No.22 Pearl River comes up short in regular season finale
PRCC - Tyler Johnson (Intern)
CLARKSDALE, Miss. — No. 22 Pearl River hit the road Thursday to face the Coahoma Tigers. The Wildcats fought valiantly but fell in overtime 64-61.
“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for our girls and program over the last 24 hours, but I am proud of the way they came in here and fought for 45 minutes despite having their backs against the wall,” head coach Scotty Fletcher said. “We played a really tough team in a very tough environment, but I’m proud of the way our girls kept their composure."
Coahoma (16-5 overall; 10-3 MACCC) started the scoring early on a layup, but Keshunti Nichols (Pearl) responded immediately after as she fought through contact for a layup of her own to tie the game at 2-2.
After a Tiger 3-pointer, Nichols responded again for Pearl River (19-4; 10-3) nailing a 3-pointer of her own tying the game at 8-8.
Coahoma hit another 3-pointer, but Pearl River found a quick response by Halle Traylor (Tupelo) nailing a 3-pointer tying the score once again, this time 11-11.
Halle Traylor (12) turned in a solid performance for the Wildcats.
From there, the teams traded blows with the Wildcats holding the advantage late into the first quarter 21-15.
Pearl River increased its lead with Marcavia Shavers (Biloxi) grabbing an offensive rebound and laying it up while being fouled. Shavers converted the and-one free throw opportunity giving the Wildcats 23-15 lead.
The second quarter so Coahoma go on a 14-4 run to take the lead 29-27.
The teams traded blows back and forth with Coahoma holding on to a slim 34-33 lead heading into halftime.
The Wildcats opened the scoring in the second half with another Nichols layup that allow Pearl River to take a 35-34 lead.
With the score tied at 39-39, Tristen Washington (Gonzales, La; East Ascension) lobbed the ball over the head of the Tiger defense finding Shavers for a layup, giving the Wildcats a 41-39 lead.
The lead went back and forth with Coahoma taking a 48-47 lead headed into the fourth quarter.
Washington opened the scoring in the fourth, nailing a 3-pointer to put the Wildcats up 50-48. Coahoma scored the next four points to take a 52-50 lead. Ty’Mesha Reed (Meridian) got Pearl River even again when she grabbed a rebound and took it coast-to-coast for a layup to tie the game 52-52.
Down 57-52 with 22 seconds left in regulation, Nichols nailed a floater to make it 57-54. Coahoma made 1 of 2 free-throws, and Washington nailed a clutch 3-pointer in transition cutting the deficit to one 58-57.
After Coahoma converted two free throws to make it 60-57, Traylor caught a pass with time winding down and drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game at 60-60 to force overtime.
“We drew up a play specifically for Halle to get a three on that possession. Halle missed a three like that earlier this year, so it was nice to see the game repay her on this one. It’s also a testament to Ty making a great pass to find her in the corner as well.” Fletcher said postgame.
The Wildcats were unable to keep the momentum they had found late in regulation, falling to the Tigers by a final score of 64-61.
Shavers led the way offensively for Pearl River finishing the night with 18 points.
Nichols, Traylor, Washington all tied for second with 12 points each.
“This is her home up here, so for her to come up here and play the way she did speaks volumes to her character,” Fletcher said of Traylor's performance.
The Wildcats will now prepare for the MACCC tournament, but will have to await the outcome of other MACCC games that were postponed due to inclement weather. Those games are scheduled for Friday, and once completed, the tournament matchups will be released.
For the latest on Pearl River Community College athletics, follow us on Twitter (@PRCCAthletics) and Facebook (PRCCAthletics).