Picayune, PRC split

Published 4:21 pm Thursday, January 31, 2008

Picayune celebrated Senior Night by hosting arch-rival Pearl River Central on Tuesday night.

Some last second heroics by PRC’s Brooke Eccles kept the home team from pulling off a sweep on the memorable evening.

Eccles made a key basket and then two free throws in the final minute, as the Lady Blue Devils nipped the Lady Tide 55-51.

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The highly ranked Maroon Tide made it a spilt on the night, as they rolled over PRC 75-53.

The win for the sixth ranked Maroon Tide completed a clean sweep through the regular season in Region 8-4A action as Picayune stands 12-0 in league play and 23-3 overall.

“It’s a good accomplishment,” Picayune second year head coach Daniel Kennedy said. “Anytime you can go through a league as tough as ours without a loss that’s pretty good. It was a game of runs, and we just had more than they did. But I didn’t think we were as consistent as we need to be.”

Picayune moved out to a quick 19-1 lead in the first quarter and led by as much as 20 in the second quarter

The Blue Devils rallied as the second half unfolded, cutting the deficit to just eight points on two different occasions but Picayune extended the lead back to 15 as the fourth quarter began and built on the lead from there.

Brandon Fortenberry paced Picayune with 23 points while Chris Dees was solid as well with 19 points. Reshun Smith added eight.

For PRC, which dropped to 4-20 overall and 2-7 in league play, Josh Nixon led the way with 12 points while Cody Ladner added 11, Brandon Russ 10 and Je’Barr Locure nine.

The Maroon Tide plays at Northwest Rankin on Friday night. Both PRC teams travel to Long Beach on Friday.

• The win by the PRC girls was almost identical to one a few weeks ago over Picayune in which the Lady Devils rallied at the end for the win.

“We played hard and we played all the way to the end, so I’m proud of them for that,” PRC head coach Donna Spiers said. “We made some big plays at the end and took advantage of the situation we had.”

Kayla Drummond sank a basket at the buzzer at the end of the third period to put PRC up 39-38 entering the final period. The Lady Devils led by as much as eight in the fourth period, but Picayune rallied and took the lead at 49-48 on a short shot by Ebony Jones with 1:32 to play.

Eccles though came up with some big shots in the final minute.

Drummond paced PRC with 18 points while both Eccles and Megan Calcote tallied 12 apiece.

Monique Brown registered a game high 23 points for Picayune, while Karly Moran added 13 and Jones 11.

The Lady Tide were playing without two starters, in Janea Wills and Autumn Jackson as well as one of their top reserves in Lauren Burkes for various reasons.

PRC stands 6-15 overall and 2-4 in league play while the Lady Tide wraps up region play at 2-8 and stands 11-12 overall.

The game was also in all likelihood the final one in Picayune’s Kelly Wise gym for Spiers, who coached at Picayune for 20 years before moving on to PRC. Spiers is planning to retire at the end of the year

Ironically, Spiers faced a former player, Picayune head coach Kristie Mitchell, in her final appearance in Picayune.

The Lady Tide play at Pearl River, La. Monday.