Overall tourney berth at stake for PCA boys|[2/17/05]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 17, 2005

Today is D-Day in Marks at the Academy-A state basketball tournament.

The winners of today’s quarterfinals take a step closer to living the dream of a state championship and earn a berth in the MPSA Overall Tournament. The losers see their seasons end with the happiness of making it this far, but the disappointment of getting oh-so-close to the final prize.

“It hit me last night when I got home. I started thinking to myself that we’re only three consecutive wins from winning the state tournament,” said Porters Chapel coach Mike Grzanich, whose Eagles will face host Delta Academy tonight at 8:30.

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If PCA (16-15) can overcome the Raiders and their huge homecourt advantage, they’ll advance to the Overall tournament for the first time. The Eagles already made history by beating Wayne Academy in the first round on Tuesday. It was the first state tournament victory in the history of the boys’ program.

PCA isn’t the only Vicksburg-area team trying to reach the Overall tournament today.

Sharkey-Issaquena’s boys will face defending state champion Rossville (Tenn.) Christian in another quarterfinal game at 3:15 p.m. SIA has not reached the Overall since 1970, the first year it was played.

On the girls’ side, Tensas Academy and Rebul will square off for an Overall berth at 4:30. Tensas is shooting for its second straight trip to the Overall tournament, while Rebul is trying to make it there for the first time since 1995 – also the last time the Lady Raiders won a state championship.

The winner will also get a date with either Calhoun or five-time defending state champion Delta in the semifinals on Friday.

“It would be a big thing for us. When you get down to the last six or eight teams in the state, they’re all good. It’s just who shows up that night,” Tensas coach Chuck Bauerle said. “It’s a fun time of year.”