Eagles finish strong vs. Tensas

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 2, 2001

Tyler Ellis of Porters Chapel and Tensas’ Daniel Mascagni, right, go for a loose ball. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)

[02/02/01] Porters Chapel Academy’s bumpy road of a season approached its end on a positive note Thursday night.

The Eagles (4-22, 3-6 Conference 7-A), who finish up at Jackson Academy on Saturday, got clutch performances from three of its seniors in their final home game to beat Tensas Academy, 61-56.

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Trey White scored PCA’s last seven points, and had a game-high 25 overall, to help the Eagles hold off a late Tensas charge, and Chris Angel and Richard Carroll combined for three of PCA’s five third-quarter 3-pointers as the Eagles built a 15-point lead before having to hang on.

Lee Hale led Tensas (12-11, 4-6) with 20 points, Daniel Mascagni had 14, David Crigler added eight points and 11 rebounds, and Scott Crigler had six steals.

“It means a lot, especially with the season we’ve had,” White said of the win. “It doesn’t make everything better, but at least we can end on a good note.”

Bad starts, a brutal non-conference schedule and the mounting losses all led to the Eagles’ dismal record and no postseason berth Conference 7-A has no conference tournament. But PCA managed to regroup and win two of its last three conference games.

“It felt really good to play our last home game and win. I’m disappointed we started winning at the end of the season instead of earlier, though,” said PCA sophomore Joseph Ivey, who had 19 points and four blocked shots Thursday night.

Ivey scored 11 of his points in the first half as the Eagles overcame a 2-for-14 shooting effort from 3-point range to stay within a point of the Chiefs at halftime, 29-28.

But everything that clanged off a rim or backboard in the first half found nothing but net in the third quarter for the Eagles.

Andrew Embry gave PCA a 30-28 lead on a layup in the opening seconds of the half, and the Eagles extended the lead to 13 points by the end of the quarter with two 3-pointers by White, two more by Angel and one by Carroll.

“We had them by a point the first time we played them, and we knew we had to have a win here tonight,” said Carroll, who finished with six points. “That’s what I told Trey (White), was we had to have a win, so we just gave it everything we had.”

PCA was 5-for-7 from 3-point range, outscored the Chiefs 18-4 in the quarter, and kept the lead in double figures until late in the game.

“We were dead. We didn’t hit our shots and didn’t execute our offense,” said Tensas coach Britt Keahey, whose team slipped to either the No. 3 or No. 4 seed from the conference for the South State tournament.

After a timeout with about three minutes to play, the Chiefs got six straight points from Hale to cut it to 54-50 with 2:09 to play. But White came up big, hitting five free throws and a layup down the stretch to keep Tensas at bay.

“I’ve been doing that since I was in seventh grade, so when the game came down to it, I knew the ball was going to be in my hands,” said White, who also had six rebounds and five assists.

(G) PCA 69, Tensas 54

The Lady Eagles used a blistering start in the game’s first 12 minutes to build a 20-point lead, then coasted to the win.

E.J. Willis, playing her final home game, led PCA (22-8, 10-0 Conference 7-A) with a game-high 25 points including five of PCA’s 11 3-pointers to go along with 10 rebounds and six assists. Brady Willis added six assists and 23 points, including five more 3-pointers, and Brittany White had 10 points.

Shelby Alford led Tensas (11-14, 7-3) with 23 points and 11 rebounds, Kate Hawkins had 16 points and Pamela Netterville added seven points and five assists.

“I’m glad we went in undefeated so we won’t have as tough a team to play. We can get in there and get a win,” PCA’s Kayla Barnette said, referring to the Lady Eagles’ seeding for the South State tournament. Barnette had seven points against Tensas.

The Lady Eagles hit 13 of their first 20 shots to build a 35-16 lead with 3:59 to play in the second quarter, but hit just one of their next six over the last half of the period and led 38-24 at the break.

Tensas chipped away at the lead throughout the third quarter and cut it to 43-33 with about three minutes to play in the period, but PCA’s Jessica Lord made three big plays to keep the lead in double figures.

Lord had a steal on the defensive end, then hit a putback layup for one of her six rebounds and her only two points of the game. Finally, she saved a ball under the goal that led to a layup by Barnette.

The effort helped push the lead back to 50-35 by the end of the quarter, and Tensas never got within 10 points again.

“We got down by 22 and fought back within 10 a couple of times, but we just let them get out of hand,” Tensas coach Chuck Baurle said. “They’ve just got so much more team quickness than we do.”