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Pearl River adds final piece for Region XXIII title defense

POPLARVILLE, Miss.— Pearl River coach Chris Oney and his Wildcats are prepared to defend their Region XXIII Title after adding one final piece to their roster ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Oney announced Wednesday the Wildcats have signed Isaih Moore, a transfer from College of Charleston.

Moore completes a group of newcomers that includes Northeast Miss. transfer Jamarcus Jones (Sardis; North Panola), Wichita State transfer Rod Brown (Cordova, Tenn.) and East Carolina transfer Tae Hardy (Ellenwood, Ga.; Miller Grove), along with prep signees Earl Smith (Jackson; Lanier), Kolby Moore (Clinton), Dontae Jackson (Gulfport), Dontavious Proby (Biloxi), Jariyon Wilkens (Biloxi) and Jarron Wilkens (Biloxi).

“We’re counting on him to be a really good player for us — the player that he already is,” Oney said. “One of the reasons he was open to coming here is I told him we had a big hole at his position.

“I think that excites him and adds something to our team.”

Moore was a highly sought after recruit out of Sumter (S.C.) High, choosing the Eagles over interest from South Carolina, Georgia, Clemson, Marquette and others. He was ranked the No. 7 prospect out of South Carolina his senior year and considered the No. 87 power forward in the country by 247Sports. He led Sumpter — coached by his father, Shawn Jones — to the Region 5 Championship as a junior and senior. As a senior, Moore averaged 25.5 points, 13.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 3.7 blocks and 2/1 steals. He also played in the North Carolina-South Carolina All-Star Game and boasted a 3.1 grade-point average.

Moore appeared in 11 games as a freshman last year, scoring 31 points with three blocks, four steals, two assists and 23 rebounds.

“He’s a kid with a lot of talent,” Oney said. “There were games in high school when he scored 40-plus. He was in the rotation at College of Charleston, it was just a situation where he wanted to see if he could play at a higher level.

“Talent wise and skill wise, he’s headed in that direction.”

At 6-foot-10, Oney said Moore isn’t your typical forward.

“He’s a big guy, but he can shoot 3s, stretch the floor, score inside and rebound,” he said. “Going into his junior year of high school he was 6-5 playing the two-guard and then he grew, so he has a lot of guard skills which makes him a very unique player.”

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