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No. 11 Pearl River holds steady to take down Copiah-Lincoln

Jaxon Dunaway - PRCC Intern

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — A 21-6 first quarter and 10 3-pointers helped No. 11 Pearl River to a win over Copiah-Lincoln Tuesday night inside Marvin R. White Coliseum, 75-41.

"We started good, our attention to detail was very good," head coach Scotty Fletcher said. "We executed the scouting report offensively and defensively. We had 15 assists on 27 made baskets, that's really impressive."



Avery Young (Iota, La.) and Taylor Johnson-Matthews (Cleveland, Ohio; Charles F. Brush) were standout performers in the first half, totaling 15 and 10 points, respectively.

Copiah-Lincoln (11-10 Overall; 3-6 MACCC) held its only lead when the game began 2-1. Young then hit a floater to get the party started for Pearl River (21-3; 8-1). Tiir Nyok (High Point, N.C.; Southwest Guilford) landed the game's first 3-pointer. Brooklyn Anderson (Greeneville, Tenn.; North Greene)had the assist.

The strong connection between Young and Johnson-Matthews came together as Johnson-Matthews found Young running inside from the left side for a layup, 10-2, PRCC. Nyok and Young both added a pair of free throws.

Johnson-Matthews ran inside for a layup. She dished it to the right side on the next possession for a Young 3-pointer. Alexis Arrington (Terry) recorded two free throws before the first period ended, 21-6, PRCC.

In the middle of the second quarter, The Wildcats hit three consecutive 3-pointers. The Wolves ended the momentum with eight unanswered points before Johnson-Matthew tacked on another 3-pointer. This notched the score at 39-18 Wildcats.

Johnson-Matthews nailed down the Wolves with a 3-pointer followed by a drive inside the lane, fighting through contact for a basket. The first half closed as the Wildcats held a 23-point advantage, 41-18.



Pearl River kicked right back into gear as Hama'ya Fielder (Philadelphia; Neshoba Central) found Arrington off the left side for a 3-point statement. Arrington then exchanged one back to Fielder, who hit a long jumper along the right side, 46-22.

Johnson-Matthews charged inside the lane for a basket and grabbed a blocking foul along the way. She converted the bonus shot. In a flash, Young inbounded the ball along the right corner, where Fielder caught and shot. She swished the clean 3-pointer, 51-22. 

Hama'ya Fielder (Philadelphia; Neshoba Central) shoots a 3-pointer against Copiah-Lincoln (Richard Gleber/PRCCAthletics).

Shortly after, Fielder ran down the middle of the court and threw up a perfect floater off the center of the glass for two. The third period ended as the Wildcats led 58-29.

Fielder launched her third 3-pointer for the first points of the final frame. Marley Freeman (Brandon) recorded the assist. Fielder picked up her fourth and final 3-pointer a few possessions later. PRCC was in front, 66-29.

Young then produced a clean step-back jumper just over the hands of defenders. Shortly after, Arrington found Young for a 2-pointer, 72-36.

Anderson drove off the corner and under the basket as the shot clock expired, converting the layup. Pearl River was victorious 75-41.



Young led the Wildcats with 19 total points. She shot 7-for-12 total and 3-for-6 from deep. She was also 2-for-2 from the free-throw line.

"She's in a great place right now," Fletcher said. "We knew who she was all along; she's playing exceptional basketball."

Fielder shot 6-for-11, tallying 16 total points. She led the team in 3-pointers, going 4-for-9 from beyond. 13 of her points were added in the second half.

"You have to give credit," Fletcher said. "We call her big-shot Fielder for a reason."

Johnson-Matthews trailed close behind with 15 points. She went 6-for-17 and had one 3-pointer. She was 2-for-3 from the free-throw line. She added nine rebounds and five steals.

"Taylor was really good," Fletcher said. "We need her to continue to rebound the basketball at that high level."



The Wildcats are back on the road Thursday at East Mississippi for a 5:30 tipoff. The game will be livestreamed at


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