Stone ends Blue Devils season with 75-57 win

Wiggins—Pearl River Central ran into a very talented and deep Stone Tomcat team, and that depth eventually wore down the Blue Devils allowing Stone to pull away late for a 75-57 win before a packed gym at Wiggins.

Due to a leak in the roof and local maintenance crew attempts to put a temporary fix in place, the start of the game was delayed 25 minutes. Once the game started, Pearl River Central came out ready and jumped up 5-0 on a Willie Reece three pointer and short jumper. After a layup by Stone’s Nathan Fairley, Jason Long scored on a jump shot to put PRC up 7-2. But Stone chipped away and led twice before Long scored on a layup to give PRC a 10-9 lead after the first period.

Stone started the second period with Enrique Whaley hitting three straight free throws after being fouled on a three point attempt and Fairley made a three pointer to give the Tomcats a 15-10. The Blue Devils would cut the lead to four points on three occasions, but Stone’s Cameron McDonald hit back to back three pointers in the last fifty seconds of the period to give the Tomcats a 28-18 lead at the half.

A.J. Banks and Jason Long forced a jump ball in the first period.

Stone, who substituted a full five players about every four minutes, started to wear down the Blue Devils with their relentless pressure and fresh legs. The Tomcats led 45-37 at the end of the third period and pulled away with the same substitution rotation in the final period.

Willie Reece scoring two points in the third period.

PRC Head Coach Scott Stephens talked about Stone’s depth after the game.

“It’s hard to match a team that can play 11 to 12 players throughout the game when the best we can do is play six to seven players. But as always, our guys played their hearts out. You’ve got to tip your hat to Stone and Coach Miller. They did a great job,” Stephens shared just moments after the game.

“What these seniors have done to bring our basketball program to this level in just two seasons is so remarkable. I can’t say enough about them. They’ve been through about five coaches in six years, but they bought in and were able to get us this far. They are even better people off the court than on the court,” said Stephens. Jason Long, A.J. Banks, and Holden King are the three seniors referred to by Stephens.

PRC was led by Willie Reece’s 22 points and A.J. Banks added 16 points. Caden Thompson had 10 points and Jason Long 9 points for the Blue Devils (20-8).

Stone (24-5) got 19 points from Enrique Whaley and McDonald finished with 18 points. Dalan Breland added 10 points.

Pearl River Central crowd 15 minutes before the game.

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