Tallulah squeaks past PCA in overtime

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 18, 2009

TALLULAH — In a game that featured almost as many turnovers as lead changes, Tallulah Academy used one exceptional performance to pull out a victory.

Jes Shivers had a triple-double — 18 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists — and Tallulah rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit to beat border rival Porters Chapel 65-64 in overtime Thursday.

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Shivers scored six points in overtime after helping Tallulah (7-7) overcome a seven-point deficit with four minutes left in regulation. Jake Busby added 13 points, eight rebounds and four blocks, while John Robert Fortenberry had 19 points — all in the second half — and seven rebounds.

“This win should help us. We showed some pride,” Shivers said.

That display of pride was enough for first-year Trojan coach John Weaver.

“This team won two games last year. I wanted to try and establish something so that we can be competitive in our district and make it to South State. Tonight was kind of how we’ve been this year. I may be going more bald with each game, but we’re at our best when we fast-break and get back on defense,” Weaver said.

Colby Rushing led Porters Chapel (2-2) with 21 points and eight rebounds.

The Eagles outrebounded the Trojans 49-34, but shot 37 percent from the field and went 9-for-21 from the foul line. Tallulah was 25-of-68 from the field and 14-of-34 from the line.

The teams combined for 52 turnovers. PCA had 12 in the last 12 minutes.

“I can’t complain. We made some stupid mistakes late in the fourth quarter because we were mentally drained, but we played hard,” PCA coach E.J. Creel said.

Tallulah didn’t take its first lead until Jake Busby knocked down an 8-foot jumper with 37 seconds left in regulation.

There were four lead changes or ties in those last 37 seconds. Shivers had a chance to make it five, but his 10-footer in the closing seconds rolled off.

 The back-and-forth continued in overtime. The lead switched hands four times in the first two minutes but the Eagles were hurt when Jay Wiley fouled out with 2:51 left.

Wiley left with 13 points. Zach Rachal, who had 14 points and 14 rebounds, had fouled out with 1:10 left in the fourth quarter and that left PCA without its two best post players.

The Trojans took advantage of their absence. Shivers scored a basket, assisted on another, then knocked down two free throws for a 64-61 lead.

With 26 seconds left, Kreuz Federick went to the line with a chance to get PCA within a point. He made the first free throw but was called for a lane violation. He then missed the second.

PCA had to foul and Shivers hit one of two free throws to cap his night. Matthew Warren then hit a 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds left for the 65-64 final.

(G) Tallulah 51, PCA 11

Tallulah Academy (13-2) had five players score eight or more points in a romp over PCA (0-4).

Tallulah shut out PCA in the first quarter and led 32-1 at the half.

Megan Givens led Tallulah with 11 points. Caroline Windham had 10, followed by Allie-Kate Gossett, Morgan Harris and Katie Book with eight each.

Shelby Wells scored nine of PCA’s 11 points.

Contact Jeff Byrd at jbyrd@vicksburgpost.com