Pearl River set to host first Wildcat Classic
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Pearl River’s basketball teams will venture into somewhat uncharted territory when they host the first Wildcat Classic on Monday and Tuesday.
The tournament features a two-day slate and will feature six teams on the hardwood inside Marvin R. White Coliseum.
Pearl River’s women (2-1 overall) will kick things off against East Mississippi (4-0) at 4 p.m. Monday.
East Mississippi’s men (3-0) and LSU-Eunice (5-0) will play at 6 p.m., with the No. 10 PRCC men (3-0) and Baton Rouge (1-4) will cap the first night with an 8 p.m. contest.
BRCC and EMCC will open Day 2 with a 5:30 p.m. match on Tuesday. The PRCC men and the Bengals will play at 7:30 p.m.
“I thought it was important to put together the Classic because not only will it be good for the college and community but good for others throughout the state to come visit our facilities and see what we have going on at Pearl River,” PRCC men’s coach Chris Oney said. “(The field) is a lot more challenging than I anticipated. I told one of the coaches when I put it together we’d have some fun but now these games are going to mean a lot.
“I think it will be more intense with four Region XXIII teams because now there will be playoff implications.”
The Lions and Wildcats have not met since the 2016-17 season when the Wildcats won 68-57.
“Coach Sharon Thompson at East Mississippi does a phenomenal job. As a person and a coach I have a lot of respect and admiration for her. She’s been doing it a long time and has a lot of success,” Pearl River women’s coach Scotty Fletcher said. “I knew when we scheduled this it was going to be a tough and challenging game. There are some projections with them competing for the North title.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to play in the Wildcat Classic. We wanted to challenge ourselves to get us prepared for the tough and rugged South Division schedule and this game should help do just that.”
Fletcher’s squad enters next week’s matchup against EMCC fresh off of a convincing 98-40 win over Coastal Alabama-North.
The Wildcats are averaging 79.7 points per game and shooting 41 percent from their floor.
The Wildcats’ scoring efforts are led by sophomore guards Mychala Linzy (Clinton) and Maliyah Bullard (Pass Christian). Linzy leads the squad with 13 points-per-game and Bullard is scoring at a 12-point clip.
PRCC is holding opponents to 51 points per game.
The Wildcat men opened the season at No. 11 and climbed to 10th in the first NJCAA ranking of the 2019-20 season.
PRCC is averaging 100 points per game while shooting 52.3 percent from the floor. They’re also holding opponents to 55.3 ppg.
The PRCC men have four players averaging double figures, led by East Carolina transfer Tae Hardy (Ellenwood, Ga.; Believe Prep), who is scoring at a 22-point clip.
Pearl River sophomore Kelvin Allen jogs onto the Marvin R. White Coliseum court prior to playing William Carey’s junior varsity squad. No. 10 PRCC will host the first Wildcat Classic on Monday
and Tuesday . (BRETT RUSS/PRCC ATHLETICS)
Kelvin Allen (Olive Branch), Isaih Moore (Columbia, S.C.; Sumter) and Rod Brown (Memphis, Tenn.; Cordova) are bunched up, averaging 16.7, 15.7 and 14 ppg respectively.
After squeaking out an 86-80 win at BRCC in its first road contest of the season the Wildcats will turn back around and play Baton Rouge.
Tuesday’s contest will mark the first time PRCC has played the Bengals during the Oney era.