Lights out|Porters Chapel game cut short by citywide power outage

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 30, 2009

The basketball term “lights out” took on a whole new meaning Thursday night at Porters Chapel Academy.

The Eagles’ senior night boys game had to be called off with about two minutes left in the first quarter when a transformer near the school blew out, causing the entire gym and most of east Vicksburg to sit in darkness. After being informed it would take nearly three hours to repair, PCA school and game officials decided to send Christ Missionary & Industrial School home with a win.

CM&I (24-7) was up 23-5 when the lights went off and will probably be awarded a 2-0 forfeit. PCA coach E.J. Creel doesn’t want to replay the game with the district tournament starting Monday at University Christian.

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Creel said the result won’t affect either team’s seeding in the district tournament.

“I don’t think it should be forfeited. I’m fine with it being 23-5, but either way, we’re still the fifth seed and they’re No. 1,” Creel said. “Something like this happened to me when I was playing for PCA when we were at Trinity (in Natchez). But it was an afternoon game, so we just kept on playing using the light outside and no scoreboard.”

CM&I already had the game in hand at 23-5. They hit 8 of 13 shots and had forced eight PCA turnovers.

CM&I has enjoyed an impressive season to date. They are ranked second in the MPSA’s Class A rankings with wins over Jackson Prep, along with public schools South Delta and Yazoo County.

“We lost to MRA twice, in overtime and one point in regulation, once to Jackson Academy, Delta Academy, two prep schools and Yazoo City. That was our first game of the year and it was in Yazoo City’s tournament. We came back the next two nights and beat South Delta and Yazoo County,” CM&I coach Larry McCoy said. Yazoo City and Yazoo County compete in Vicksburg High’s Division 3-4A.

The girls game did start and finish and the CM&I Lady Crusaders won their first game of the season, beating PCA 33-28.

“Many of our girls had never played basketball before, but we generally play real well, but just couldn’t finish to get the win,” CM&I girls coach Angela Ward said. “Tonight, though, was great. They had beaten us by 10 at our place, so we knew we had to play well. We doubled down on their post player (Paige Moore) and tried to defend No. 5 (Shelby Wells).”

PCA (3-18, 3-9) had a terrible night shooting, making just 11 of 54 shots.

“We just didn’t hit it well,” Creel said.

PCA led 6-4 after one quarter and took its last lead at 10-9 after a follow-up basket by Cristen Windham. Then Omika Murphy hit the first of five 3-pointers for CM&I to put the Lady Crusaders ahead to stay at 12-10. It was 15-14 at the half.

Eight PCA turnovers and eight missed shots allowed CM&I to go up 26-22 after three quarters. Wells led PCA with 18 points and five rebounds. Moore had five points and 12 rebounds while Windham had 10 rebounds. Brianna Gray led CM&I with 14 points.


Contact Jeff Byrd at