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PRC basketball looking good in district play

The Lady Blue Devils basketball team for Pearl River Central took on the Lamar Christian Lady Lions Jan. 27 and won 52-46.

The game was the first of two matchups in two days for the Lady Blue Devils.

PRC went into the game against Lamar Christian riding high after a district win against county rival Picayune on Jan. 24.

PRC beat Picayune 44-36. Labella said the team’s performance against the Lady Maroon Tide was one of the team’s best this season.

“We struggled early, mostly because of lapses on defense, but were able to clean that up a little bit. It’s a good thing to beat them because (they’re) hard to beat there,” Labella said.

Payton Lee led the team with 18 points, four rebounds and four assists against Picayune.

The next game for the Lady Blue Devils will be on Jan. 28 against Lumberton, but neither of the first two games this week are district matchups.

This means no matter what the results of the games are, the Lady Blue Devils won’t have their seeding affected.

Following the end of the season there will be a district tournament to determine what teams move into the postseason.

Currently, PRC occupies the number two seed, meaning they would play whoever ends up being the number 3 seed for a shot to get a spot in the playoffs.

There is a very real possibility Picayune will end up getting the third seed, meaning a third and final matchup between the two teams could determine which squad advances to the playoffs.

However, the Lady Blue Devils are taking it one game at a time as the season begins to wind down.

Head Coach Tony Labella said his team should be motivated heading into the matchup against Lumberton even though it won’t affect seeding.

“Lumberton beat us by 15 the first time we played them, so that’s easy motivation because we know we’re capable of playing better than last time,” Labella said. Following the two non-district games will be a huge district matchup with the Hattiesburg Lady Tigers on Jan. 31. The Lady Tigers are currently undefeated in district play and have the number one seed.

They have a dominant post player in senior Melyia Grayson, so the Lady Blue Devils will have to minimize her impact when the two teams meet again.

Labella said the focus against the Tigers, like it has been all season for the Lady Blue Devils, will be to lessen the number of turnovers and cut down on defensive mistakes. “We’ll watch film and do better. (But) just because you see something on film and think you can fix it doesn’t mean the other team will let you,” Labella said. The game between the Lady Blue Devils and Lumberton Lady Panthers is set to start at 6 p.m.