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PRC basketball gets valuable game experience

PRC will have four seniors returning for the upcoming basketball season, and the chemistry between those experienced players will be beneficial on the court.

However, no matter how many games a player has been in, getting some preseason practice helps with the beginning of season jitters.

It also allows the coaching staff to evaluate the team’s performance, and make necessary changes before competitive play begins.

These are just a few of the reasons why the Blue Devils took part in the Hancock Jamboree on Oct. 26.

The squad faced teams from Gulfport and Hancock during the event.

Jamborees are unique in that the games don’t go on the official record for the season because they aren’t regulation games.

Instead, PRC played one half against Gulfport and then one half against Hancock.

The local team’s first opponent of the jamboree was Gulfport, and Head Coach Scott Stephens said his team started too slow.

“I didn’t think we competed as well as I would’ve liked us to. It took us a little longer to get going than it should have,” Stephens said.

Stephens said an area of focus for his team in practice since the end of last season has been the players’ ability to make the correct decisions on the court.

Against Gulfport Stephens said too many mistakes were made, but when facing Hancock the athletes recovered and battled their way out of an early deficit.

“If we execute a little bit better it’ll help us out down the road. From an execution standpoint we’re a ways away from where we want to be,” Stephens said.

While neither of the games will go on the squad’s official record, it was the first opportunity for Stephens to see how his team handles adversity.

There are multiple experienced players on the court for PRC, and Stephens said his players buckled down against Hancock.

“We did a good job battling back and winning that game. We were down 9-0, but we gritted our teeth and started doing things a little better. We were a little more resilient,” Stephens said.

Now the good and bad can be worked on before the season truly begins.

“I think it was ok, there’s room for improvement and that’s why we went and played in this jamboree to begin with. I’m glad we got to go,” Stephens said.

The season truly starts for the squad on Nov. 2 when the Blue Devils face Forrest County in the Petal Classic.

Until then, Stephens will have his players improve on some of the struggles the team had during the jamboree.

“Being more physical is going to be one, and making better reads is going to be another one. I think communication will be the next one because we need to cut down on some of the mental breakdowns,” Stephens said.