POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The week keeps getting better and better for Pearl River star Brandon Rachal (Natchitoches, La.; Natchitoches Central).
One day after being named the MACJC Player of the Week, Rachal was named the NJCAA Division I Player of the Week.
Rachal is the only MACJC player to earn the national honor this season. Rachal is the third Pearl River athlete to be recognized by the NJCAA this season, joining baseball's Shemar Page (Raleigh) and men's soccer's Kobe Lie (Hattiesburg; North Forrest), who was honored twice.
Rachal was rewarded following Pearl River's "dominant" run through the Region XXIII Tournament. In three victories over Northeast, Jones College and Holmes, Rachal averaged 20.3 points with 8.3 rebounds. After scoring 12 against the Tigers in a blowout first-round victory, Rachal stepped up his game in closer matches, scoring 25 points in a 63-61 win over JC in the semifinals and 24 in the 57-52 title victory over Holmes. Rachal also added five assists, nine steals and one block while joining teammate Cedric Brim Jr. (Tupelo; Shannon) on the All-Region XXIII Tournament Team.
The LSU transfer has been one of the leaders on Pearl River's NJCAA Tournament-bound team. In 28 games, Rachal averaged team-highs 15.7 ppg and 8.9 rebounds per game. He also averaged 2.8 steals.
The Wildcats (25-3 overall) now turn their attention to the NJCAA Tournament, where they'll face Williston State (N.D.) at noon on March 19 in Hutchinson, Kansas.
The Tetons (22-10) also earned an automatic bid to the 24-team tournament by winning the Region XIII Tournament.