It wasn't pretty, but it was a win.
Top-seeded Pearl River Community College survived a furious upset bid by eighth-seeded Southern University-Shreveport, as a pair of free throws by Xavian Rimmer with 14 seconds left secured a 64-62 win Wednesday night in the Region 23 quarterfinals.
With the win, at A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College, A.E. Wood Coliseum on the Mississippi College campus, PRCC improved to 23-4 overall with the victory, while SU-S ended its season at 16-12. The Wildcats will now face fourth-seeded Northwest Mississippi in the semifinals today at 2:30.. NWCC ended fifth-seeded Jones County’s season with a 83-68 lopsided win in the quarter-finals.
"It was an ugly game. I didn't think it was very well played by either team. I don't want to complain too much because we won the game, we're going on to the second round, and that's what we're trying to do," PRCC head coach Richard Mathis said after the win.
Forward Kaven Bernard spurred The River’s win, as the freshman out of Assumption High in Napoleonville, La., bombed Southern-Shreve with 26 points and 13 rebounds — both career and game-highs — including an impressive 10-of-13 (76.9 percent) effort at the foul line.
Pearl River got on the scoreboard before the clock even started, as Rimmer sank one of two free throws via a technical foul on SU-S after a Jag player slammed a dunk in pregame warm ups.
The teams exchanged leads several times in the first half, before Jeremy Hollimon of Gulfport High banged in a three in the final seconds to give the Wildcats a 34-32 advantage at the intermission.
The two teams battled to a 30-30 stalemate in the second half, which saw nine ties and seven lead exchanges.
Bernard hit a bucket with 2:38 left to put the Wildcats up 62-60 and after Francis missed two foul shots, Jeffrey Drew’s basket tied it up for the last time at 62-62. Rimmer’s two free throws with 14.6 seconds left, iced the win for Pearl River.
Besides Bernard, Rimmer, an Alcorn State transfer who prepped at Piney Woods School near Jackson, added 17 (eight rebounds) for Pearl River; while DeMondre Harvey of Minden (La.) High scored eight (seven rebounds).
The River will have its hands full against the Rangers in the semis.
The two squared off in the semi-finals of last week’s MACJC Tournament in Poplarville and saw host Pearl River trailing 41-24 at the break before the Wildcats bounced back with an equally-dominating 41-21 advantage in the second half to take a 65-62 victory.
The Region 23 champs advance to the NJCAA National Tournaments set for March 18-23 in Hutchinson, Kan.
It wasn't pretty, but it was a win.
EMCC wins National championship
For the second time in three seasons, East Mississippi Community College has captured a National Championship.
Balanced attack paced Picayune
The offensive success that Picayune enjoyed all season on the football field was a major reason the Maroon Tide brought home the gold ball.
Maroon Tide win was exciting
Speed sweep left.
Three words that will forever live in Picayune football history.
For the second time in three seasons, Picayune its atop the ranks of Class 5A football in the state of Mississippi.
Maroon Tide senior class has made history
For the current crop of Maroon Tide seniors, their final season playing for Picayune will end in the same venue that their first year did.
Picayune faces Oxford for state title
Picayune Memorial High School is in the midst of its most successful three year run in the history of the football program.
Unbeaten Oxford is on a roll
Unbeaten and topranked Oxford has won 14 games this season, the most wins ever in a season in school history.
Picayune wins South State title
It took Picayune's Dodd Lee 16 years as the head coach at his alma mater to reach the state championship game.
Bulldogs beat Rebels 17-10 in OT in Egg Bowl
Dak Prescott saved Mississippi State's season Thursday night, and in doing so extended it as well.
Prescott, a sophomore quarterback, scored on a 2-yard run in overtime to lift the Bulldogs to a 17-10 win over arch-rival Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl at Davis-Wade Stadium.
Maroon Tide faces Laurel tonight
There is one spot in the Class 5A State finals on the line and two teams left in the South.
That berth will be decided tonight.
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