By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Picayune Item
Both the girls teams from Pearl River Central and Poplarville fell in their respective district tournaments Friday night.
The Lady Devils dropped a 47-28 decision to top-seed West Harrison in the Division 8-5A championship game.
The Lady Devils started strong, as 6-foot-5 center Jessica Powers moved her way in side the paint for a pair of baskets to tie the game at 6-6 mid-way through the first period.
Sabrina Miller’s jump shot knotted the game at 8-8 with two minutes to play in the opening frame.
The Lady Devils, though, were hampered by the absence of leading scorer Caroline Lumpkin, who got into early foul trouble and missed most of the first half.
Without Lumpkin on the court, the Lady Hurricanes took full advantage and went on a 15-2 run in the final 10 minutes of the half. A 3-pointer by Jazmine Hatcher gave West Harrison a 16-8 lead with five minutes to play before intermission.
Also, the quickness of the Lady Hurricanes on defense caused some ball-handling problems for the Lady Devils and resulted in several scoring opportunities on the offensive end of which West harrison took advantage of.
A triple by Asia Thibodeaux late in the first half put West Harrison up 25-10 at halftime.
Things only got worse for PRC as the second half unfolded. Lumpkin came back in the game, but the Lady Devils failed to score before she got her fourth foul and returned to the bench.
Then, the Lady Hurricanes began to heat up again as Hatcher hit back-to-back baskets to make it 29-12.
Thibodeaux then nailed consecutive 3-pointers inside the last 30 seconds, and West Harrison led 33-14 after three quarters.
The Lady Devils never cut the deficit into single digits again. They also went a stretch of 17 minutes in which they scored four points.
“Our offense revolves around Caroline and Jessica, and when one of them is not on the court for a long period of time then we are at a definite disadvantage,” PRC acting head coach Kayla Inabinette said. “It’s kind of hard to win when our offense is limited like that.”
Powers finished with 13 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots for PRC. Lumpkin managed nine points.
PRC will hit the road on Monday to open the Class 5A South State playoffs, facing South Jones.
In Leakesville Friday night, Poplarville’s girls fell to Vancleave 47-40 in the third place game of the Division 8-4A Tournament.
Shaneshia Huderson and Devynn Hart each scored 10 points apiece for the Lady Hornets in the loss.
The Poplarville girls will also hit the road Monday night to open the Class 4A South State playoffs. The Lady Hornets will face either Laurel or Quitman.