Wildcats take over top spot in South Division with clutch win at Jones

Wildcats take over top spot in South Division with clutch win at Jones

POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College claimed the top spot in the South Division Monday, completing a regular-season sweep of archrival Jones County with a gutsy 85-82 victory at Ellisville.
 
The Wildcats and Bobcats are tied for first place in the division at 8-3, but the series sweep gives PRCC the tiebreaker advantage as both teams vie for berths in the MACJC State Tournament.
 
PRCC’s sophomore trio of Darrlyn Willis, Cortez Mitchell and William Brown combined for 64 points to carry the Wildcats to victory.
 
“It’s a luxury as a coach to go into games with so many guys that have been in wars like this,” said Wildcat coach Chris Oney.
 
“One of them is bound to step up, and tonight, in the first half, Cortez kept us in it and got us the lead, then in the second half William Brown hit some huge shots for us.”
 
Mitchell had 18 of his game-high 23 points in the first half, as the Wildcats turned an early seven-point deficit into a 48-39 halftime lead, thanks to an 8-0 run and a 14-6 surge to close the half.   
 
PRCC (14-6 overall) led by as many as 10 points early in the second half, but JCJC rallied on the strength of an 11-2 run, closing the margin to 55-54.
 
But Tawarren Grant hit a 3-point shot, then Teddy Scott drove the lane for a lay-up after the Bobcats took a 59-58 lead, and Brown put the Wildcats ahead for good with a 3-pointer after Jones took a 66-65 lead.
 
The Wildcats led by as many as seven points in the final minute, but Tristin Walley hit a 3-pointer after a Wildcat turnover with 7.9 seconds, cutting PRCC’s margin to 82-80.
 
However, Willis made a pair of free throws with 2.6 seconds to play to seal the win.
 
Brown finished with 21 points and Willis had 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead Pearl River. Bruce Stevens had 18 points and 9 rebounds to lead Jones County (13-5 overall).
 
The women’s game had none of the drama of the men’s game, as Jones rolled to a 93-71 victory over the Lady Wildcats.
 
JCJC opened up an early 12-2 lead, and PRCC never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.
 
Tiara Warren led all scorers with 20 points for Pearl River (6-13, 3-8), Akayla Powell added 17 points and Asia Thibodeaux scored 14 points. Tatyana Lofton led five players in double figures with 17 points for Jones County (15-5, 8-3).
 
PRCC will be back on the road Thursday night at Mississippi Gulf Coast, then will complete the regular season next week with home games Monday against east Central and Thursday against Meridian.
 
PRCC BASKETBALL SUMMARIES
 
Monday at Ellisville
WOMEN
Jones County 93, Pearl River 71
 
Pearl River      16-14-17-24 – 71
Jones County 26-19-25-23 – 93
 
PEARL RIVER (6-13, 3-8 in South Division): Asia Thibodeaux 14, Tiara Warren 20, Shaniqua Magee 13, Akayla Powell 17, Takari Cooks 2, Alex Cumbest 5. TOTALS: FG 24-64 (37.5%), 3FG 10-26 (38.5%), FT 12-18 (66.7%).
JONES COUNTY (15-5, 8-3 in South Division): Patrice Tate 1, Dana Brown 8, Aliyah Bell 12, Kanisha Tharpe 7, Myyah West 9, Wendion Bibbins 10, Tatyana Lofton 17, Hanah Lott 15, Ashailee Brailey 14. TOTALS: FG 35-73 (47.9%), 3FG 11-23 (47.8%), FT 12-19 (66.7%).
 
 
MEN
Pearl River 85, Jones County 82
 
Pearl River      48-37 – 85
Jones County  39-43 – 82
 
PEARL RIVER (14-6, 8-3 in South Division): William Brown 21, Cortez Mitchell 23, Dontellius Ross 7, Tawarren Grant 6, Teddy Scott 8, Darrlyn Willis 20 (13 rebounds). TOTALS: FG 29-57 (50.9%), 3FG 11-18 (61.1%), FT 16-20 (80.0%).
JONES COUNTY (13-5, 8-3 in South Division): Andrew Riley 5, Tristin Walley 11, Maurice Dunlap 9, Andre Johnson 8, Christian Robertson 5, Bruce Stevens 18 (9 rebounds), Rickey Holden 15. TOTALS: FG 27-67 (40.3%), 3FG 7-17 (41.2%), FT 21-25 (84.0%).