POPLARVILLE — All offseason coach Scotty Fletcher preached defense, defense and more defense. If the defense is there, the offense will come.
His Lady Wildcats made the Pearl River coach look pretty smart in their debut Thursday, pulling away for a 68-32 win at White Coliseum.
"I think us changing our defenses allowed us to create a rhythm and allowed us to get out and get some easy buckets," Fletcher said. "That's what we want to do, create some live ball turnovers."
The Lady Wildcats (1-0 overall) actually traded baskets with Delgado (0-1) until the final minute of the first quarter. At that point, the home team strung together a 16-2 run to bridge into the second quarter and never looked back.
"At times we looked like the youngest team in the state," Fletcher said, pointing to a pep talk late in the first frame. "We're just as honest as the day is long. We told them our Lady Wildcat defense is not up to par. That's going to be our bread and butter. As long as I'm here, that's what we have got to be great at.
"Once they accepted the challenge and knew they were better than the level they were playing at, we had a good night."
Olivia Mosley (Pearl) had a big performance in her collegiate debut, leading PRCC with 21 points on 5 of 11 shooting from the field and converting 11 of 14 free throws.
"Olivia Mosley was absolutely incredible," Fletcher said. "That's her game. She's a great all-around player."
Although she only had 4 points, Elexis Peyton (Jackson; Provine) added a team-high eight rebounds and three steals.
"I thought Elexis Peyton with her poise tonight, can play her at the one, three, four, five," Fletcher said. "She's just a winner and with her in our starting lineup we're 8-1. She's the real deal."
Maliyah Bullard (Pass Christian) led PRCC with four assists.
The Lady Wildcats return to action next Thursday with a road test at Bishop State. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.