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PCA teams cruise to tournament wins

Porters Chapel Academy’s Josh Gain, right, snags a rebound in front of Tallulah Academy’s Matt Roberson, center, defends and PCA’s Dan Ivey looks on Tuesday night. (Jon GiffinThe Vicksburg Post)

[2/4/04]The Porters Chapel Academy Eagles checked a lot of goals off their list Tuesday night.

Chip Lofton finally surpassed the 20-point mark in a game, the Eagles beat archrival Tallulah for the first time in three meetings this season, and PCA advanced beyond the conference tournament for the first time since the 1998-99 season with a 62-46 win over the Trojans.

Lofton had scored 19 points on several occasions this season, but never more than that. He finished with 26 points, eight rebounds and four steals to lead the Eagles.

PCA (18-12) clinched a spot in next week’s South State tournament with the win, and also advanced to face Briarfield in the second round of the Conference 5-A tournament on Friday at PCA.

“They’ve beaten us twice, but we won the one that counts,” said PCA’s Allen Cassell, who had nine points and nine rebounds. “We haven’t been to South State in a long time, so we’re psyched.”

Tallulah led 13-10 early in the second quarter when Lofton put the Eagles on his back.

On consecutive possessions, he hit a 3-pointer, stole the ball from a Tallulah player and went coast-to-coast for a layup, then scored on a fast break layup to put PCA ahead 17-13 with 5:40 to play in the first half. The Eagles stretched the run into a 13-2 spurt and never trailed again.

“I felt like they were getting the momentum on their side, and that gave it back to us,” Lofton said. “We played incredible for several minutes, and it was awesome.”

Tallulah did keep it close for a while in the second half, but couldn’t get untracked. PCA went on a 7-2 run midway through the third quarter to push the lead to 38-25, and the Trojans never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

“We didn’t play very well. We picked a fine time to play our worst game of the year,” Tallulah coach Raymond Everett said. “They outrebounded us and won.”

Matt Roberson led Tallulah (10-9) with 19 points, Brad Gustafson had 13, and Preston Walker added 11. Dan Ivey had a double-double for PCA with 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Allen Cassell added nine points and nine rebounds.

(G) PCA 48, Tallulah 34

Annie Beaugh led three Lady Eagles in double figures with 18 points, and PCA’s margin of victory was three points more than its last two victories over the Lady Trojans combined.

“It was good in the sense that we got a lead and maintained it. We didn’t give them any hope and let them back in the ballgame,” Griffin said.

Amy Beaugh and Allison Horn scored 13 points apiece for PCA, which will play Sharkey-Issaquena in the second round of the Conference 5-A tournament on Friday.

Amanda Muse had a team-high 13 points for Tallulah, which ended its season with a 6-13 record.

(G) SIA 60, Franklin 50

Keri Smith scored 23 points, and Kristen Cox had 21 points and 14 rebounds as Sharkey-Issaquena advanced to the second round of the conference tournament with a win over Franklin.

Niki Wilson added 10 points and nine rebounds for SIA. Megan Till had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Franklin, and Ashley Chapman had 13 points.

(B) St. Al 71, Pelahatchie 53

Anthony Rector scored a game-high 26 points and teammate Kyle Richards added 25 as the Flashes slammed Pelahatchie on Tuesday night.

St. Al (8-13) led 25-24 at the end of the first half, but a 29-12 outburst in the third quarter put the Flashes on cruise control the rest of the way. During that stretch of the third quarter, Rector scored 12 points and Richards netted 11.

(G) St. Al 60, Pelahatchie 48

LaJuana Thomas scored a career-high 24 points and Sarah Kerut added 23 in a game where the score was deceiving.

The Lady Flashes used a 20-2 run in the second quarter to take a 36-12 lead at the half before Pelahatchie made a fourth-quarter run.

Thomas scored 16 of her points in the second and third quarters.

“She has really come through for us and has given us another scoring threat,” St. Al coach Paul Hayden said. “It gives teams something else to worry about.”