By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Picayune Item
Junior center Jessica Powers of Pearl River Central picked up a big honor recently.
Powers, a 6-foot-5 post player, has been selected to play in the annual North-South prep basketball All-Star game that will take place over the summer in Jackson.
Powers and senior standout Caroline Lumpkin helped guide the Lady Devils to their first state playoff appearance in four seasons this year.
The North-South game features the top junior players from around the state each season. However, exactly where Powers, who has committed to the University of Southern Mississippi, will play her senior season is unknown. The Picayune Item has confirmed through several sources close to the situation that in the past few weeks Powers has left PRC and has transferred to and is now enrolled at Bay High.
If she is ruled eligible to play for the Lady Tigers next season, it would be the second consecutive season that a local standout from Pearl River County has transferred to Bay High for her senior season. Former Poplarville standout Bretta Hart is a member of the Bay High team this season that played for the Class 4A state championship Friday night.
The Lady Tigers completed a perfect 36-0 season with a 63-42 thumping of defending state champion Pontotoc. Hart scored 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the win, including converting an old fashioned 3-point play with two minutes to play that sealed the win for Bay High.
Hart was one of a pair of players with local ties picked to play in the annual Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Basketball Classic which takes place next weekend in Montgomery, Ala.
Gulfport forward Eddie Lee, Harrison Central guard Jaylen Moore and Hancock guard Conner Entrekin were picked for the boys' team, while Hart was chosen for the girls' team. The 22nd annual All-Star Classic takes place Saturday, March 15 at the Acadome in Montgomery, Ala.
Other top players selected on the boys' side include Callaway forward TreShawn Bolden, Provine guard Javeres Brent and Olive Branch guard Sam Craft, a Memphis football signee who also plans to play basketball in college. Cleveland East Side's Leroy Cotton will serve as head coach, with Ridgeland's Roderick Davidson assisting.
Mississippi holds an 11-10 edge in the all-time series, including two straight wins. Mississippi won 85-74 in last year's game, held at the Pelham (Ala.) Civic Complex.
In addition to Hart, other top girls selected include East Side's Lashyra Cotton (a Southern Miss signee) and Columbus' Kiki Patterson, a Mississippi State commit. Pontotoc's Bill Russell will coach the Mississippi girls, while Scott Central's Chad Harrison assisting.
Alabama leads the all-time girls series 11-10, though Mississippi has won two straight. Mississippi won 73-60 last year in Pelham.