Pearl River women roll over East Central
Published 3:58 pm Friday, December 3, 2021
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The Pearl River women’s basketball team dominated from start to finish in its conference opener against East Central, winning by a score of 79-46. “We swarmed the ball and had a different edge defensively,” head coach Scotty Fletcher said. “It’s an honor to be their coach.” Pearl River’s 8-0 start is the best start for the program under Fletcher’s guidance.
East Central (4-4 overall: 0-1 MACCC) opened things up with a 3-pointer; however, Pearl River (8-0: 1-0) did not let that deter them, answering with a flurry of quick-fire baskets that included a spinning put back by Alesha Temple (Oak Grove), a 3-pointer from Otashae Burrage (Carthage; Leake County), a layup by Keshunti Nichols (Pearl) off of a steal by Halle Traylor (Tupelo), and a steal and basket by Ty’Mesha Reed (Meridian), putting the Wildcats ahead 9-3. The run continued with Nichols hitting a 10-foot jumper that banked in off the backboard and another basket by Reed off of a steal by Marcavia Shavers (Biloxi) blowing the game open early 13-3.
After a small run from the Warriors made the score 13-8, Pearl River responded with three straight 3-pointers by Anessa Dussette (Houston, Tx; Manvel) and Amaijah Smith (Gulfport) extending the lead to 24-8. East Central cut the deficit as the quarter closed, but Pearl River still led 24-14.
Pearl River opened the scoring in the second off of a Reed steal who then lobbed it down the court to Burrage for the layup, increasing the lead to 26-14. After a basket by the Warriors, Nichols found Tristen Washington (Gonzales, La.; East Ascension) who drilled a 3-pointer and made the score 29-16 in favor of the Wildcats. East Central was not fazed going on a run with a 3-pointer, layup, and a free throw drawing the score to single digits, 29-22.
After a Shavers layup, Burrage picked the ball away from a Warrior and dashed up the court for an easy layup giving the Wildcats a 33-22 lead.
With time expiring in the half, Pearl River drove up the court and Burrage closed things out with a putback of her own right at the buzzer, giving the Wildcats a 36-27 halftime lead.
The two teams exchanged blows to start the second half with Pearl River holding a 40-30 lead.
Shavers received a pass and fought her way through traffic for the hard-fought layup increasing the Wildcat lead to 46-35.
Pearl River never looked back from there and closed out the quarter leading 57-38.
Smith started things with a bang in the fourth stealing the inbound pass and taking it all the way for the layup giving the Wildcats a 59-38 lead.
After a Warrior bucket made the score 59-40, Burrage and Nichols took matters into their own hands and drained back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 65-40.
Pearl River capitalized on the momentum and carried it all the way to the end winning the game by a score of 76-49.
LEADING THE WAY
Nichols had a night to remember for the Wildcats leading them in scoring with 17 pts and grabbing seven rebounds.
“KeKe is an all-around basketball player,” Fletcher said.
Shavers was a force on the glass for the Wildcats, grabbing 11 boards and pitching in with 10 points as well giving her a double-double on the night.
Burrage added on 15 points for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats hit the road on Monday to take on Hinds. Tipoff is set for 6:00 p.m.
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