Eagles blast Mt. Salus

Published 11:11 pm Friday, December 16, 2011

The way their shots were clanging off the rim early in Friday’s game against Mt. Salus, it seemed like Porters Chapel’s players had one eye on the basketball and the other on this afternoon’s showdown with Trinity.

The Eagles snapped back into focus long enough to put together a dominating second quarter, gain some separation, blow out visiting Mt. Salus 73-29 and move on to their next challenge.

PCA held Mt. Salus without a point for more than six minutes in the second quarter, long enough to turn an eyebrow-raising six-point lead into a 26-point halftime cushion.

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“Not disrespecting this team, but this was a practice to get us ready for tomorrow,” PCA coach E.J. Creel said. “We rotated with a lot of things we adjusted from the last time we played Trinity, to get ready for tomorrow.”

Kawayne Gaston came off the bench to lead PCA (9-1, 6-0 District 5-A) with 21 points. Alton Burden scored 19, and Talbot Buys had 12 points and eight rebounds. Ted Brisco had 15 points, nine rebounds and five steals.

J.J. Johnson, Ben Wiggins and James Selvage scored six points apiece for Mt. Salus (1-10, 1-6).

PCA made just 5 of 16 shots from the field in the first quarter, while Mt. Salus went a perfect 5-for-5. The shooting accuracy allowed the visiting Eagles to keep it close, and they only trailed 16-12 in the closing seconds of the period.

Then Brisco hit a jumper at the buzzer, and PCA was off to the races. It turned up the defense, forced 10 second-quarter turnovers and didn’t allow Mt. Salus to score until Johnson hit a runner in the lane with 1:50 to play. By then, PCA had ripped off 18 straight points and led 34-14.

“Our defense started off slow. We weren’t fast breaking like we normally do. We were slowing down the ball,” Brisco said. “We started playing better defense and defense leads to offense.”

PCA led 40-14 at halftime and by as many as 45 points late in the second half. One of the few truly thrilling moments was a dunk by Brisco — something he has been trying to do all season — in the waning moments.

“It felt great,” Brisco said with a smile.

Now the Eagles can fully turn their attention to Trinity, which handed them their only loss on Dec. 5 in Natchez. Trinity also beat PCA in the semifinals of the Class A Tournament last season.

This is PCA’s last game until Jan. 7, so a little revenge would make a fine Christmas present.

“They gave us our only loss,” Brisco said. “Everybody’s going to bring their A game tomorrow.”

(G) Mt. Salus 47,

Porters Chapel 13

Michaela Harper and Anna Grace Govero scored eight points apiece for Mt. Salus, which jumped out to a 22-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and cruised to a win over Porters Chapel.

Ten different players scored for Mt. Salus. The visting Lady Eagles led 40-5 at halftime before backing off in the second half.

Claire Mims led PCA with four points, and Marshedia Graise and Samantha Brewer had three apiece. Graise and Mims each hit a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter as PCA finished strong.