Picayune boys give PRC bad luck in Friday the 13th rival bout
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, January 17, 2017
In the hardwood classic between Picayune and Pearl River Central, the Maroon Tide boys held the Blue Devils to scoring only two field goals through two and a half quarters of action, defeating the Blue Devils 66-31.
Before the rivalry game started, both head coaches greeted familiar faces, including former co-coaches and players from their past teams. Then, the two coaches went to the opposite side of the court than they were previously accustomed.
A game many thought would be emotional for the coaches was instead overshadowed by the importance of winning a district match.
“We treated this just like any normal game, but it’s hard playing against a team like Picayune when two of your starters are out. But no excuses, it just wasn’t our night tonight,” PRC Head Coach Scott Stevens said.
PRC was without their leading scorer A.J. Banks, who previously scored 31 points against Stone County, due to flu symptoms. Also absent for the Blue Devils was Willie Reece.
Déjà vu struck Picayune early in the game, as leading scorer Stephane Ayangma committed two fouls in the first couple of minutes. During the Tide’s last game, early fouls by Ayangma plagued its offensive scheme, ending up in a close 44-41 defeat to Hattiesburg. However, this time around, Ayangma stayed on the court.
“I really wanted to see how we would respond to our loss. I didn’t want to get caught up in the extras and neither did the team. We were just hungry for a win,” Picayune Head Coach Kelton Thompson said.
Once again, the Maroon Tide held its opponent to scoring only two points in the first quarter, and six in the second; all of which were scored by one Blue Devil, junior guard Jason Long.
Long ended the night with 12 points.
With 4:30 to go in the third quarter, PRC’s Louis Reece completed a layup, making him the second Blue Devil to score in the game. After that, Reece stole the show when he scored all of his 17 points in the final quarters of the game.
Overall, only three Blue Devils scored against Picayune. Along with Long and Reece, Gabe Mitchell tallied two points.
Even with a 29-8 lead at halftime, the Maroon Tide (13-5; 1-1) widened its lead, scoring 20 points in the third quarter and creating the biggest lead of the night, 49-17, going into the final quarter against the Blue Devils (6-10; 0-2).
Picayune’s Ayangma once again led the Tide with 22 points and nine rebounds and Marvun Arnold matched Ayangma with nine rebounds along with seven points of his own. Gary Travis pitched in with nine points.
Picayune will travel to Lanier High School to face No. 5 Vicksburg in a 5A showdown in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Classic Monday.
PRC will travel to Perry Central on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Lady Tide rolls back in epic fashion to clinch a rival victory against PRC, 43-35
With less than seven minutes to go, Picayune assembled three consecutive steals that gave them the first lead of the night. After that, the Tide never looked back as they defeated the Blue Devils 43-35.
The Maroon Tide’s Alanna Smith performed on both sides of the court as she scored a team-high 19 points on Friday and nabbed five steals against the Blue Devils.
Smith’s first steal of the game came at the 3:48 mark of the first quarter, which translated into a breakaway layup for the leading scorer, closing the gap to 6-5. However, the Tide was scoreless for the remainder of the quarter, falling behind 12-5.
Right before the first half ended, Tide’s Smith struck again, but this time with a deep 3-pointer that closed the gap on the Lady Blue Devils’ 21-17 lead.
In the final minutes of the third quarter and with 1:52 to go in the fourth, Picayune’s Tailesha Quinn nailed two 3-pointers which kept the Lady Blue Devils off of the Tide’s heels in the final minutes of the game. After that, a pair of steals from Smith sealed the deal for Picayune.
Tide’s Quinn ended the game with 10 points.
PRC’s Harlee Davis finished with 12 points and Breyanna Bernard added nine.
The Lady Blue Devils (12-6; 1-1) will hit the road to play Perry Central (3-9; 1-2) Tuesday night at 6 p.m.
The Lady Tide (5-9; 1-1) will travel on Friday night to face district foe Stone County (9-10; 0-1) at 5 p.m.