PRC boys and Lady Devils sweep Bulldogs on senior night

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 17, 2015

HOME FINALE: Blue Devils’ junior Donte Stephens dunks in the fourth quarter of PRC’s Friday night victory against Perry Central. Photo by Dart Spiers

HOME FINALE: Blue Devils’ junior Donte Stephens dunks in the fourth quarter of PRC’s Friday night victory against Perry Central.
Photo by Dart Spiers

The Pearl River Central High School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams hosted Perry Central Friday night in the Blue Devils’ last home game of the regular season.

A ceremony honoring PRC’s eight graduating seniors was held in between games to commemorate the final time these athletes would be playing on their home court. 

Brandi Lee, Tyionia Bolar and LaDeja Connley are the seniors for the Lady Devils.  The seniors honored on the boys’ team were Terek Whitehead, Alex Travis, Mason Cunningham, Tyquan Osborn and Maliek Turner.

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In the girls’ game, the Lady Devils were looking to avenge a one-point loss against Perry Central from earlier this season. 

The PRC girls got off to a slow start and found themselves trailing 6-9 at the end of the first quarter. The Lady Devils began to heat up in the second quarter and controlled the remainder of the game. Senior guard Brandi Lee scored 10 points in the first half and helped the Lady Devils earn a 24-14 halftime lead. Lee also drew a charge in the final minute of the first half, and made an excellent pass on the ensuing possession to fellow senior Tyionia Bolar, who scored an easy bucket as time expired in the second quarter.

In the third quarter, the PRC girls came out of the locker room on fire, scoring 25 points in the third quarter to open up an insurmountable lead against the Lady Bulldogs. Five different PRC players scored in the third quarter, and the Lady Devils used their balanced attack to put the game out of reach. What was a one-point defeat earlier in the season ended as a 64-40 victory for the PRC girls in their regular season finale.

In the boys’ game, the seniors saved some of their best performances for their last home game. In the first half, only one basket was scored by an underclassman. Senior guard Alex Travis had 19 points in the first half, including a buzzer-beater at the end of the second half that tied the game at 32-32. Senior guard Terek Whitehead scored 10 points in the first half, but despite starting the game on a 12-2 run, the Blue Devils could not capitalize on their early lead. Perry Central answered with a 10-0 scoring run and led most of the second quarter before Travis’ buzzer-beating three-pointer tied the game.

Whitehead continued to score at will in the third quarter, hitting three consecutive shots at one point to help the Blue Devils open up a lead. A technical foul led to four free throws for Perry Central’s Ashanta Bolton, who sank all four foul shots and made two three-pointers in the third quarter to help the Bulldogs keep pace with PRC. At the end of the third quarter, the Blue Devils held onto a slim 52-50 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Travis and Whitehead scored a combined 15 points, and PRC junior Donte Stephens helped put the game away with three straight dunks that sent the home crowd into a frenzy. He was fouled on the final dunk and made the free throw, scoring seven straight points to give the Blue Devils a six point lead.

Perry Central’s Bolton would not quit, scoring 12 of his 37 total points in the final minutes.

PRC was perfect at the free throw line in the final minutes of the contest and did not allow the Bulldogs a chance to retake the lead. Senior Tyquan Osborn sank a three-pointer at the final buzzer to make the final score 79-67.

The Pearl River Central High School boys and girls squads will play in their district tournaments this week and attempt to advance to the postseason.