POPLARVILLE — Even No. 20 Pearl River's sixth man hit double figures Monday.
The nationally-ranked Wildcats relied on their depth in the MACJC opener, topping Copiah-Lincoln 92-74 at Marvin R. White Coliseum.
With the win, PRCC (9-0) improved to 12-1 against Co-Lin over the last six seasons with the Wildcats' last defeat coming all the way back on Jan. 28, 2013.
"We talk a lot about getting 2 percent better. We tell them it's not about 'you or me.' It's about us," PRCC coach Chris Oney said. "I tell them if I die tomorrow they better not cancel the season because I'm not going to stop the show.
"We move on and we try to get these goals we have worked for. Luckily for me, I have 14 guys who have bout into that."
Lagarious White (Ridgeland; Brandon) is one of a handful of Wildcats who was a star in high school but has had to adjust to life as a reserve on a deep PRCC team. Against the Wolves (6-2), White came off the bench, knocked down 5 of 11 3-pointers and led PRCC with 18 points.
"We had guys step up in the first. Lagarious White stepped up when Jonas (James III) and Eric (Thornton Jr.) got in foul trouble," Oney said. "I'm so proud of our guys because we got guys who are on the bench who could be starting at other programs but they accept their role here and just want to help the team."
Southern University signee Kirk Parker is another player who has had to adjust to a new role this season. Monday was arguably his best performance as he scored 13 points with eight rebounds.
"He's a kid who started for us last year. I had to have a Nick Saban moment with him because we ended up signing (Chris) Agbo and Kirk was thinking he was going to start this year but not one day in practice has he moped," Oney said. "I try to use him to teach Agbo just about his character. I'm really so proud of him."
Four other Wildcats hit double figures Monday. Thornton (Canton; Murrah) also scored 13 points, while James (Jackson; Murrah), LSU transfer Brandon Rachal (Natchitoches, La.; Natchitoches Central) and Chris Agbo (Jos, Nigeria) rounded out PRCC's leaders with 10 points apiece.
"Last year for two games against Co-Lin it was the Eric Thornton Show," Oney said. "I saw early in (Monday's) game that they were loading the box not allowing him to beat them, which was smart on their part.
"He didn't force anything, took what the defense gave him, stayed within what we were trying to do on offense and he ended up affecting the game just as much as he did last year."
The Wildcats got the crowd on its feet early Monday. Agbo opened the game with a dunk and after the Nigerian blocked a shot on the other end and grabbed the ensuing rebound, Cedric Brim Jr. (Tupelo; Shannon) — who scored nine points — hit Rachal on the fast break for another slam. Three minutes in PRCC held a 9-2 advantage and the Wolves never got within five points the rest of the game.
With the conclusion of Monday's game, PRCC is officially on winter break. The Wildcats won't return to the court until January 8 when they visit Delgado. After returning to MACJC action Jan. 10 with a trip to East Central, PRCC returns to Marvin R. White Coliseum on Jan. 14 to play archrival Jones College at 7:30 p.m.