Late collapse costs PCA at Jackson Prep

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 8, 2000

JACKSON For most of Monday night’s game against Jackson Prep, the Porters Chapel Academy Eagles appeared ready to spring an upset. But a hot start and fast finish by the Patriots, along with 36 PCA turnovers, proved to be too much to overcome in a 77-46 loss.

After Prep (1-0) jumped out to a 26-8 lead after one quarter, PCA (0-3) held the Patriots to just 4-for-21 shooting from the field in the second and third quarters and trailed 50-36 entering the fourth quarter.

Then Prep used a 6-0 run over the first 1:15 of the fourth to put the lead back at 20 and dash the Academy-A Eagles’ hopes of upsetting mighty Academy-AAAA Prep.

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“It was a little disappointing because we were down by 12 with six minutes left and we lost by 31,” said PCA center Joseph Ivey, who led the team with 14 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. “I felt like we gave up a little bit in the fourth quarter.”

Trey White added 11 points for PCA, while Richard Carroll scored 10 and Andrew Embry had eight. Tommy Wright had 17 to pace Prep, while Christopher Johnston added 11 and Walker Tann had 10 points and four steals.

Tann helped Prep off to its fast start with three first-quarter 3-pointers, part of an 11-for-18 Patriot shooting effort in the first quarter. Prep was 4-for-6 from 3-point range in the quarter.

“They came out hitting 3s like crazy,” Carroll said. “They put it out to the wings and they just shot the lights out. We gave them the shots and they hit them.”

The Eagles were held to just 2-for-5 shooting from the field in the first and had to play catch-up the rest of the game. They stayed in it, however, with good free-throw shooting and defense.

PCA was 12-for-16 from the line in the first half and held Prep to just one second-quarter field goal, but the turnovers kept the Eagles from cutting too far into the lead.

It seemed that on nearly every trip down the floor, PCA threw passes away, lost a dribble or grabbed a rebound of a Prep miss only to turn it over before reaching halfcourt. Finally, the Patriots regrouped, turned up the defensive pressure and stormed past the Eagles, shooting 75 percent in the fourth quarter while outscoring PCA 27-10.

“I don’t know that we could have won, because he had a lot of depth. But it could have been a lot closer,” PCA coach Roger Browning said. “We were down by 12 with six minutes left and lost by 31. That’s all you need to say.”

(G) Prep 56, PCA 36

For three quarters, the Lady Eagles (2-1) couldn’t find the basket against Prep (3-0). By the time they did, it didn’t matter.

PCA shot just 26 percent in the game and was just 6-for-28 from the field through three quarters and struggled with turnovers early as Prep built a lead and never relinquished it.

PCA shot just 15 percent from the field and committed 15 turnovers. The Lady Eagles went 1-for-13 from the field in the second quarter while being outscored 20-2, and fell behind 39-13 at the break.

“I think most of it was we were nervous, and it took us a quarter-and-a-half to settle down,” PCA coach Mitchell Willis said. “But I was proud of how they didn’t lay down at the end. That showed a lot. But overall, we played pitiful.”

The Lady Eagles finished strong, outscoring Prep 11-4 over the final four minutes of the game and 16-10 in the fourth quarter. Willis said the late run was the reason he kept his starters in until the end.

“They were making a run at the end. They weren’t quitting on me, so I didn’t want to quit on them,” he said.

E.J. Willis led PCA with 21 points, K.K. Willis added eight points and seven rebounds and Brittany White finished with five points.

Tara Chez Button and Morgan Taylor led a balanced Prep attack with 11 points each, while Meghan Odom added nine points and seven rebounds and Caroline Harper had seven points and eight rebounds.