SUMMIT, Miss. — When the pressure was highest No. 12 Pearl River rose to the challenge Monday night defeating Southwest Community College 93-83.
"I said from the start that Southwest is a team with a lot of talent," Pearl River coach Chris Oney said. "The last two or three nights I was so frustrated because the Gulf Coast game wasn't us but if we can play like this every night we are going to be a hard team to beat."
CONTROLLING THE PACE
From the very start of the contest PRCC (20-2 Overall, 11-2 MACJC) established itself with its high powered offense and gritty effort on defense especially in terms of rebounding.
"We rebounded extremely well in the first half," Oney said. "I think we played so hard for boards honestly that the guys were actually a little tired down the stretch."
The Wildcats took a six point lead into halftime up 40-34 over Southwest (12-10 Overall, 4-9 MACJC).
The Bears did not go away quietly however, slashing into PRCC's defense and cutting the Wildcat lead to as close as three points.
The Wildcats kept their composure though and in no small part to great play from sophomores Brandon Rachal (Natchitoches, La.; Natchitoches Central) and Eric Thornton Jr. (Canton,; Murrah) PRCC struck back and pulled off a 93-83 victory.
TAKING IT OVER
Rachal and Thornton played a tremendous game, tying each other for the team lead in points with 25 each.
"Eric Thornton and Brandon Rachal are both players that you just cannot guard one on one. They're too difficult to defend," Oney said.
Not to be forgotton Cedric Brim Jr. (Tupelo; Shannon), Jonas James III (Jackson; Murrah), and Chris Agbo (Jos, Nigeria; Covenant Christian Ministries Academy) all contributed well on the offensive side scoring 13, 12 and 10 points respectively.
"One of the main reasons we sub so much is because we are getting close to playoff time and when you get close to the playoffs you look to guys like Jonas and Eric who last year helped us win a ring," Oney said. "We have got to get those kids going."
Pearl River has a busy Thursday planned for the final home game of the 2018-19 season. The Lady Wildcats and Wildcats will celebrate Sophomore Night in between the 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. starts. The Wildcats will also honor the 2017-18 State Champs with a banner raising. All high school students also receive free admission to the games.
Both games will be broadcast on WRJW 1320 AM as well as streamed on PRCCAthletics.com.