Poplarville beats PRC again

Published 9:24 am Friday, February 13, 2009


Item Sports Editor

BAY ST. LOUIS — The fourth time wasn’t the charm for Pearl River Central against Poplarville Thursday night.

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But another win by the Lady Hornets over the Blue Devils made a nice homecoming gift.

Poplarville knocked off upstart PRC 54-37 in the semifinals of the Division 8-4A Tournament at the Tigerdome, moving the Lady Hornets into tonight’s finals at 7 against homestanding Bay High.

The win also moves Poplarvile to 17-6 on the season, and assures the Lady Hornets of opening the Class 4A South State playoffs at home Monday night for the first time in six years. It was the fourth win for Poplarville in four tries over PRC this season.

“We wanted to come out and play smart, conservative basketball,” Poplarville head coach Annette Smith said. “We wanted to stay in control and get some good looks at the basket.”

The loss drops PRC to 7-18 on the year and the Lady Devils will play in the consolation game at 4 today against D’Iberville. The Lady Devils have also qualified for the state playoffs for the first time in over two decades, and will hit the road Monday to open the playoffs.

Thanks to a strong inside game by Daquari Raine, Poplarville jumped out to a quick lead an never trailed.

Raine scored 15 points in the first half, including nine in the first quarter as the Lady Hornets took a 19-6 lead.

“I think we had a little trouble getting our engine started,” PRC head coach Kevin Harris said. “She (Raine) is big and bad inside and she hurt us early in the game.”

Poplarville led 28-12 at halftime, before PRC rallied a bit to cut the deficit to 30-23 on a 3-point play by Kayla Drummond.

But Poplarville responded with nine straight points to close the third period, six by Policia Travis and a 3-pointer by Carolyn Toomer.

Raine led Poplarville with 19 points, while Travis added 15 and Demi Beason 13.

Shaneka Fowler led PRC with 13.

Poplarville’s Shaderrica Houston held Drummond to just nine points after she scored 26 Monday.