Pearl River women secure first round bye with road victory
Published 9:40 am Friday, February 17, 2023
BOONEVILLE, Miss. — The Pearl River women’s basketball team hit the road Thursday night and thumped Northeast 69-47 to secure a first-round bye in the Region 23 Tournament.
“When we started this journey back in August, our number one goal was to put ourselves in a good position for playoffs,” Pearl River coach Scotty Fletcher said. “This is a tough league night in and night out, so earning a top-four spot is a big accomplishment.”
Fletcher also talked about the play of his team in the contest.
“Our defense was crisp tonight and we did a great job rebounding the basketball,” he said. “We played well in transition and executed much better in the second half in the halfcourt. We had a lot of players step up tonight.”
Pearl River (21-2 overall; 11-2 MACCC) wasted no time getting on the scoresheet as Halle Traylor (Tupelo) knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing 10 seconds into the contest. Traylor struck again at the 7:55 mark, drawing a foul and making both free throws, extending the Wildcat lead to 7-2.
The PRCC bigs helped the Wildcats extend their lead on back-to-back possessions. Marcavia Shavers (Biloxi) got it started by picking up a pair of free throws after being fouled and Keshunti Nichols (Pearl) followed it up by snatching an offensive rebound and putting it back up. The shots made the score 13-5.
Before the quarter ended, Brandy Scott (Hammond, La.) got on the scoresheet with a perfect trip to the free-throw line, ending the quarter with a 17-9 Wildcat lead.
NEMCC came out of the quarter break with some momentum as the Tigers sliced the PRCC lead to 19-17.
A miracle basket happened for PRCC on its next possession. Traylor dashed inside and was met with heavy contact as she took her shot. The Wildcat sophomore lobbed the ball up in the air with one hand and the shot banked off the backboard and into the net. The basket made the score 21-17.
J’Mani Ingram (North Augusta, S.C.) turned in back-to-back solid plays on the next two possessions to build on the lead, 25-17. The Winthrop transfer first hauled in an offensive rebound and put it back up for a basket and followed it up by slicing through the lane for a layup.
Although the Tigers cut their deficit to four points at 32-28 early in the third quarter, Pearl River really started to take control of the contest, in part due to a 12-2 run. PRCC began the run with a tip-in from Shavers which was followed by layups from Ingram and Nichols. Scott sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers between a Northeast basket to close out the run.
Alexis Arrington (Terry) picked up a pair of layups in the final few minutes of the quarter to send PRCC into the fourth with a 52-33 advantage.
The Wildcats began the final 10 minutes of the night with a 9-0 run to grab a 28-point, 61-33 lead. Shavers and Nichols started it off with back-to-back layups before Scott hit from downtown once again. Tierra Simon (Houston, Texas.; Heights) closed out the run with a tip-in.
The Tigers tried to fight back down the stretch, but there wasn’t enough time as Pearl River walked away with a 69-47 lead.
LEADING THE WAY
Shavers led the Wildcats in scoring with 12 points. She also picked up seven big rebounds and a pair of assists. Ingram finished second on the team with 11 points.
Scott had an incredible all-around performance for Pearl River, finishing with 10 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
“I thought that Brandy was the player of the game tonight,” Fletcher said. “She created a spark that we really needed at that point in the game. She did an incredible job.”
Simon scored just three points, but she made her presence known in plenty of other ways. The 6-foot-1 forward picked up a remarkable seven blocks and five rebounds.
“Her timing and basketball IQ are second to none,” Fletcher said. “When she was at Prairie View, she played on the perimeter so having the instinct to guard away from the basket allows her to be very timely when she’s close to the basket. She uses her length extremely well.”
The Wildcats will have their bye on Monday before wrapping up the season Thursday against Coahoma. Tipoff inside Marvin R. White Coliseum is set for 6 p.m. The Wildcats will hold a sophomore night ceremony at the conclusion of the game.
CASHLESS BOX OFFICE
To help improve traffic flow and fan experience, PRCC athletics box offices will be cashless in 2022-23. Only credit and debit cards will be accepted at the box office. Fans are encouraged to beat the lines and purchase their tickets in advance at PRCCAthletics.com/Tickets.
Pearl River livestreams all home games for free at PRCCMedia.com/gold. Fans who have Roku, Amazon Fire, or Apple TV devices can also watch the Wildcat broadcasts by downloading the “Pearl River CC” channel from their app stores.
Games will also be available over the air in Pearl River County by tuning into 1320 AM and 106.9 FM. The radio broadcast is also available at WRJWRadio.com and by downloading the WRJW app.
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