• 55°

PRC girls basketball gets a win in first game back from quarantine

Pearl River Central’s girls basketball team defeated the Gautier Gators 33-32 Thursday evening in the squad’s first competitive match up since the entire team went into quarantine two weeks ago.

Several positive COVID-19 tests forced the Lady Blue Devils to shut down for several weeks as part of the district’s COVID-19 policy.

The game was PRC’s first time back on the court, but the team fought all night and won on a buzzer beater from point guard Hannah Mitchell.

Mitchell pulled down 18 rebounds for PRC while junior Brennyn Dossett led the team with 17 points.

Jada Lindsey added 7 points as well to help the Lady Blue Devils overcome fatigue and rust to pull out the win.

“We looked really, really rough. I had to keep subbing kids out so the kids could breathe, but in the end it worked,” Head Coach Cliff Bauer said.

Conditioning proved to be the biggest challenge for PRC against Gautier.

The Lady Blue Devils are used to pushing the ball up the court in transition, and they sometimes implement a full court press defensively to keep teams off guard.

Because of the two-week layoff, the players weren’t in the same physical shape they had been when quarantine began, so those normal options didn’t exist for Bauer.

“It affected us in our stamina. I would probably press against a team like Gautier, and we did end up applying some pressure but really it was just to make them think we were going after them. At one point we were up 12-7 and I sat all the kids who were generally starters because they looked like they were dying,” Bauer said.

The gutsy victory over Gautier will provide a confidence boost moving forward as PRC prepares for a home game Dec. 7 against East Central.

Getting back in shape will be a point of emphasis in practice, and Bauer said he may change up the practice schedule in order to get the team better prepared for next week’s match up.

“Conditioning will be the number one part. Basketball is a stamina sport.”

“I generally do not practice on weekends, but we’ll probably practice this weekend just for stamina, just to get going and to bring it up,” Bauer said.

Bauer said the players’ ability to fight through adversity and come out of Thursday night’s match up with a positive result is a testament to his team’s mentality and passion for the game.

“This is a bunch of kids who are hard working. They’re kids that love it and that’s really good. I couldn’t be prouder of my kids regardless of what happens moving forward. I just hope we can continue playing basketball,” Bauer said.

The game against East Central will start at 6 p.m.