Eagles hang on for first win

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 11, 2008

Against a height-challenged Central Hinds lineup, Porters Chapel had a very simple strategy.

Get big post player Jacob Rachal the ball early and often.

Rachal came through, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 rebounds to lead PCA to its first win of the season, 46-38, over visiting Central Hinds.

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“Jacob is bigger than just about anyone we play,”  PCA coach E.J. Creel said. “We’ve got some speed, but we really want to get the ball to him. When the zone overloads on him, he can kick it out to our guards for open shots.”

Clayton Holmes added 15 points, including nine in a third quarter that swung the momentum firmly into the Eagle camp.

PCA struggled from the free throw line, going 10-for-28, an anemic 35 percent.

The Eagles, who have crammed a blitz of five games and five practices into just 10 days thanks to the football team’s deep playoff run, are starting to gel as a club. While the victory was filled with some mistakes, Creel saw some reason to be optimistic.

“I don’t think we’re mentally 100 percent,” Creel said. “We just needed a win. It was ugly, but I’ll take it.”

The first quarter showed the ugly side of a team still getting to know each other on the hardwood. Both teams came out cold, but Rachal hit a layup and a putback late to give the Eagles an 8-2 lead after one.

In the second quarter, the two clubs finally heated up and the Cougars cut the deficit to two at 15-13 after Kyle Carpenter hit a 3-pointer and Cody Carpenter swished one of two free throws.

But Jason Greer swished a 3-pointer and Matthew Warren swished a pair of free throws to give PCA a 20-13 lead going into the half.

In the third, the Eagles took command.

Holmes swished a 3-pointer from the corner, hit a pair of free throws, sliced through the defense for a layup and converted an offensive board into a short jumper to account for his nine in the third, when the Eagles opened a 32-21 advantage.

However, PCA was unable to land the coup de grace and Central Hinds attempted a coup de tat in the fourth. After Holmes hit a jumper to expand the Eagle lead to 39-26, Kameron Hammond capped a five-point outburst with a slashing layup to cut the deficit to just eight with just over two minutes remaining.

But with the game on the line and the Eagles in a barren land devoid of made baskets, they went to their big man Rachal and he banked home a turnaround jumper with 30 seconds left to seal the deal at 44-33.

Central Hinds girls beat PCA,56-25

The Lady Eagles played a nearly flawless first half and battled Central Hinds to a 19-19 deadlock deep into the third quarter.

But from there, the proverbial wheels fell off the wagon as the Lady Cougars (6-3) outscored the Lady Eagles 37-6 for the rest of the contest. Paige Moore led the Lady Eagles (1-4, 1-2 District 5-A) with 14 points.  Jordan Fisher scored 21 of her game-high 25 in the second half to lead Central Hinds. Jamie Plunkett added 17.


Contact Steve Wilson at swilson@vicksburgpost.com.