High hit a basket to give Pearl River the lead. Hinds Kenya Wright tied it up for the last time with 7:07 left, but Malone responded by sinking a pair of foul shots that kick started a 20-5 Pearl River scoring run to end the game. Wright paced HCC with 13 points (four rebounds, four steals), while Raven Hubbard added 12 (eight rebounds), Willis 11 (three treys, nine rebounds), Quinmeka Shaw seven (six rebounds), Shelley Griffith five, Carmen Smith two, and Alicia Smoot two. Ward led The River with a season-high 17 points (six rebounds), while Malone scored 15 (eight rebounds), Raine 14 (six rebounds), Stephanie Fratesi out of Washington High in Leland and Johnson (seven assists, seven rebounds, three steals), five each; Alayna Bridges of Oak Grove High three (four rebounds), and Jermonda Beason of Poplarville High, Shanta Echols of Sumrall High (eight rebounds), Samantha Gunn, a Canton resident who prepped at Velma Jackson High, and Lolecia Richardson out of Provine High in Jackson, two a piece. Hinds hit 64.7 percent (11 of 17) from the free throw line to Pearl River 78.6 percent (22 of 28), while the Lady Bulldogs were 18 of 63 (28.6 percent) from the field to the Lady Wildcats 22-of-58 (37.9 percent) effort. From three-point range, HCC was five of 27 (18.5 percent), while PRCC was one of 11 (9.1 percent). The River dominated the boards with 54 rebounds (22 offensive, 32 defensive) to Hinds 35 (17 offensive, 18 defensive), while Pearl River committed 28 turnovers to the Hinds 21. In the men game, things were close in the opening four minutes with Hinds taking its only lead of the game at 8-7 off a three by Carlo McDonald, but Daron Bell of Bay High answered with a buck a half-minute later and Pearl River never looked back. Bell bucket kicked off a dominating 34-12 scoring run that pushed the Wildcats to a lopsided 43-20 lead at the intermission. Zane Knowles, a 6-foot-9 center who transferred from Grambling State (La.), accounted for 14 of his season-high 28 points during the run. In the second half, Pearl River managed to build its lead to as many as 38 points in the final two minutes. McDonald led Hinds with 15 points (three treys), while Kelvin Welch scored eight (four rebounds), Josh Gaskin seven (four rebounds), Dominique Brown five, Matthew Hurn, Tevin Singleton, and Trevis Thomas (four rebounds), four a piece; Corey Young three, and Tremaine Cummingham (four rebounds), Malculm Harper, and Cornelius Harris (four assists), two a piece. Gavin Allen hauled in four boards for the Bulldogs. Knowles, who hails from Nassau, Bahamas, also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds; while Yondarius Johnson, a Grambling State transfer from Plain Dealing, La., scored 18 (three treys), Bell 17 (nine rebounds, six assists, five steals), Quentin Watkins out of Lanier High in Jackson 13 (nine assists, five rebounds, two treys), Raheem England of Decatur (Ala.) High seven, Jyrus Carriere out of St. Martin High in Biloxi five, Andre McMorris of East Marion High and Will Reid of St. Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis, two each; and Mike Henry of Wayne County High one. Hinds hit 60 percent (six of 10) from the free throw line to Pearl River 59.3 percent (16 of 27), while the Bulldogs were 23 of 68 (33.8 percent) from the field to the Wildcats 35-of-53 (66 percent) effort. From three-point range, HCC was four of 28 (14.3 percent), while PRCC was an impressive seven of 13 (53.8 percent). The River dominated the boards with 41 rebounds (six offensive, 35 defensive) to Hinds 29 (13 offensive, 16 defensive), while Pearl River committed 20 turnovers to the Hinds 19. The River split with Hinds in previous division women and men meetings played Jan. 19 in Utica. The PRCC women were 66-53 winners, while PRCC men fell 62-59. Next up, Pearl River travels to MACJC South Division rival Jones County Thursday for games at 6 p.m. (women) and 8 p.m. (men) before traveling to division rival Mississippi Gulf Coast Monday, Feb. 20, for contests at the same game times. PRCC wraps its regular season Thursday, Feb. 23, when it hosts East Central in Poplarville at 5 p.m. (women) and 7 p.m. (men). The top four women and men finishers in the MACJC North and South divisions earn berths in the MACJC State Tournament set for Feb. 27 through March 1 at the home court of the North women champion.