Pearl River women scrap to final buzzer vs. Meridian

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 3, 2021

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The Pearl River women’s basketball team came up short against Meridian on Monday, falling 67-57 inside Marvin R. White Coliseum.

“They beat us in every quarter but the fourth. I was glad to see our effort was there,” Pearl River coach Scotty Fletcher said. “We got hot there, but we gave up too many quick points before that. We were very good on the glass. Fifteen offensive rebounds — that was our goal. I was really proud of our effort there in the fourth.”

The defeat snapped a five-game winning streak for PRCC over MCC.

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“Twenty-six turnovers is just way too many,” Fletcher said. “You’re not going to win when you do that. We’ve got to get better.

“We’re going to get better from this.” 

After a slow start through the first three quarters, the Wildcats turned it up in the fourth. 

PRCC (1-2 overall; 1-2 MACJC South) opened the frame with a 9-2 run to cut the deficit to 53-43. After an Alesha Temple (Oak Grove) basket and then Otashae Burrage (Carthage; Leake County) nailed a 3. Brandy Scott (New Orleans; Booker T. Washington) scored a fastbreak layup. Alannah Turner (Gulfport; West Harrison) then hit two free throws for PRCC’s 43rd point.

After a MCC run, the Wildcats hit back to back 3s. Burrage nailed the first one on an assist from Ty’Mesha Reed (Meridian) and then Burrage assisted Reed on the next long-range score.

Temple followed up with a mid-range jumper to pull PRCC within five points, 59-54.

The Eagles, however, closed out the game with a 7-3 run to solidify the outcome. 

The Wildcats had a difficult time at the start of the contest, falling behind 15-3. Ra’Nae Tumblin (New Orleans; Booker T. Washington) nailed a 3-pointer after snatching a batted ball in traffic to keep the play alive to pull PRCC within 10 at 15-6.

Tumblin later hit two free throws but PRCC trailed 18-8 after the first quarter.

The two teams traded baskets early in the second, with PRCC keeping it close at 25-17 thanks to five straight points — all off free throws.

MCC went on another run to extend its lead to 31-17 but a Reed 3 and a Keshunti Nichols (Pearl) putback pulled PRCC back within 10 at 31-22.

The Eagles closed the half with a 5-3 run to hold a 36-25 halftime advantage.

PRCC’s woes carried over into the third quarter as MCC (3-0; 3-0) extended its lead to 51-34 by the end of the frame. 

Burrage led the Wildcats in scoring with 13 points. Reed and Temple scored 9 off the bench.

Marcavia Shavers (Biloxi) once again was a force on the boards with seven offensive rebounds and 13 overall. Burrage dished out a team-high three assists. 

Burrage was honored Monday as one of the Forrest General Wildcats of the Week. The guard was coming off of an impressive week that included a career-best 20-point performance at Jones College. 

The women return to the hardwood Thursday with a 6 p.m. tip at Copiah-Lincoln.