Lady Devils take down Perry Central, 61-16

Published 7:00 am Thursday, January 19, 2017

Kayla Ryan, 15, squares up to take a shot in previous action against Picayune. Ryan had a season-high 14 points against FCAHS on Tuesday. Photo by Taylor Welsh

Kayla Ryan, 15, squares up to take a shot in previous action against Picayune. Ryan had a season-high 14 points against FCAHS on Tuesday.
Photo by Taylor Welsh

With 11 out of the 14 girls on Pearl River Central’s roster scoring Tuesday evening, the Lady Blue Devils disassembled the Perry Central Bulldogs 61-16.

PRC’s leading scorer, Kayla Ryan, nearly outscored the entire Bulldogs team with a season-high 14 points.

From the beginning, the Lady Devils (13-6; 1-1) jumped to a 12-5 lead against the non-district foe, and never wavered for the remainder of the game.

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“This was a full-team effort. The entire team was playing as one cohesive unit, which would make any coach proud,” PRC Head Coach Tony LaBella said.

LaBella said he takes pride in how strong his girls play defense, but still sees room for improvement.

“We need to take care of the ball more and take advantage of each possession offensively,” he said. “We are a defensive-minded team, so we cannot afford many turnovers.”

In the Lady Devils previous game against Picayune, turnovers were what led to a Maroon Tide run in the final quarter, which eventually led to the curtains falling on PRC’s chances for victory.

However, LaBella said the girls didn’t put their heads down after that game, and came out guns blazing against Perry Central.

“The big thing is that you don’t let one loss effect you,” LaBella said. “We are entering a critical stretch of games so this win was great for us going forward.”

With the score at 35-10 at the half in a non-district contest, LaBella said he started to experiment with his bench, and ended up being impressed by the performance of his inexperienced players.

“They did a phenomenal job of keeping the energy alive and executing when their numbers were called,” he said. “At the time, there was still pressure on them to do well and they took advantage of the opportunity.”

PRC’s Harlee Davis scored eight points in the first half, ending with 10, while five other Lady Devils pitched in with five or more points.

PRC will trek to Hattiesburg (6-12; 2-0) on Friday in an attempt to give the Tigers its first district loss of the season. Tip-off will be at 6 p.m.

Foul trouble led to Perry Central boys defeating PRC 71-62

In the first half, the Blue Devils altered its game tactics when star guard A.J. Banks, along with Louis Reece and Jason Long, tallied three fouls each early on.

“It’s not good when you have to sit almost all of your starters at the same time, but [Perry Central] did a great job at capitalizing on that,” PRC Head Coach Scott Stevens said.

After coming off of a rival loss against Picayune—in which Reece and Long were responsible for 29 of the 31 points scored while Banks sat out with flu symptoms—Stevens wanted to test his team’s toughness Tuesday night.

“At times we showed great resiliency. We came in with a strong mindset and played with one throughout the game. I was proud to see that they didn’t let the flow of the game affect their production,” Stevens said.

Resilience was demonstrated by the three Blue Devils that were in foul trouble early in the game, as Banks led all players with 24 points, Long followed behind with 11 points and Reece finished with seven.

On top of that, the dynamic point guard Willie Reece was suspended for the first three quarters. By the fourth quarter, there was little wiggle room for him to help the Blue Devils claw back into the game.

PRC (6-11; 0-2) will travel to Hattiesburg (5-12; 1-1) in a district bout on Friday. Tip-off will be at 7:30 p.m.