Eagles await opponent, try to shake off defeat

Published 12:21 pm Monday, February 7, 2011

Seventy-two hours after the fact, the Porters Chapel Eagles will return to the scene of the crime. The place where their five-game winning streak came to a screeching halt with one of their worst performances of the season.

Following Saturday’s 68-43 loss to University Christian in Saturday’s District 5-A tournament championship game, PCA will head back to the Flowood school this week for the MAIS Class A South Central tournament. The Eagles’ opponent has yet to be determined — they’ll face the third-pace team from District 8-A, whose tournament was delayed by bad weather — but shaking off their last game will be more important than anything the next opponent will throw at them.

“We’ll work on a little bit of what we did wrong. But we have to move on to who we’re playing,” PCA coach E.J. Creel said. “We’re not going to play (University Christian) again. Everything’s going to be different. We have to do the best we can, spend 30 minutes fixing what went wrong, and get ready for the next one.”

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What went wrong Saturday was, simply, everything. The Eagles shot just 27 percent for the game and committed 26 turnovers. After falling behind by 12 points at halftime, they never got the deficit back to single digits.

It was a rude awakening for a team that had been on a roll. PCA had won five in a row and reached the district tournament championship game for the first time since 2006. The South Central tournament represents a chance at redemption.

“We’ve got another chance at it,” PCA point guard Peter Harris said. “We’ve just got to practice harder. We’ve got to work together as a team. Stop playing ‘me ball’ and play team ball.”

Focusing on their own game before they take the court again is a necessity for the Eagles. Not just because they need to straighten things out, but also because their next opponent is a mystery.

The District 8-A tournament was to conclude today, and the South Central tournament is scheduled to begin Tuesday. PCA could play its first game either Tuesday or Wednesday, but won’t know for sure until the brackets are finalized tonight. Because of that, there’s a chance the team could play as early as Tuesday afternoon and have less than 24 hours to put together a scouting report and gameplan.

“That’s hard. Especially when you can’t call anybody to see who we match up with. I’m going to call for an if or or with three or four teams,” Creel said. “All you can do is prepare yourself the best you can.”